Friday, June 15, 2018

The Rich getting richer

The pool of money held by the world’s wealthiest people grew by 12 percent last year to nearly $202 trillion (£152.1 trillion) as bull markets and the dollar’s weakening against most major currencies boosted global fortunes. Adjusted for exchange rate swings, wealth rose 7 percent, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey found. Millionaires and billionaires own nearly half of all the world's personal wealth, which reached $201.9 trillion last year, according to the new report.
"The share of global wealth held by millionaires increased to almost 50 percent in 2017, compared with just under 45 percent in 2012, driven mainly by higher-wealth individuals investing in higher-return assets," the report (pdf) states.

While residents of North America held the greatest share of personal wealth at almost 43 percent, the fastest growth came in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Most super-rich individuals lived in the United States, China and Japan.  Switzerland remained the world’s biggest centre for managing offshore wealth with $2.3 trillion, followed by Hong Kong with $1.1 trillion and Singapore with $0.9 trillion.

More than 35 million Americans now have between $250,000 and $1 million, a wealth bracket the industry calls mass affluent. BCG senior partner Brent Beardsley said that many mass affluent savers hold a lot of their money in a retirement account, like a 401(k).

Right now, four in ten Americans can’t come up with $400 in an emergency. Two out of ten Americans have either no financial assets at all, or they owe more than they own. Over 70 million workers make less than $25,000 a year, and the federal minimum wage is less than the cost of living in every major city in the country.

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