The financial crisis hasn’t just hurt you and me. The ultra wealthy are feeling the pain, too.
The number of people with at least $30 million to invest dropped nearly 25 percent last year to 78,000, according to the latest World Wealth Report produced by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, the Financial Times reported.
Their net worth sagged 24 percent.
The drop in financial markets obviously hurt “ultra-high net worth individuals,” as the report called them, just as much as regular folks.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged 38 percent last year.
Interestingly, the damage wasn’t quite as bad for the merely wealthy, or “high net worth individuals,” as the report called them. These are people with at least $1 million to invest.
Their ranks shrank 15 percent, while their wealth slumped 19.5 percent.
The misfortune wiped out two years of strong wealth building for the rich, reducing their population and worth to totals last seen in 2005.
It’s not just Americans who suffered. No “safe havens” sprung up for investors, as markets cratered around the world, Nick Tucker of Merrill’s wealth management division told the Financial Times.
Hedge fund legend George Soros identified the problem more than a year ago in an interview with Newsweek.
“This is a time to be concerned with wealth preservation,” he said.
“We're in a period of great wealth destruction. So you need to be very conservative, or very nimble.”
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