In a recent exclusive report from Wealth-X, one of our premier preferred partners, they explored the drivers behind the major growth in billionaire performance.
While this full report is only available to members of The Institute – through one of our unique vendor agreements – we are excited to share with you some highlights here, as well as a link to their public report about the distribution of Billionaire’s asset holdings and wealth sources.
The key findings on total wealth research include:
- In 2017, there was a market shift in favor of public holdings, driven by the robust upturn in world equity markets and the strong growth in Asia’s billionaire class.
- The proportion of billionaire wealth held in real estate and luxury assets in 2017 reduced to 2.3%, equivalent to about $80m in luxury holdings per individual. This largely reflected the shifting structure of billionaires’ broader portfolios, as luxury asset markets performed strongly.
- Real estate prices continued to trend higher in most major cities, while record-breaking auction sales of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundiand the 59.6 carat Pink Star diamond grabbed the headlines amid robust demand in the art and fine wine and jewelry sectors.
- The finance, banking, and investment sector was the primary industry focus for the largest share of the 2017 global billionaire population.
- Real estate was the third-largest industry sector, underlining the wealth creation opportunities generated by the global trend towards urbanization– not only across the emerging world but also in most major cities in North America, Europe, and Australasia.
- As in recent years, the average wealth of technology-focused billionaires far exceeded that in all other industries.
- The number of female billionaires rose by 18% in 2017, outpacing the growth of 14.5% in the male billionaire population and increasing the female share of the global billionaire population to 11.7%.
- Among the female billionaire population, there has been a steady rise in the share whose net worth can be attributed both to inheritance and self-made wealth creation, implying a greater degree of risk-taking entrepreneurialism.
- The growth of the billionaire class in Asia and other emerging markets has been a key driver of this trend.
- Across the 2017 billionaire population as a whole, the distribution of wealth source was broadly unchanged from a year earlier, with self-made billionaires accounting for the largest share, 57%.
- At the same time, there was also robust growth in the number of billionaires who solely inherited their wealth.
- The average age of the billionaire population is rising steadily, with about half of all billionaires in the US and Europe estimated to be over 70.
- Intergenerational wealth transfer will, over the coming years, drive an enormous handover of wealth, sustaining the share of the global billionaire population with inherited fortunes.