Where do the other half live?

By 2015, it'll be the Asia Pacific.

The number and wealth of HNWs in Asia Pacific has grown at more than double the rate of the rest of world in the past five years and is expected to become the world’s biggest by 2015, a new study has found.

According to the Capgemini/RBC Wealth Management Asia Pacific Wealth Report 2013, the region’s HNW population and wealth increased by 31 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in the five-year period, dwarfing the rest of the world, where the number of millionaires grew by only 14 per cent and their wealth by 9 per cent. As a result, 45.4 per cent of the world’s HNW wealth growth came from Asia Pacific.

The region’s HNW population – defined as those with investable assets of at least $1m – grew by 9.4 per cent to 3.68 million in 2012, and their wealth increased by 12.2 per cent to $12trn during the same year. North America had the largest HNW population in 2012, with 3.73 million millionaires. However, according to the study, it will be overtaken by Asia Pacific in the near future, where HNW wealth is expected to grow at 9.8 per cent a year to reach $15.9trn by 2015.

Asia Pacific also outpaced the rest of the world when it came to the UHNWs – those with investable assets of at least $30 million. The region’s UHNW population and wealth grew by 15.4 and 17.8 per cent respectively compared to 9.7 and 9.4 per cent in the rest of the world.

Thanks to economic growth

Jean Lassignardie, Capgemini Global Financial Services’ chief sales and marketing officer, said he expected the region’s fast-growing economies to boost the HNW market through 2014.

‘GDP growth of 5.5 per cent, which is more than double the global average, combined with strong equity market performance across the region and strong real estate market performance in some markets, drove robust growth in Asia Pacific’s HNW population and wealth in 2012. This GDP growth rate is projected to drive Asia Pacific’s growth in HNW population and wealth through 2014.’

All countries in Asia Pacific have seen growth in their wealth in 2012, the report also found. But Hong Kong and India have seen the biggest increases, with their HNW population rising by 35.7 per cent and by 22.2 per cent respectively and their wealth jumping by 37.2 per cent and 23.4 per cent respectively.

Japan and Taiwan were the only two markets to report single-digit increases in HNW population, at 4.4 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Perhaps thanks to their wealth’s recent growth, the Global HNW Insights Survey – which is a global qualitative survey Capgemini/RBC conducted together with Scorpio Partnership – found that 80 per cent of HNWs in Asia Pacific excluding Japan said they ‘highly’ trusted their wealth managers and firms, compared to about two-thirds of HNWs in the rest of the world.

The survey also found that Asia-Pacific’s HNWs had different wealth management needs than the rest of the world.

For example, 40.1 per cent of HNWs in Asia Pacific preferred to work with multiple wealth managers from one firm, compared to only 21.7 per cent in other regions. Almost 40 per cent also said it preferred digital rather direct communication with their wealth managers, compared to 21.5 percent in the rest of the world, and 42.3 percent was willing to pay more for tailored services, compared to less than 26 per cent in other regions.

Giulia Cambieri writes for Spear's

This piece first appeared on Spear's Magazine

A duck in the Asia Pacific. Photograph: Getty Images

This is a story from the team at Spears magazine.

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The 5 things the Tories aren't telling you about their manifesto

Turns out the NHS is something you really have to pay for after all. 

When Theresa May launched the Conservative 2017 manifesto, she borrowed the most popular policies from across the political spectrum. Some anti-immigrant rhetoric? Some strong action on rip-off energy firms? The message is clear - you can have it all if you vote Tory.

But can you? The respected thinktank the Institute for Fiscal Studies has now been through the manifesto with a fine tooth comb, and it turns out there are some things the Tory manifesto just doesn't mention...

1. How budgeting works

They say: "a balanced budget by the middle of the next decade"

What they don't say: The Conservatives don't talk very much about new taxes or spending commitments in the manifesto. But the IFS argues that balancing the budget "would likely require more spending cuts or tax rises even beyond the end of the next parliament."

2. How this isn't the end of austerity

They say: "We will always be guided by what matters to the ordinary, working families of this nation."

What they don't say: The manifesto does not backtrack on existing planned cuts to working-age welfare benefits. According to the IFS, these cuts will "reduce the incomes of the lowest income working age households significantly – and by more than the cuts seen since 2010".

3. Why some policies don't make a difference

They say: "The Triple Lock has worked: it is now time to set pensions on an even course."

What they don't say: The argument behind scrapping the "triple lock" on pensions is that it provides an unneccessarily generous subsidy to pensioners (including superbly wealthy ones) at the expense of the taxpayer.

However, the IFS found that the Conservatives' proposed solution - a "double lock" which rises with earnings or inflation - will cost the taxpayer just as much over the coming Parliament. After all, Brexit has caused a drop in the value of sterling, which is now causing price inflation...

4. That healthcare can't be done cheap

They say: "The next Conservative government will give the NHS the resources it needs."

What they don't say: The £8bn more promised for the NHS over the next five years is a continuation of underinvestment in the NHS. The IFS says: "Conservative plans for NHS spending look very tight indeed and may well be undeliverable."

5. Cutting immigration costs us

They say: "We will therefore establish an immigration policy that allows us to reduce and control the number of people who come to Britain from the European Union, while still allowing us to attract the skilled workers our economy needs." 

What they don't say: The Office for Budget Responsibility has already calculated that lower immigration as a result of the Brexit vote could reduce tax revenues by £6bn a year in four years' time. The IFS calculates that getting net immigration down to the tens of thousands, as the Tories pledge, could double that loss.

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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