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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
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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