Money, Money and More Money…Dirty Li’l Richsters

There is one good thing about money, apart from the fact that there is a race to grab it and keep in in our claws making it highly in demand, and that’s the fact that wealth attracts wealth. Money is a dirty little magnate that can only attract more money and it’s not a question of opposites attracting here.

Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals

There are now currently 2, 170 billionaires in the world, which is up from the last report by Wealth-X and UBS that showed that there were between 1, 200 and 1, 600 billionaires in the world. So we have more billionaires this year than in any other year, and yet the rest of the populations of our countries are still suffering from unemployment, financial resources that are dwindling and reduced benefits. Those 2, 170 people have a combined wealth that stands at some $6.5 trillion. They alone could set the world to rights, couldn’t they (almost)? But, they are hardly likely to share any of their amassed fortune, hidden away somewhere in a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands.

  • There are currently 199, 235 people in the world that are considered to be ultra-high-net-worth individuals, meaning that they have a wealth that stands at $30 million at least.
  • The aggregate wealth of those individuals amounts to $28 trillion for 2013 and that is an extra $2 trillion in comparison with last year’s figure and also a rise of 6% with regard to the number of individuals that have that much wealth.
  • The billionaires of the world possess 23% of all wealth of ultra-wealthy but they are just 1% of the total population of the world.
  • 65% of ultra-high-net-worth individuals are self-made people.
  • 19% have inherited their money.
  • However, 88% of them are men.

Asia to be First

Asia will generate more high-net individuals in next five years than in EU and US.

Despite the fact that the US is currently at the top of the rankings in terms of the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and also with regard to the quantity of wealth held by those people. The US and the EU increased their number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their wealth overall in comparison with other regions. This was surprising since the Gross Domestic Product of the EU dropped this year and yet the number of ultra-high net worth individuals increased as did their combined wealth. But that will not last any more than 2017 according to statistics that have been predicted by analysts. Asia will overtake them in the next five years and leave them trailing behind, and in particular China will be at the very top of the list.

But for the moment, China has suffered from the contraction of its economy with a fall in the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals from last year’s figure of 11, 245 to 10, 675 people. The state of the global economy and the Chinese financial crisis that caused a rippling effect into the Chinese economy this year has meant that there is a reduction; but this won’t last for long as the Chinese economy shows signs of picking up.

The wealth of all of those ultra-high-net-worth individuals in China amounted to $14, 580 billion in 2012 and it dropped to $14, 150 billion in 2013.

  • So, it’s not currently the emerging economies in the world that are showing signs of increased wealth for the 1% of the population.
  • It’s still the EU and the USA for the moment.
  • Latin America saw the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals decrease from last year’s figure of 14, 750 individuals to 2013’s total number of 14, 150 people.
  • Brazil in particular fell from over 4, 600 people to this year’s figure of 4, 000.


Anyhow, we know that money attracts money whatever happens and wherever we are. The richsters have a knack of attracting it, or using any other means available to them, whether that be legal or not.

The gap between the 1%-ers of the USA and the rest of the US population has gone back to the levels that were being seen in 2008 just before the financial crisis hit. That was the height of the boom and the wonderfully roaring years. These guys have already managed to get back to the same sort of situation that they had before the crisis, while the rest of the population (the other 99%) are still struggling to get along and keep their heads above water. The top 10% of people in terms of wealth took home more than 50% of the country’s aggregate salary. That has never been so high.

The benefits of stock prices that have increased and been fuelled by Quantitative Easing of the Federal Reserve plus the low interest rates (also due to the decisions of the Fed) have meant that the most-affluent Americans are raking it in again. This is all while the country is being dragged down by unemployment that is stagnating at the U6 level of nearly 15%. Wages for the rest of the population are just frozen, leading to a reduction in purchasing power.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed out in 2009 and since then it has doubled. That has been to the overriding benefit of wealthy people in the world. The richest households hold about 90% of the stock that is traded every day in the USA, despite the fact that half of all US households have stock also (through pension funds, etc.). Thanks to Congress and the down-to-the-wire deal that meant that the wealthiest got to keep their tax breaks from the Bush presidency (decided in January 2013) it has meant that they have been given a helping hand.

There might just be a glimmer of a silver-lining in that grey sky as the salaries of the poverty-stricken 99% of the population grew by 1% in 2012. Is it on the way back up? Hardly comparable!

Whatever happens, the rich get richer and very little has changed from the rule of serfdom and servitude to the powerful lords of yesteryear. We are still all working for the benefit of the elite few.

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Professional team of writers/analysts analyzing the financial markets.

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