Posted by: jhamon | June 30, 2009

Wealth Destruction by the Numbers

Monopoly Millionaires Dividing the Country by ...
Image by Joan Thewlis

Gary Halbert’s Millionaires’ Club – Record Plunge In 2008 explores the magnitude and reach of wealth destruction in 2o08.  Schadenfreude, anyone?

The Capgemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report for 2008, which was released last Wednesday, defines a millionaire as someone with a net worth of $1,000,000 excluding the value of their primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables (ie – liquid assets). The survey is conducted globally each year. The authors use the acronym “HNWI” to represent High Net Worth Individuals who are millionaires, as defined above.

The Report concludes that at the end of 2008, the world’s population of HNWIs was down 14.9% from the year before to 8.6 million, and their wealth had dropped 19.5% to $32.8 trillion. The declines were unprecedented, and wiped out two robust years of growth in 2006 and 2007. As a result, the world’s population of millionaires and their wealth ended 2008 below levels seen at the close of 2005.

The most significant declines in the HNWI population in 2008 occurred in the three largest regions: North America (-19.0%), Europe (-14.4%) and Asia-Pacific (-14.2%). But behind the aggregate numbers lie some interesting developments in the HNWI populations of those regions.

Change in High Net Worth Individuals by Region
Change in High Net Worth Individuals by Nation
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