When ultra-wealth isn't a luxury
The word on wealth is that the world’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) ‘population’ grew 6% to 211,275 individuals in 2014, while the UHNW cache spiked 7% to nearly US$30 trillion. And though these super wealthy types account for only 0.004% of the world’s adult population, they control almost 13% of the globe’s total wealth, according to the World Ultra Wealth report from X-Wealth and UBS.
The very rich do their best to support business, with UHNW individuals responsible for 19% of total purchases in the luxury industry last year, while female UHNW types hold almost 16% of their net worth in luxury and real estate assets. In fact, the average UHNW individual spends US$1.1 million a year on luxury goods and services, and X-Wealth estimates that they account for almost 19% of the entire luxury market.
However, don’t sneer. You see, for UHNW individuals, many luxury items and experiences are part and parcel of their lifestyle and are not necessarily considered a luxury at all. “UHNW individuals with private jets use their aircraft not only for leisure, but also for business purposes,” say the report. “On the other hand, while yachts, and particularly superyachts, are usually a non-necessity, many UHNW individuals lead very public lives, and the privacy of a family holiday on a yacht is a very special treat.”
They’ve got a point…
But wait. There’s more, much more, to come. In the next five years, Wealth-X forecasts that the global UHNW population will reach 250,000 individuals and their combined wealth will rise to around US$40 trillion.