How The Wealthiest .004% Made Their Money
By Yahoo Finance

There are more super-rich people in the world today than ever before. According to a new survey from Wealth-X and UBS. The number of people with more than $30 million dollars in assets jumped 6% to hit a new record of 211,275 in 2014. Among them, they hold a staggering $30 trillion dollars. To put that in some perspective, that is nearly twice the size of the entire U.S. economy, which was $16.8 trillion in 2013.

Those 211,275 people account for .004% of the world’s population and hold 13% of the world’s wealth.

What may come as a surprise is that nearly two-thirds of those people didn’t make their money the old fashioned way – they made it the hard way. 64% of the world’s ultra high net worth population is self-made. Just 17% fully inherited their wealth.

How does the self-made crowd protect its wealth? By hoarding cash. The report found the wealthiest .004% hold nearly 25% of their net worth in cash.

UBS – which manages money for ultra high net worth (or “UHNW”) clients and would love nothing more than to manage the nearly $30 trillion in assets these individuals hold – says that’s “an extremely high proportion” of assets to hold in cash.

“UHNW individuals have over two thirds of their wealth in their core businesses,” according to Simon Smiles, Chief Investment Officer for Ultra High Net Worth clients at UBS Wealth Management. “We believe that this could expose UHNW individuals to many unintended risks…”

While many, if not most, investors won’t shed a tear for the wealthiest .004% losing some of their fortunes, there may be a takeaway for the average investor in diversifying a portfolio.

“I suppose there’s a lesson for all ordinary people in there, which is even if you’ve only got $30,000, not $30 million, or $3,000, it is worth spreading that money around and not having it in one place,” says Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman. “We have had a fairly stable recovery for the last – going on six years, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to last. We will have a downturn at some point. Those people are going to lose some money and you want to lose as little as possible.”

Where the wealthy are…, Who they are…

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