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Millionaire families grew in 2006

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  • Millionaire families grew in 2006

    Millionaire families grew in 2006
    12:00PM Wednesday October 03, 2007
    By Dane Hamilton

    NEW YORK - The numbers of millionaire households globally grew by 14 per cent in 2006 from 2005 and now control a third of the world's estimated US$100 trillion in wealth, according to a new study by Boston Consulting Group, released today.

    There are now 9.6 million families whose wealth is in 7 digits or more.

    They comprise 0.7 per cent of the world's households, and control some US$33.2 trillion, the BCG study found.

    About half are located in the United States and Canada, a quarter in Europe and a fifth in the Asia-Pacific region, it said.

    There are around 55,000 millionaire households in Australia and New Zealand combined.

    The study is the latest to quantify a continued widening of the global gap between rich and poor, with the rich getting richer by saving and investing more.

    The study found that assets held by non-wealthy households - defined as those with less than US$100,000 in financial assets - declined slightly from 2001 to 2006.

    But assets held by households with more than US$100,000 climbed from US$51.4 trillion to US$84.5 trillion during the same period.

    "Assets under management was further concentrated among the wealthiest households, with the richest 0.1 per cent - those with more than US$5 million in assets under management - owning 17.5 per cent of global wealth," the survey said.

    The study attributed wealth gains mainly to two factors: increased savings and market gains for stocks, bonds and cash, reflecting wealth managers' long-held view that market investments are a key factor in building wealth.

    "Stock markets grew, on average, by 20 per cent worldwide, but their impact was most acute in North America, which had the highest rate of equity holdings as a percentage of assets under management," the study said.

    The study found that overall global wealth grew 7.5 per cent in 2006 to nearly US$100 trillion, the fifth consecutive year of expanding wealth.

    The survey polled 111 brokerages, banks and private family investment offices that oversaw nearly US$10 trillion in client assets and liabilities.


    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx