Billionaires of the world - November 12, 2018

Billionaires of the world

There are 2158 billionaires in the world and they have a combined wealth of $8.9 trillion. The United States and China have the most billionaires, but while the US’ growth is slowing down, China’s is getting faster. Still: American billionaires have three times the wealth of their Chinese counterparts.

In 2017 the 2158 billionaires of the world had an $8.9 trillion wealth, which is the highest value in the history ever, according to UBS’s newly published data.  Just in one year, billionaire’s wealth grew by $1.4 trillion, which is also a record growth. A third of this is accounted for the 332 new people who become billionaires last year.

US leads, but Asia grows fast

The US still leads the pack in number of billionaires, but it has serious competition. The United States had 585 billionaires last year, China following it with 373. But in the US growth of the wealthiest seems to slow down: the growth of their wealth was 12% while they only added 22 new billionaires last year. This number was 87 in 2012.

Top 15 countries with most billionaires

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China is on a very different path. In 2006 there was only 16 billionaires in China, now there is 373. Most of them are also self-made, meaning that they earned their wealth not from state-owned businesses, but privately-owned companies. Last year China made 2 billionaires every day, but they “only” added 55 new billionaires to their list. The reason is simple: some of the old billionaires dropped out of the top list.

Retail and digital at the top

What makes the most money? Consumer & retail is the sector that gives 23% of the billionaires around the world. This is more than any other sector. Retail is also great at growth: they added $360 billion to their value combined, followed by tech with $250 billion.

Tech is also doing great, and this is especially obvious in China. This is a “mobile-first” country, with 770 million internet users. Entrepreneurs are “discovering new markets among” them every day and in „2017 the growth of China’s e-commerce and technology businesses exploded”. But it’s also important to see “billionaires have driven almost 80% of the 40 main breakthrough innovations over the last 40 years”, and 70% are technology-related.

Difference in wealth

Not only the sheer number of billionaires is an interesting topic, but also their combined wealth. In this area, the US and China are also leading. There is an interesting phenomenon, though: there are countries with less billionaires but more wealth than others.

Wealth of billionaires in the top 15 countries with most billionaires

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As it can be seen in the chart above France for example is only the 13th in number of billionaires but 7th in their combined wealth. Switzerland also sits lowest in number of billionaires, but in beats 4 countries in wealth. China is also interesting: it has 373 billionaires versus the US’ 585 (that’s 63% in numbers), but in wealth they only have $1.1trillion against the States’ $3 trillion (which is 36% in wealth).

Disclaimer: This analysis is for general information and is not a recommendation to sell or buy any instrument. Since every investment holds some risk, our main business policy is based on diversification to minimize threats and maximize profits. Innovative Securities’ Profit Max has a diversified portfolio, which contains liquid instruments. This way, our clients can maintain liquidity, while achieving their personal investment goals on the long term.