Tags: asia | north america | millionaires

Asia Millionaires Proliferate, Outnumber North America

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 07:50 AM

For the first time ever, Asia has more millionaires than the U.S. does, a wealth management report finds.

North America’s population of those with a net wealth of $1 million or greater dropped slightly to 3.35 million in 2011 while Asia’s grew by 1.6 percent, giving them slightly more than 3.37 million, according to a World Wealth Report published by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

Worldwide, roughly 11 million so-called high net-worth individuals reported investible assets of $1 million or more, the banks said in a statement.

North America still remains the largest region for wealth, at $11.4 trillion compared to $10.7 trillion in the Asia-Pacific region.

The total wealth of the world’s millionaires fell 1.7 percent to $42 trillion, the study adds.

Blame stock-market losses and cooling economies worldwide.

"While more people surpassed the $1 million disposable income level in 2011, the aggregate wealth of high net worth individuals declined overall, as market volatility took its toll,” George Lewis, Group Head at RBC Wealth Management, says in a statement.

“It is significant that for the first time this year there are now more high net worth individuals in Asia-Pacific than in any other region. However, losses in key markets such as Hong Kong and India meant that wealth contracted in Asia-Pacific overall.”

A Federal Reserve report, meanwhile, shows that Americans lost 40 percent of their wealth during the Great Recession, most of that due to plunging home values, though incomes and retirement pools such as stock funds suffered as well.

“There’s nothing in this report that makes me feel good,” says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and an economic official in the Clinton administration, according to the Associated Press.

While housing may be showing signs of bottoming out, a drop in incomes should cause concern as it cuts into confidence and savings and hurts demand.

"There are signs of improvement, but I think that everybody is scared," Munnell says.



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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 07:50 AM
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