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Global Wealth 2019

Essential (& Some Surprising) Facts

Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report is one of the most comprehensive analyses of the world’s wealth, and provides keen insights into the health of the global economy.

We took a fresh look at the most recent report, which contains the following, essential facts:

  1. Global Wealth is On the Rise – From mid-2017 to mid-2018, global wealth rose by $14 trillion to $317 trillion, a growth rate of 4.6%. What’s more, over that year, the growth of wealth exceeded population growth, so subsequently, global mean wealth rose to $63,100 per adult (a record high).

[Editor’s Note: Interested in an expert perspective on the intersection of crowdfunding and wealth management? Check out “A Few Minutes With … Scott Picken of Wealth Migrate.”]

  1. U.S. Consistency – In the U.S., both total wealth ($98.154 trillion) and wealth per adult ($403,970) has grown every year since 2008. This growth occurred even when overall global wealth suffered a decline in both 2014 and 2015. In the most recent report, U.S. household wealth rose 6.5%.

As Anthony Shorrocks, James Davies, and Rodrigo Lluberas explain in the Credit Suisse report, “The United States has accounted for 40% of all increments to world wealth since 2008, and 58% of the rise since 2013.”

Nevertheless, the U.S.’ wealth winning streak may come to an end:

“While not wishing to cast doubt on the ‘Trump Effect’ on financial markets, it seems inevitable that the uninterrupted spell of increasing wealth in the United States will come to an end at some time.”

  1. A $399 Trillion Market – Over the next five years, Credit Suisse expects global wealth to rise 26%, which would bring it to $399 trillion by 2023. Driving that growth will be two segments of the population: the middle class, and millionaires (who are projected to number 55 million by 2023, an all-time high).

[Editor’s Note: You may wish to read “Is it Possible You Don’t Know You’re Actually Rich?” and/or “Multi-Generational Tax Strategy for High Net Worth Families” if you are interested in learning more about this topic]

  1. Wealth Distribution Gains – In the year 2000, 80.1% of the world’s adults had less than $10,000 in wealth; in the 18 years since, that number had declined to 63.9%, and is projected to decline further to 60.5% by 2023.

As Anthony Shorrocks, James Davies and Rodrigo Lluberas stated in the report, the trends are only looking up from here: “The global wealth middle class – those with net worth between USD 10,000 and USD 100,000 – increased from 14% in the year 2000 to 27% today. By 2023, it will have grown by nearly 196 million adults to reach 29% of all global adults.”

[Editor’s Note: Building your wealth is not possible without a thorough understanding of the legal and tax implications of your investments. For key insights in that arena, consider our webinar, “The Legal & Tax Aspect of Investing: Asset Protection; Estate Planning, and Tax Efficiency”]

  1. The Components of Wealth – Wealth is on the rise overall, but examining the specific components of wealth reveal fascinating nuances. Since 2008, financial assets have grown dynamically with equity markets leading the charge. According to Credit Suisse, financial wealth per adult is up 36% since the financial crisis. At the same time, non-financial wealth declined from 2007 to 2015, but in the last three years, it has risen 14%.
  2. Women’s Share – Credit Suisse uncovered positive trends in the way wealth is divided between men and women. Currently, women hold around 40% of global wealth, and in both Europe and North America, the woman’s share is between 40% and 45%.

Urs Rohner, the chairman of the Board of Directors for Credit Suisse Group AG, placed the new numbers in their proper context: “During the 20th century, their share of wealth rose considerably and, since the year 2000, the level of women’s wealth has risen along with all household wealth, especially in Asia alongside the rise of China’s wealth. The tendency shows that more self-made women are succeeding in business and are entering the highest wealth ranks.”

[Editor’s Note: For more information on this topic, you may wish to check out “Your Wealth is Entropic: Use it or Not,) You Will Lose It”]

  1. China’s Rise – The Global Wealth Report states it plainly: “China is now clearly established in second place in the world wealth hierarchy.” At $51.874 trillion, China’s wealth is still behind the total wealth of Europe ($85.402 trillion) and North America ($106.513 trillion), but clearly, its wealth is on the rise, and it presents considerable opportunity to investors.
  2. Some Rise, Some Fall – In addition to the U.S. and China, the countries of Germany, France and the United Kingdom saw wealth increases of nearly $1 trillion, while in Italy and Japan, wealth jumped to around $500 billion. Not all countries saw wealth increases, however. In Brazil, wealth was down $380 billion, while in Turkey and Argentina, wealth fell by $190 billion and $130 billion, respectively.

[Editor’s Note: Clearly, not all overseas markets present equal opportunities to American investors. For some terrific perspective on which countries to consider, check out our recent piece “3 Overseas Markets (That Still Are) Terrific Investing Opportunities.”]

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About The Financial Poise Editors

Financial Poise provides relevant, plain-English intelligence and continuing education for investors, private business owners and executives.

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