Wealth Gap Getting Wider

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    Millionaires are expected to control nearly half of the world’s personal wealth by 2019, suggesting that the wealth gap will continue to widen, says ‘The Global Wealth Report’ from Boston Consulting Group. The report says the number of millionaires in the world grew to 17 million in 2014, up from 15 million in 2013. The world’s millionaires now control 41 per cent of the $164 trillion in global private wealth, up from 40 per cent in 2013. The report said millionaires are expected to control 46 per cent of the world’s wealth in 2019. The growing fortunes of the wealthy are owed largely to rising stock markets and asset prices around the world. The report says 73 per cent of the gains in global private wealth last year came from market performance on existing assets rather than newly-created wealth or businesses. By far, the U.S. still has the largest number of millionaires. That segment of the population grew by 4.7 per cent last year to 6.9 million. China ranked second in millionaire population, but had the largest number of new millionaires in 2014. Its millionaire population grew to 3.6 million from 2.4 million in 2014, meaning the world’s second largest economy added more than half of the world’s two million new millionaires last year. Millionaires is defined as households with $1 million in easily monetized wealth – cash, stock, and securities, pension funds, and other financial assets. Their wealth measurement doesn’t include real estate, business ownership, and collectible and consumer goods.