The rich get richer

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2309630128_67afff717dThe global economy may have slowed down in the last year, but that hasn't stopped the rich from getting richer. Merrill Lynch and Capgemini just released their 12th annual World Wealth Report, and the results are stunning. (Hat tip: FT) The wealth of the ultra-rich (those with assets of $30 million or more) grew 14.5 percent between 2006 and 2007. It seems the rich keep getting richer, no matter what the international financial environment looks like. No surprise there, really. The big surprise, at least for me, is how the geographical distribution of the rich is rapidly changing. 

Brazil, India, and China proved to be powerhouses of wealth production in 2007. India saw a 23 percent increase in the number of high net worth individuals - in other words, millionaires. China and Brazil were not far behind, with increases of 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively. To top it off, the total wealth of the rich in Asia is expected to overtake that in Europe by 2012.

Unfortunately, the report doesn't say much about what all these nouveau riche are going to spend their money on. I haven't looked, but I'm guessing the stocks of Gucci, Versace, and Armani haven't been suffering too much despite the global downturn in growth.

Update: The rich weren't just spending their money on fashion. According to the Wall Street Journal, mega-yacht builders and private-jet makers are seeing an uptick in their business in emerging markets.


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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