Global Wealth Surges

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Global Wealth Surges

As the financial markets rebounded in 2009 and developing markets continued to grow, lost wealth around the world returned. Despite the volatile global economy, many households gained or regained millionaire status last year, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group. The study finds global wealth increased 11.5 percent in 2009, to $111.5 trillion, just short of 2007 levels. When measuring assets under management—cash deposits, money market funds, listed securities, and onshore and offshore assets, but not wealth attributed to investors' own businesses, residences, or luxury goods—the U.S. continued to lead with more than 4.7 million "millionaire households," followed by Japan and China. Singapore, a country with a population of about 5.1 million, had the greatest concentration of millionaire households: 11.4 percent of the country’s total. Wealth may have returned to precrisis levels last year, but confidence has not yet. BCG expects global wealth to grow an average 6 percent annually through 2014, led by robust economies in the Asia-Pacific, but Peter Damisch, a BCG partner and a co-author of the report, says people are still hesitant about investing. Many moved assets from private banks to state-guaranteed retail banks and are still waiting for either new opportunities or new confidence to reinvest, says Damisch.

Click here to see the 20 countries with the most millionaire households.