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Investments of high-net-worth individuals - statistics & facts

In a world where wealth continues to accumulate in the hands of a few individuals it is interesting to consider where they keep their money, what they are investing in and who is advising them on their financial investments. As of 2020, there were around 20.8 million high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) worldwide, defined as individuals whose net worth totals over one million U.S. dollars. Net worth takes into consideration an individual’s financial assets invested in a variety of classes, such as property, land, stocks, bonds etc. minus their debts and/or liabilities.

Where are the wealthiest individuals?

Both the number of high-net-worth individuals, and the value of HNWI’s assets are quite evenly distributed between North America and the Asia-Pacific, while Europe is the third largest region for HNWIs and their assets. However, the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI), defined as individuals whose net worth exceeded 30 million U.S. dollars, is far greater in North America, and higher in Europe than in Asia. Most UHNWIs come from the United States, almost four times as many as in China, the country with the second highest number of UHNWIs. Despite this, the financial investable wealth of UHNWIs in the United States was only around 40 percent higher than in China.

What assets and investments comprise the net worth of these individuals?

Most of the assets of HNWIs in 2020 were in financial assets, more specifically equities, which accounted for the largest share of HNWI’s assets worldwide, followed by cash and equivalents. Regionally, the distribution of HNWI’s assets was relatively even between different asset classes in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. For all these regions around one fifth of the assets were each in cash and equivalents, equities, fixed income, real estate, and alternative investments. In North America and Japan, however, most of the assets were allocated to equities and cash and equivalents.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Investments of high-net-worth individuals".

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