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How the 'very rich' distributed their wealth in 2019

How the 'very rich' distributed their wealth in 2019

'Very HNWIs', with a net worth of $5m to $30m, had spread their assets rather differently than the ultra wealthy last year.

Around 44.8% of their wealth was tied in liquid assets, comprising of cash, income and dividends, a recent report by market research firm Wealth-X found.

Meanwhile, UHNWIs with a net worth exceeding $30m had 36.5% in liquid assets. The figure for billionaires was 26.4%.

Two-thirds of 'very HNWIs' had net worths of between $5m to $10m, Wealth-X noted. So a large portion of their wealth was in salaries, bonuses, and shares of companies that they worked for or owned.

'This proportion declines as wealth rises, either as a result of the ability to free up assets and diversify towards investments in public companies, or the tendency of the wealthiest individuals to be business owners,' the firm said.

Private holdings accounted 22.9% of the wealth of 'very HNWIs', while public holdings made up 5.5%.

UHNWIs had at least 25% of their wealth in public holdings, with billionaires allocating 36.4% on the average.

'Very HNWIs' also put more than quarter of their wealth in assets like a luxury main residence, holiday home, cars or goods.

UHNWIs and billionaires respectively spent 6.2% and 2.2% on these.

Rising population

The population of 'very HNWIs' grew 10% to 2.7m last year. Their combined net worth was $26.6tn, according to the report.

Every region saw an increase, with the exception of Latin America and the Caribbean, where numbers stayed flat at 74,590 individuals holding $743bn in wealth.

Over in Asia, the population of 'very HNWIs' jumped 10.3% to 723,790, holding $7.3tn in wealth.

This was driven by double-digit growth in China, Japan and Hong Kong.

'Investors welcomed the stock market returns, against a backdrop of positive but slowing economic growth, trade disruption from US-China tensions, currency depreciation against the dollar, and a downturn in the global consumer electronics cycle,' the report said.

In the Middle East, their numbers rose 1% to 73,680, with $751bn in wealth.

Growth in the region was impeded by issues including subdued global oil prices and a fracturing of relations within the Gulf region.

New York remained the top city for 'very HNWIs' last year, with a population of 110,170. This was followed by Tokyo with 73,845, and Hong Kong with 64,855.