It’s been a tough year for Australia’s rich

It seems the rich are not getting any richer after all and Australian millionaires did it tougher than their global counterparts last year.

The annual Capgemini World Wealth Report shows the number of Australian’s who were classed as high net worth individuals (those with at least $US1 million ($982,000) in investable assets)  fell by 6.9 per cent to 179,500 — the sharpest fall across the world’s 13 largest pools of millionaires.

It’s been a tough year for Australia's rich

Source: The Australian 

The sharp fall in the number of Australian millionaires could be blamed on falling equity markets and commercial real estate values.

Australian millionaires invest heavily in equities and real estate, which did not perform well last year,” Capgemini senior manager Dorus van den Biezenbos said in the Australian.

“Australia’s stockmarket fell by 17 per cent last year and real estate values fell by 4.8 per cent,” he said.

The number of ultra-wealthy Australians with more than $US30m ($29.4m) in investable assets also fell, to about 1,800.

Like their global counterparts, the wealth of the ultra-rich has slipped because they tend to invest in risky and less liquid ventures such as hedge funds, private equity and commercial real estate.

“They are the big losers because their money is stuck in these investments and they cannot get the money out fast enough into safer havens,” he said.

Worldwide, the number of millionaires has remained stable, growing marginally, by 0.8 per cent to 11 million, the survey of 71 countries shows.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to more millionaires than any other region, overtaking the US and Europe with 3.37 million, compared with 3.35 million in the US and 3.17 million in Europe.

US millionaires still held the biggest share of global wealth, at $US11.4 trillion.

The Asia-Pacific region also had the largest number of young millionaires, with 38 per cent aged between 31 and 45.

The biggest winners were China and Japan, with the number of millionaires increasing by 5.2 per cent to 562,000 in China and by 4.8 per cent in Japan to 1.82 million.



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'It’s been a tough year for Australia’s rich' have 2 comments


    August 7, 2012 Chris

    Hi Michael,
    Find it interesting that “US millionaires still held the biggest share of global wealth”…. wonder how long this will remain the case for?
    How much share do you think is sitting in China’s coffers?
    Appreciate your articles.


      Michael Yardney

      August 7, 2012 Michael Yardney

      despite America’s economic problems, it still has some huge commercial powerhouse companies, but you’re right – China is breeding a new group of millionaires
      Thanks for the kind words about the articles


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