A new report from Wealth-X, a firm that tracks global wealth, concluded that there was a 2 per cent growth in the number of wealthy individuals as well as in their collective wealth globally. In 2018, the number of high-net-worth individuals globally was 23 million and they had a combined wealth of $62 trillion.
The highest number of these high-net-worth individuals resided in the US and were self-made and accounted for about 40 per cent of the total number of wealthy people in the world.
The report also categorised the wealthy into two groups – the high-net-worth and the ultra-high-net-worth. The high net worth individuals has individual wealth between $1 million and $30 million while the ultra high net worth individuals possess more than $30 million.
The report also interestingly noted that a large number of the richest people are engage in philanthropy. 36 per cent of the rich, and 57 per cent of the super rich expressed views that philanthropy to be among one of their top interests.
Giving away wealth is also amongst the top priority of most high-net-worth individuals. There has been an increase in philanthropic giving after a drop during the global financial crisis. But according to the report, compared to people of more limited means, the money that the rich give away as a proportion of their wealth is way less.
Several high-profile mega-gifts were made by the ultra wealthy last year. For example, $2 billion to the Day One Fund to help the homeless was given by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos. And $1.8 billion to his alma malter, Johns Hopkins University, was given by Michael Bloomberg.
Supporting education, social services, arts and culture, and health were among the most popular charitable causes among the wealthy in 2018.
But in terms of the passions, interests and hobbies of the world’s wealthiest, business precedes philanthropy. According to Wealth-X, they are more interested in finance, followed giving and then sports and the outdoors.
Golf – followed by football, skiing, basketball and baseball are the sequential list as the areas of interest in sports for the wealthy of the world. The impact the US has over the world’s high-net-worth population is reflected in these sports related findings, the researchers of the report noted.
Interest in family, politics, animals and languages are at the bottom of the top 20.
The men are still the more wealthy. Only 16 per cent of high-net-worth individuals are women and only 14 per cent of the ultra-high-net-worth individuals were women.
Just a small fraction of the world’s richest people got their wealth through inheritance. Most of them made their wealth themselves, the report noted. While just 5 per cent of the high-net-worth-individuals inherited their e\wealth completely, almost 84 per cent made their own fortunes and 12 per cent became wealthy from a combination by both.
But the proportion of the ultra wealthy who have inherited their wealth was about 30 per cent while 70 per cent of them made their own fortunes.
(Adapted from CNN.com)