Global Millionaires Increase By Most Since Dot Com Bubble, Control Record $52 Trillion In Wealth

Tyler Durden's picture

Who says quantitative easing and the global central bank put isn't working. Well, lately it is pretty much everyone including former central bankers and investing legends (which coincides with what we said in 2009 but it took the mainstream about 5 years to figure it out) except central planners, of course, and those who still manage money for a living. However global QE certainly is working for one group of people: those who in the aftermath of Piketty's release of Kapital 2.0 have fallen under the microscope: the world's wealthiest.

What is amusing is that many are still confused how it is that as the middle class is collapsing around the world, and certainly in the US, the wealthiest continue to collect more wealth. Hopefully the recently released 2014 edition of CapGemini's World Wealth Report will shed some light on just where this wealth is not only coming from, but where it is going.

Here is the punchline: according to the latest wealth report the number of high net worth individuals increased by nearly 1.8 million in the past year, the second biggest surge since 2000, which also happened to be the crazy days of the first tech bubble (not to be confused with the current tech bubble). In other words, the epic, unprecedented stock bubble reflated by the world's coordinated central banks, has succeeded. Succeeded, that is, if its goal was to make the world's richest people wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. As for everyone else, just over 7 billion people, better luck next time.

What is perhaps just as amusing in considering the unintended (or perfectly intended) consequences of the Fed's attempts to "stimulate the economy" is that being a mere millionaire is no longer enough. Which is why CapGemini makes the following distinction: "For the purpose of our analysis, we separate HNWIs into three discrete wealth bands: those with US$1 million to US$5 million in investable wealth (millionaires next door); those with US$5 million to US$30 million (mid-tier millionaires) and those with US$30 million or more (ultra-HNWIs)."

Finally, for all those confused where the inflation, which is so "woefully" missing from the global economy, is look no further than the stock market. Because in 2014 the wealth of the world's millionaires, the vast majority of it contained in paper profits of financial assets, grew by a whopping 14% and hit a second consecutive record high of $52.3 trillion, increasing by over $6 trillion in one year!

Here are the full findings:

  • HNWI ranks expanded by nearly 2 million individuals in 2013, marking a 15% growth rate and the second largest increase since 2000. North America and Asia-Pacific continued to lead the way, with Japan’s HNWI population witnessing significant growth. ??
  • HNWI wealth grew by almost 14% to reach a second-consecutive record high of US$52.62 trillion in 2013, building on a strong five-year trend. Over the past five years, HNWI wealth globally increased by nearly US$20 trillion, US$2 trillion more than the total HNWI wealth currently in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa combined.
  • ??Ultra-HNWI population and wealth growth in 2013 outperformed other wealth bands in all regions except Latin America. The slow growth in Latin America, which holds the largest percentage of ultra-HNWI wealth (32.9%), constrained the global figure in 2013 and also over the last five years. ??
  • Three clear HNWI performance clusters have emerged among the top 25 markets since the crisis in 2008, with the above-average growth country cluster representing a diverse mix of markets. Oil-rich Norway and Kuwait, the financial centers of Hong Kong and Singapore, and the emerging economic powerhouses of China, India, Russia, and Taiwan comprise the above-average growth cluster. Latin America and the Eurozone, meanwhile, have lagged.
  • ??HNWI wealth is expected to reach another record of US$64.3 trillion by 2016, representing 22% growth over 2013 and almost US$12 trillion in new HNWI wealth. Growth is expected to be driven by robust expansion in most regions, though Asia-Pacific will lead the way with 9.8% CAGR. As forecasted in the 2013 World Wealth Report, Asia-Pacific is still expected to have the largest HNWI population by 2014 and the most wealth by 2015.

Finally, the next time someone says that Abenomics is an abysmal failure (such as Zero Hedge), feel free to counter with the following clear example of just how wrong they are and how successful Japan's berserk attempt to reflate everything at all costs (or at least the Nikkei) at a pace that makes even the Fed blush, has been:

Japan’s HNWI population growth rate surged to a record 22.3%, following a more modest annualized growth of 4.6% from 2007 to 2012. Propelled by Abenomics, Japan experienced significant returns in the equity and real estate markets on the strength of positive sentiment and better economic performance, especially during the first half of 2013.

Great news for Japan's 10%. As for everyone else there is "Abenomics' Legacy: Japan's Greatest "Misery" In 33 Years."

That's ok though. In the New Abnormal, nobody cares about those who are below merely a "millionaire next door."

Finally, some charts to show just how "effective" QE has been visually.

First, the number of high net worth individuals broken down by region.

Next, what is the amount of wealth controlled by the world's uber-rich.

Everyone's favorite wealth pyramid: we find that 128,300 Ultra High Net Worth people control more than a third of all the wealth in the highest wealth pocket. The balance of the millionaires, some 13.6 million, hold the remaining 65%.

Broken down by country:

How does the wealth of the richest compare to the change in HNW population numbers.

Finally, if you think $52 trillion is a lot, wait until 2016 when CapGemini forecasts that the world's richest will control over $64 trillion, and rising at a 7% annual rate - roughly in line with the historical return of the S&P 500.

And now, we can't wait for the Piketty sequel, one which finally puts the global record wealth disparity in its correct context, one which "thanks" the world's central banks for making the richest people wealthier than they have ever been, while in the process crushing the world's middle class.

QE: "Mission Accomplished" indeed.

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inky's picture

How can the rich know they are sufficiently rich, unless so many are exceptionally poor.
Welcome to the new norm.

whatsinaname's picture

I am not surprised. Recent headline on read - "Bulls unfazed while Bears turn Bulls". Me thinks that oughta put some fear in the bulls hearts when everybody is a bull. 

alien-IQ's picture

are you suggesting that 50 people crammed onto the same side of a 12 foot boat during a storm is unsafe?

thisisjustarandomusernameicreatedforzerohedge's picture

yeah but of course they all want to be factorials if they can switch from being exponential functions

BurningFuld's picture

Fuck Canada is falling in the rankings. We need more Bankers...moar Bankers!

thisisjustarandomusernameicreatedforzerohedge's picture

just wait until all the rich Chinese finishing clearing immigrations

or the already-Canuck princlings get transfered the rest of the money stashed on various tropical islands

max2205's picture

Every time they don't mention if this is net worth


So I doubt it

chumbawamba's picture

It's moot.  It's all paper, or digital blips.  Buy definition it cannot be wealth.  The headline and the premise of the story is entirely defunct.  It should be "World's Most Destitute Paper Paupers".

I am Chumbawamba.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Show us 52 trillion in gold. Or hell, copper and aluminum, iron. Something tangible. 

Aaaarghh's picture

lol, 6/16, cool link bro

Timmay's picture

Dear rich people, who will be the first of you to turn paper wealth into real wealth? Which of you will be the next to follow? Which of you will realize that your paper wealth is now falling because of all the selling? Which of you will be willing to sell your paper wealth at any price because even at that price you are still rich? Which of you believe this event is now a buying opportunity? How many of you will be wrong about that?

How will the "poor" treat you when you become one of them?


Harbanger's picture

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, was an anomaly in history created during a time of capitalism, free markets and small gov.  The wealth disparity we're seeing now is a reversion to the global norm.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  capitalism, free markets and small gov

The 1950's were capitalism, free markets, and small gov?   Tell that to the highly regulated railloads, trucking companies, airlines, and banks.  

Harbanger's picture

The 1950's were capitalism, free markets, and small gov?"

You know better than that.  Crony-capitalism, regulated markets and socialism were well entrenched in the US by then.   Somewhere in your self centered being, you actually believe the middleclass only existed in the US in the 50's.  That marks the last time we had a middle class.

NotApplicable's picture

I believe they refer to that as "social security."

thisisjustarandomusernameicreatedforzerohedge's picture

what did the 0 say to the 8?

nice belt

sessinpo's picture

inky    How can the rich know they are sufficiently rich, unless so many are exceptionally poor.
Welcome to the new norm.


How can you know what is rich or poor unless you have bought into the MSM. Being rich or poor is relative and has nothing to do with being a millionaire.

alien-IQ's picture

I suspect that the wealth increase of those new millionaires, old millionaires and billionaires is equal to the loss of net worth and wages of the new poor being created. You know the new poor right? They are also known as "formerly middle class".

Money is never lost, merely transferred from one to another. In this case, it's transferred from the bottom up.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Me thinks that at the current rate of inflation we'll all be millionaires very soon.


NOTaREALmerican's picture

As long as you're fully invested in the Elysium Class's ponzi scam, yes.    All ecomonic games are structured to have a few winners (not much point of winning if everybody can).   What we now call "inflation" is the game use to separate the Elysium Class from the Trash Class.   There's not much point of being in the Elysium Class if the Trash can (say) afford to go to South France every few years.    So, there's got to be someway (which is "the game") to separate the most-worthy from the trash. 

Grande Tetons's picture

Which is why you do not see many trailer parks near Monaco.

TBT or not TBT's picture

It's the zoning, in part.  But, also it is very accidented terrain around that dinky statelet.  In France, where "travellers" can show up and occupy your property overnight and stay for months.    Owners there line their property with giant rocks and trenches and so on to discourage that, because the police won't act.    Around Monaco, there is no off-road place for a trailer to be.   It is all either steep or wet.  

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Yes, I have been to Monaco and did ask that stupid question. The waiter smiled and told me his "kind" were bussed in to work. The joke being Monaco is so small this really isn't a long trip. Not that I would be back soon. 2 drinks and an appetizer at Le Meridien Hotel cost 115 euros.


alien-IQ's picture

unfortunately, inflation has yet to find it's way into the average persons wages so, no, we ain't even gonna come close to being even zimbabwe millionaires. we're just gonna be poorer with higher living expenses.

Grande Tetons's picture

Bullish needle hole widening apparartus. 

maskone909's picture

cue the indian guy who let his 8 yearold son drive his ferrari lmfao

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Survival of the fittest,  bitchezzz!!!

alien-IQ's picture

it's funny. rich people use that agument all the time as long as they are talking about economic darwinism....but when things get physical, they start singing a different tune.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  they start singing a different tune

Of course.   Duplicity is the key to success.    The most-fit generally have lots of it.

what's that smell's picture

i love the tautology: the fittest are the survivors, the survivors are the fittest.

a dog eating its vomit; a snake blowing itself. 

are parasites the fittest? is the cockroach a survivor? is the tape worm an ayn rand true believer?

is god good? is the devil evil?

they won't be singing any tune when the shit hits the duplicitous fan.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Hey,  I didn't MAKE the rules.   If you want a different society you'll need to figure out some other system AND convinse those who wanted a survival-of-the-fittest system to change their minds.    But right now,  those who wanted a survival-of-the-fittest society would prefer if the unworth would just just kill themselves and their defective DNA.  

financialrealist's picture

Most of these "Millionaires" will be standing in the same breadlines as the rest of us when this sucker blows...its all paper wealth, its not spend it why you can...

Grande Tetons's picture

That is justice talking. 

There is no justice. 

The baby wildabeast will be the lion's lunch until the lion becomes vegan. 

NOTaREALmerican's picture

The most-fit of the most-fit will convert their paper wealth into Real-Estate and thug-protection services. 

We're just living the suvival-of-the-fittest life that most people wanted for generations,  it just didn't turn-out quite the way most of the young males thought it would.   Oh well,   just life.   Not everybody can be an above average sociopath or asshole. 

The Duke of New York A No.1's picture

When the cost of captial is zero ..."Money for Nothing and Your Chicks for Free!";

Seasmoke's picture

7 billion VS. A few million..... I would bet on the poor team. 

alien-IQ's picture

and that truth was perfectly illustrated in "A Bug's Life":

Grande Tetons's picture

 I would bet on the poor team. 

Las Vegas. Dim lighting, shitty odds and watered down hooch puts the poor team in its place on a daily basis. 

alien-IQ's picture

"rising at a 7% annual rate"


and there you have the TRUE rate of inflation.

DetectiveStern's picture

Even the MSM is jumping on the it's fucked bandwagon. Peston for the beeb compared todays stock market with 2007. That'd be unheard of a few months ago even though the same problem has been around for so long.

Bunga Bunga's picture

When BTC reaches $1M, that will look much different.

SheepDog-One's picture

Millionaires on paper, big deal anyone can just declare that.

atomp's picture

What about all the crafty ones who DON'T declare it? I would guess there are quite a few, to say the least.

kchrisc's picture

Going to be fun watching all those paper millionaires on the soup lines post TEOTWAWKI.

Should have converted the paper into gold, silver, steel and lead when they had a chance.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

The most-fit of the most-fit will.   It's a survival-of-the-fittest game.    Only the best will win.

Seasmoke's picture

I Would be shocked if they aren't. 

Inspector Bird's picture

Technically, I'm one of those millionaires.  Let's dissect why this is a stupid metric, though.

While I'm pleased to belong to a 'special class' of wealth, the reality is it's never what you think it is.  I'm only part of this group because of a few things.  First, I work my ass off, and so does my wife.  Our combined salary keeps us in the top 10% of the US - a beneficial thing, to be sure.  But remember, we have 2 college age kids.  We can't pay their tuition, so we've had them take out loans and we get no federal aid.

I know, lots of people will say "world's smallest violin".  But I'm not asking for sympathy.  I'm making a point.

My wealth came at great cost.  I put off vacations when I was younger.  I bought a condo when I was in my 20's because I saved for it, then I rented it out after we moved out and bought a house.  Right now, fully 33% of our wealth is the result of a housing bubble.  So we're not leveraging this to pay for college.  I'm not going to see my house underwater.  

Of the remaining 66%, most of it is wrapped up in 401(k)s because while friends of mine went on vacations and partied, I was socking money away.  Of course, of that 66%, probably about 70% is real since we're in the middle of a severe bubble in stocks.  Which is why I've started slowly shifting out of stocks.

I have close to zero savings, probably a 2 month window.  Our jobs pay our bills, our loans and our 401(k).  At my age, I can't afford to ignore preparing for retirement.   The SocSec Ponzi won't be around when I reach the age to collect.

Before anyone starts ripping me a new one, please know I spent 4 of the last 15 years on unemployment.  During those periods, I burned through what little savings I had which is why I have so little now.  Another stretch on the streets could force me to sell my home.  Not an optimal solution, but possibly the only course of action.  So I work my ass off to keep my job.  At my age, younger people are being viewed as "cheaper".  Hell, I just got passed over for a promotion and my new boss is 17 years younger than me.  The age bias at corporations is severe.  I can run circles around my new boss, both in job performance and health-wise.  But hey - the company decided a youth movement is preferable to experience.  I'm just happy I have a job.

So yeah, it's fun to be part of the super-elite, even though to me it just means I'm working harder to stay here and there are no special benefits that come with being part of the millionaire crew.

Am I better off than many?  Yes, and I thank my lucky stars that I've had the wherewithal and luck to do this.  In many ways I'm blessed and I'm thankful.

But as financialrealist points out above, there is as much a chance that my family and I will be on a breadline when the economy collapses as there is I will benefit from some kind of stock holdings.

So yeah, it's fun to be super-wealthy.  It's all fun and games and I'll be spending the weekend on my imaginary yacht.