A "high-net worth individual" (HNWI) is an individual who have at least $1 million invested in income-generating assets like corporate shares, government bonds and real estate. In the latest World Wealth Report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, there were 14.6 million high net-worth individuals. this means that they constitute a mere 0.2 percent of humanity, (or 0.7 percent of adults.) The vast majority -- 90 percent -- have income-generating assets between USD $1 and 5 million, while mid-tier millionaires with $5-30 million constitute only 9 percent of the HNWI population. This leaves a mere 1 percent of the 0.2 percent with $30 million and above invested income-generating assets.
Bill Gates, whose net worth is $90 billion at the time of writing. It may be surprising to some readers to find out that Gates only owns 3 percent of the shares in Microsoft. The rest of his wealth stems from additional income from Canadian National Rail, Deere & Co., Fomento Economico Mexicano, Republic Services Inc., and Ecolab Inc., just to name a few. Gates does not physically work in any one of these companies, yet he receives returns through ownership. Whether he is actively involved in investment decisions does not really matter. He can so easily employ some person to do this.
The more income and wealth you have, the greater is your ability to command human beings and natural resources. The goal of investing is never to lose money but to make more of it. Hedge-fund manager David Tepper made $3.5 billion in 2013. The median income in the United States was about $55,000 that same year. So with these two numbers, we can provide a ratio: 1 : 63,636. What this means is that every time our ordinary worker makes another dollar, Tepper will make another $63,636.