For all the jokes about pandering to High Net Worth Individuals, asset managers, full-service stockb...
For all the jokes about pandering to High Net Worth Individuals, asset managers, full-service stockbrokers and, above all, financial advisers may be onto something according to the latest Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young survey into the world's richest people
The 2002 World Wealth Report says that HNWIs grew in number both in the UK and around the world in what was otherwise a year of global economic contraction spurred on by the events of 11 September in the US.
Although the rise in numbers of wealthy individuals was the slowest since the survey was started in 1997, numbers were still up 3% to 7.1 million worldwide, owning assets worth £18,100bn.
Of this sum some 57,000 individuals classified as Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals control assets worth £5,800bn.
Explaining the ability to increase their wealth, the surveyors said the HNWIs and UHNWIs who took advice to switch out of big technology stocks and switch into other sectors would have been in a position to take advantage of the "stealth bull" market.
For example, more than 40% of the US S&P 500 index's stocks made gains last year.
And holders of stocks in non-G7 countries did even better, as stock markets there fell less.
The survey's authors, Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young both expect better gains during 2003, which will see recovery put wealth creation back onto a 8% long-term trend, meaning that by 2006 the world's HNWIs will be worth a combined £36,500bn.
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