Today, the World is home to 510,000 multimillionaires and presently, USD 184 trillion of total private wealth is spread across different continents. In collaboration with New World Wealth – a leading South Africa wealth intelligence company – we launched our 3rd Global Wealth Migration Report which analyses global wealth migration trends, including a highlight of the impacts of COVID-19.
According to our report, the number of millionaires in the world as at end of June 2020 fell to 13 million, representing a decrease of 1 million compared to December 2018. A millionaire is categorised as a person whose net worth exceeds 1 million US dollars. Only 4% of the millionaires have more than USD 10 million, of which 0.2% have more than USD 100 million and only 0.01% have more than USD 1 billion.
This study flagged Australia, and to a lesser extent Portugal and Greece, as featuring amongst the most attractive countries among millionaires in 2019. While Portugal and Greece have introduced visas to attract tax-rich European pensioners, Australia tends to attract the Asian populations. On the other hand, China, India and Russia have registered an outflow of more than 28,000 millionaires over the same period. Despite its economic dynamism, Asia has witnessed a drop in its general attractiveness, particularly in China, India, HK, Indonesia and more surprisingly in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
However, migration behaviour among High Net Worth Individuals is different between millionaires and billionaires. Millionaires are more sensitive to taxation and the cost of living while billionaires are more interested in the quality of life. For example, Australia, Portugal, Greece and Mauritius have attracted millionaires while most billionaires remained in their home countries, particularly China, the United States, Germany, France and Switzerland. China has recorded a spectacular growth in the number of billionaires over the last 10 years, ahead of the United States, which remains the country that hosts the highest number of billionaires.
Despite the efforts of some African countries, Mauritius remains the only country to date to attract millionaires owing to its taxation system, its economically and socially-conducive living environment and its ease of doing business. Accordingly, the percentage of millionaires in Mauritius is 2x higher than the world average.
From a financial and banking perspective, this wealthy population favours the equity asset class, particularly on the sustainable investment front, and is currently overweight cash. Moreover, we also note a stronger interest in Private Equity and products offering capital protection in a present environment engulfed by high uncertainties and low yields.