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Some Interesting Findings about the Wealthiest People in the World

May 15th, 2015

UHNWI stands for Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals. UHNWIs are the richest people in the world, with a personal net worth of over $30m. In their report, The Wealth Report 2015, Knight Frank, the global real estate consulting company, sheds light on the many aspects of the lifestyle of today's 173,000 UHNWIs, from wealth creation to philanthropy, from property investments to luxury spending trends. The survey’s findings offer a unique insight into the attitudes of the super-wealthy.

* Centa-Millionaires: As of 2015, there are 38,280 centa-millionaires, with a personal wealth worth of over $100m.

* Power shift: Despite not being able to grab the top spots from London and New York, the number of UHNWI residents in Singapore and Hong Kong is set to increase more rapidly over the next 10 years. Looking to the future, one constant remains: the rise of the Asian powerhouse cities, the relative decline of the European centers, and the "tension" between the two global mega-cities, New York and London, with New York expected to be the most important city for global UHNWIs in 2025.

top cities 2025

* UHNWI appetite for property increases: according to the survey, control of their property investments is clearly important to the wealthy – almost 80% of respondents said UHNWIs prefer to invest directly into property, with only 12% choosing to use a fund vehicle. Bricks and mortar retain their appeal for the latest generation of UHNWIs, with 45% of younger UHNWIs more interested in property than their parents.

* UHNWIs are now looking beyond prime property investment places as a safe haven for their funds – this means moving outside capital cities’ CBD (Central Business District) area, or heading into secondary cities, where better values and higher returns are available. More UHNWIs are allocating more of their funds to property investments outside their own country.

* UHNWIs are adopting increasingly sophisticated investment strategies, and sometimes this approach involves the kind of active management previously restricted to institutions and funds. Examples include refurbishment and development projects.

* Cities of the future – not yet on the list of the world’s top 10 or even top 20 most important cities, but their HNWI (millionaire) and UHNWI populations are rising, and they should certainly be on the radars in terms of the wealth-creation opportunities. The cities are: Belgrade in Serbia, Panama City, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and Yangon in Myanmar.

We are following UHNWIs because their actions set trends in many aspects of life, especially when it comes to investments, which then trickle down to the masses. Following their decisions and actions when it comes to real estate allows us to better understand and predict where the world of real estate investing is heading. What’s more, at iintoo, we developed a model enabling private investors to attain access to premium real estate investments, which were formerly reserved for the wealthiest or institutional investors. iintoo makes the world of investments more accessible to private individuals.

In our next posts, we will dive deeper into the Wealth Report, covering mainly real estate investing, and try, together, to better understand how those with deep pockets operate when investing their money.

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