The latest World Wealth Report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management shows there was a slight increase in the global high net worth population since 2011, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
Now in it's 16th year, the report shows that while their combined investable wealth has declined, the number of HNWIs in this region expanded 1.6% to 3.37 million in 2011, making Asia Pacific the largest HNWI population for the first time and surpassing North America’s HNWI population of 3.35 million.
The report found that the global economic uncertainty has driven many investors to safe haven assets. Economic drivers of wealth were also diversified in 2011, affecting asset classes and producing varied results, with equity and commodity performance on the decline, tangible investments losing value, and investor preferences moving toward capital preservation through cash and fixed income. The best-performing asset class was fixed income, with the price of long-term US Treasuries reaching historic highs.
Looking ahead, the findings show that HNW clients will need to prepare themselves for ongoing market volatility and extended periods of bimodal investment outcomes, with returns likely to be extremely positive or extremely negative, rather than equally distributed.
“Europe will be top of mind for investors, as repeated flare-ups are likely to keep markets on edge. Additional drivers such as the economic performance in China, mature market headwinds, global political leadership changes and policy decisions will all play key roles in determining whether 2012 drives increases in HNWI wealth or further losses,” concludes Jean Lassignardie, Corporate Vice President of Capgemini Global Financial Services
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