Number of Millionaires up 15.3%


The number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in Singapore has increased by 15.3%, according to The World Wealth Report 2008 (link) recently released by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.

I note that our rate of increase has slowed. It was a record-breaking 21.2% last year. See my post last year.

Nonetheless, at 15.3%, we’re placed at the 7th position, behind India (22.7%), China (20.3%), Brazil (19.1%), South Korea (18.9%), Indonesia (16.8%) and Slovakia(16.0%).

The global rate is just 6.0%.

And in absolute numbers, we’re also no. 7.

We have 77,000 HNWIs, which is more than Indonesia’s 23,000. Surprised? I guess it’s not surprising if you count the rich Indonesians residing here as Singapore’s HNWIs, given that the typical millionaire here is Indonesian. But whether the report does the counting in such a way, I’m not sure.

Though we beat Indonesia, we lose out to 6 other countries, namely UAE which has 78,000 HNWIs, South Korea (118,000), India (123,000), Russia (136,000), Brazil (143,000) and of course China (415,000).

A gem I discovered in the report is how the rich invest their money during bad times:

“… HNWIs sought refuge in safer, more traditional investment vehicles, increasing their overall portfolio allocations to cash/deposits and fixed-income securities by 9 percentage points, to 44% of their holdings. Of this amount, fixed-income securities accounted for 27%, up from 21% a year earlier, and cash/deposits rose to 17%, from a 14% share…”

HNWIs are defined as individuals with at least US$1 million in financial assets, excluding their primary residences, collectibles and consumables.


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  1. Yes. for most HNW, the number 1 priority is wealth preservation not rapid accumulation.

    It is harder to face the lost of your wealth than to see any significant gain in it.

  2. For this statistics, is the net worth based on the difference between the assets and liabilities? So can the properties be included in this computation ? Some of my colleagues said no.

  3. Hello admin, do you know if the 77,000 HNW includes non resident singapore or they apply to singapore citizens and PR only?

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