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World Wealth Report by CapGemini
The 10th Annual Edition of the World Wealth Report has been unveiled by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. According to this report, people with at least US$ 1 million, excluding their primary residence and consumables, climbed to US$ 33.3 trillion in 2005. It reflects an 8.5% increase over 2004. Thus, the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) grew by 6.5% to 8.7 million in 2005. As far as the number of Ultra-HNWIs, individuals with financial assets over US$ 30 million, the number grew by 10.2% to 85,400 in 2005.
In three years, it is the first time that the US HNWI population failed to move above last year's gain of 9.9%, growing just at 6.8%. On the contrary, Canada's HNWI population grew by 7.2%. Combining the figures from the two nations, the HNWI population grew by 6.9% in 2005, as compared to 9.8% in the previous year. In spite of this fall, North America retained its position of the largest accumulated HNWI wealth in the world.
Robert McCann, Vice Chairman and President of Merrill Lynch's Global Private Client Group, said "One area where HNWIs found significant opportunity was in the Asia Pacific region, where the twin drivers of market capitalization and GDP continued to deliver high rates of growth in 2005. Meanwhile, Latin America and the Middle East also exhibited strong growth, which benefited HNWIs investing domestically and from other parts of the world."
The growth of HNWI has been most dramatic in South Korea with a 21.3% rise. In South Africa, it grew by 15.9%, while in Russia and India; it rose to 17.4% and 19.3% respectively. Even though North America remains to be the world's most popular region for investment, HNWIs continue to shift investments away from North America. It is real estate that continued to produce strong returns for HNWIs throughout 2005. Through the World Wealth Report, Capgemini once again shows the importance the Big Four firms' attaches to analyze the transition of wealth in this world. The high interest of HNWIs' in international investments and the constant exposure to alternative investments and equities are indications of the world's wealthiest becoming more sophisticated investors.
About the Author: By Big4.com Staff Writers