WVN – There’s been a surge in the number of millionaires around the world who are moving countries.
Some 82,000 high-net-worth individuals, defined as those who have assets (including properties) over $1 million, left their home countries last year, versus 64,000 in 2015, according to the “Global Health Review: Worldwide Wealth and Wealth Migration Trends,” published by New World Wealth, a market research and wealth intelligence firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa. For the second consecutive year, Australia was the No. 1 country welcoming millionaire migrants, beating even the U.S. There was a 38% jump in millionaire migrants to Australia (an estimated 11,000 last year versus 8,000 in 2015) and a 43% increase in those migrants to the U.S. over the same period (an estimated 10,000 in 2016 versus 7,000).
The movement of millionaire migrants is a key indicator of how wealthy residents feel about the current political and economic climate of the countries that have fallen in and out of favor.
This was followed by China (an estimated 9,000 millionaires left, unchanged from 2015) and Brazil (8,000 millionaire migrants leaving the country last year, an increase of 300%, followed by India (a 50% increase to 6,000) and Turkey (6,000 millionaires left that country, a 500% increase). Ivan Martchev, an investment specialist with institutional money manager Navellier and Associates, recently wrote on MarketWatch that China’s foreign-exchange reserves fell by $12.3 billion to $2.998 trillion. Turkey, meanwhile, recently experienced terrorist attacks, political unrest and a failed coup.
The researchers used various methods to track their movements. “Not everyone that moves uses investor visas,” says Andrew Amoils, a wealth analyst at New World Wealth. “In fact, only a fraction — around 20% — of migrating millionaires come into countries under investor visa programs. Most come in via work transfers, second passports, ancestry visas, spousal visas and family visas.” In addition to investor visas, they interviewed high-net-worth individuals, intermediaries (migration experts, wealth managers and property agents), and tracked data relating to property registers, property sales and foreign buyers in each country.
Of course, wealthier countries have a higher number of millionaires than others to begin with, but their movement is still a key indicator of how wealthy residents feel about the current political and economic climate of those places, economists say. And although there is still great uncertainty about America’s new administration, the stock market has rallied since President Donald Trump’s election and, despite comments by President Trump that he inherited a “mess,” the U.S. economy, as measured by gross domestic product, is still by far the largest in the world.
There were 13.6 million high-net-worth individuals in the world at the end of 2016 and their worldwide wealth stood at $69 trillion, according to the report, released by Research and Markets, an international research organization. In fact, ultra high-net-worth individuals — defined as those with assets of $30 million or more — will transfer $3.9 trillion to the next generation by 2026, according to “Preparing for Tomorrow: A Report on Family Wealth Transfers,” released Monday by global wealth consultancy Wealth-X and insurance brokerage and consulting firm NFP.
America was no longer No. 1 for super-rich in 2016. The wealth of high-net-worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific grew by 10% or almost five times North America’s 2% growth for high-net-worth individuals last year, according to a separate report on the wealthiest nations in the world released last year by Capgemini, a global consulting, technology and outsourcing service. “The World Wealth Report” covers 71 countries, accounting for more than 98% of global gross national income and 99% of world stock market capitalization.
Editor’s Note: This report was originally published on Market Watch.