Amount Of Millionaires Fell In 2008
A couple years ago, the world marveled at the rate at which the ranks of millionaires swelled. Now we are watching them shrink. A new survey by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch & Co. shows that the amount of millionaires shrank at the fastest rate on record in 2008. The number of millionaires sank by 15 percent to 8.6 million basically undoing the gains of the last two years. Millionaires saw their assets diminish by 20 percent down to $32.8 trillion.
The survey also shows that we won't have to wait to long to see the financial wealth of Asia-Pacific millionaires eclipse that of North American millionaires. By 2013, as the value of millionaires' assets globally are rising again, China and other nations will be ruling the roost. Currently the U.S. is home to the most millionaires and last year China moved into the fourth slot behind the U.S., Japan and Germany. The U.S. also lost more millionaires last year, the number fell by 19 percent. Dan Sontag, president of Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management says that 55 millionaires are being created in China every day.
What's particularly interesting is that almost 30 percent of wealthy clients surveyed either took assets out or left their wealth management firms entirely in 2008 and 46 percent report that they confidence in their advisers. These types of numbers seem to indicate that a profound shift in the wealth management business might be required. In a press release Bertrand Lavayssiere, Managing Director Global Financial Services, Capgemini says that the research shows that "while client satisfaction remains a top priority, many wealth management firms and advisors may not fully understand what drives clients to leave or stay." He calls for firms to look at their capabilities to "ensure simplicity and transparency" in their business.