High Net Worth Wealth Grows Strongly At Over 8%

The world’s high net worth wealth grew strongly in 2004 for a second consecutive year, increasing 8.2% to $30.8 trillion, according to the 2005 World Wealth Report, released today by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.

The number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) — individuals with a net worth of at least US$1 million, excluding their primary residence — grew by 7.3% to 8.3 million, a net increase of 600,000 worldwide. North America led with a nearly 10% growth rate to 2.7 million HNWIs, surpassing the 2.6 million in Europe.  Asia-Pacific’s growth rate of over 8% — to 2.3 million HNWIs – was twice that of Europe.  

North America: Low interest rates and tax reform drive growth

Low and stable interest rates throughout 2004 drove spending on fixed investments, which doubled from 2003. HNWIs continued to benefit from tax reform, with protection from estate taxes steadily rising through the the end of the decade, before “sunsetting” by the end of 2010.

Low interest rates increase the value of financial assets, and lower taxes mean, well, lower taxes.

Thank you, “Bubbles” Greenspan, for making the rich richer (at the expense of the middle classes who cannot afford to buy their homes anymore without taking unseemly risks). Thank you Bushco, letting them keep a growing portion of it (at the exense of all the future generations of Americans).

Yeah, it was realy shameful to have more millionaires in Europe than in the US, and that slight has finally been corrected. The “base” is growing…

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