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Want to Be a Millionaire? Move to Hong Kong; Hong Kong mints millionaires faster than any of the world’s other top 25 economic powerhouses, according to a new survey on the rich by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management

Jun 19, 2014

Want to Be a Millionaire? Move to Hong Kong

Hong Kong mints millionaires faster than any of the world’s other top 25 economic powerhouses, according to a new survey on the rich by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

Tis the season of wealth reports – the new 2014 World Wealth Report is the second global survey of the world’s rich in as many weeks (Boston Consulting Group released its wealth tome last week). And again, the latest survey confirmed an obvious outcome of Asia’s economic boom: The region is home to more millionaires than ever.

But the Capgemini/RBC report says Hong Kong is a particularly fertile place for millionaires. In the past five years, the total number of high-net-worth individuals—those with more than US$1 million in investable assets, not including primary residence, collectibles or consumer goods—grew at an annual rate of 27%.

That growth rate of wealthy individuals is by far the fastest, above the global 10% average and far higher than the growth rates for Singapore and China, which sat around 12% and 16%, respectively.

Overall, Hong Kong ranks 20th in the world in total millionaire population count, with 124,000—far below the U.S., Japan and China but still higher than regional rivals Singapore (105,000) and Taiwan (112,000).

The city’s booming real-estate market, along with its ties to China, were cited as reasons for the huge surge in the wealthy ranks, according to Boudewijn Chalmers, one of Capgemini’s researchers.

However, counting the rich is hardly an exact science, and figures vary wildly from one survey to another. Last week’s BCG report, which counted millionaire households instead of individuals, painted a much different picture of China’s wealth. According to BCG, China had 2.4 millionaire households, second after the U.S., which it said has 7.1 millionaire households. But Capgemini’s report found that there are just 758,000 individual millionaires in China, putting it in fourth place below the U.S. (4 million), Japan (2.3 million) and Germany (1.1 million).

The methodology of the two reports was similar: Both used macroeconomic data from national sources or international organizations like the International Monetary Fund, and both said they used similar wealth-distribution curves to determine how many millionaires reside in the country.

So how could the two be so wildly different?

Mr. Chalmers said he wouldn’t comment on the competitor’s report, though he emphasizes that counting millionaire households would result in different figures from counting individuals.

Countries With the Most High-Net-Worth Individuals in 2013

(High-net-worth individual is defined as a person with investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles and consumer goods.)

U.S.  – 4,006,000

Japan – 2,327,000

Germany, 1,130,000

China – 758,000

United Kingdom – 527,000

France – 472,000

Switzerland – 330,000

Canada – 320,000

Australia – 219,000

Italy – 203,000

South Korea –176,000

Netherland – 173,000

Brazil – 172,000

Spain – 161,000

Russia – 160,000

India – 156,000

Saudi Arabia – 151,000

Mexico 130,000

Kuwait – 125,000

Hong Kong – 124,000

Norway – 120,000

Taiwan – 112,000

Argentina – 109,000

Austria – 108,000

Singapore – 105,000

 

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About bambooinnovator
KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (www.moatreport.com), a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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