Switzerland (GenevaLunch) - There are 12.6 percent fewer of them: in 2008 Switzerland could boast only 185,300 millionaires if you counted their fortunes in dollars, but the drop in their numbers was smaller than worldwide, where the average decline in their numbers was 15 percent and their wealth slipped by nearly 20 percent. Those are among the findings of the 13th Annual World Wealth Report published by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini.
Hardest hit were the super-rich, whose incomes are above $30 million a year without counting their houses and cars: 2008 saw their numbers fall by 25 percent and the value of their holdings by an equivalent amount.
The report measures the number of high net worth individuals in the world and the sizes of their fortunes. It also tracks trends in their spending.
At the end of 2008 high net worth individuals were worth $32.8 trillion, an amount lower than that seen at the end of 2005, which “wiped out two years of robust growth in 2006 and 2007,” reports Reuters.
The US is home to the largest number of wealthy individual, with more than 28 percent of the population. China moved past the UK to take fourth place, behind Germany and Japan.
Spending trends of the very wealthy also shifted in 2008, with less money going for cars and homes, and more invested in precious gems.
There is good news for the newly poorer and wealth management bankers: the net worth of these individuals is predicted by the report’s authors to grow 8.1 percent a year by 2013.
Related: TSR, Fre