A Statistical Profile Of The Ultra-Wealthy

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According to the latest report from Wealth-X, a company that claims to be the global leader in wealth information, the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent of people in the world now control $32 trillion of all the money invested in public and private markets.

I’ll drill down into who these people are, where they live, where they went to school and other characteristics. My purpose is to illustrate who makes up the elite of the global elite.

I make no value judgments about the issues of wealth inequality. I leave that up to you.

Unpacking the data from Wealth-X

Where they live

North America is home to the largest cohort of ultra-rich investors. But Asia, especially China, is getting ready to overtake it as the center of invested wealth in the world.


The tiers of wealth

Membership in the UHNW club is exclusive. Just to make it to the bottom rung of the ladder, you need a minimum of $30 million of invested wealth. That is “chump change” to the rest of the higher-ups.

What does it take to get a seat at the cool kids table? The table below spells it out clearly.


Sources of wealth

You may have made it to the “bigs” by winning the state lottery, or maybe you’re a highly skilled bank robber. But most UHNW investors were either self-made, lucky heirs to the family fortune, or some combination of the two.

As the table shows, the self-made cohort is twice as large as the other two.


Drilling down to specific countries

Again, the U.S is the home of the greatest number of ultra-wealthy investors. However, with each passing year the Chinese mint more multi-millionaires. It will take several years for them to overtake the U.S., but they will undoubtedly get there.


You don’t need a college degree to make it into the UHNW club, but it helps if you graduated from a top school. Why? Not because you came out smarter than your less fortunate high school friends. It’s because these top schools have powerful alumni networks, and making it to the big time requires highly-placed connections.

Read the full article here by Erik Conley, Advisor Perspectives

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