How many millionaires are there in this world? A million? Two million?
A good guess will be 7.7 million. According to the 2004 World Wealth Report published today by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, 600,000 joined the rank in the past year alone. The total net worth of these individuals? A whopping $30.8 trillion.
The complete 32-page report, which is available to the general public in PDF format, is actually a very good explanation of how the world's macro economic situations influence the creation of wealth. The conclusion:
• North America: North America: Low interest rates and tax reform drive growth.
• Asia-Pacific: Growth in China and India led the region.
• Europe: With structural economic problems and corresponding low growth, wealth creation lags.
• Latin America: Wealth advances, led by Brazil, whose economic policies are a huge success.
• Middle East and Africa: Oil and commodities are the story.
We can also get some hints from how these millionaires operates their assets. Overall, the report thinks:
"2004 became a “hold-and-see” year for HNWIs. ... HNWIs’ allocation strategies grew more conservative and
more diversified. ... mov[ing] allocations somewhat
away from more risky asset classes and into more stable fixed
income and cash deposits.While the rise of interest rates might theoretically
lead investors to postpone investments in bond markets,HNWIs
kept to a more conservative tack, eschewing short-term profits in favor
of safer returns."
For adament savers, it is actually not that difficult to join the club -- all it takes is time and patience. How many of us will join the rank in our lifetime?