If you are one of the world’s 15.8 million high net worth individuals, then you may well dream of becoming one of its 584,000 multi-millionaires, or even one of just 2,252 billionaires that exist in the world today.
You are also, most likely, either an object of either fascination, respect, or possibly even ridicule, to the rest of the earth’s citizens, who, on average, possess net assets of $28,400, drawn from a pool of $215 trillion dollars of wealth, which is also shared with HNWIs, millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires.
Many of us are curious as to how the rich like to spend their time, and their money, so this week at The Money Cloud we have been looking at the trends that preoccupy the super rich, thanks to a recently released report from AfrAsia bank: The Global Wealth Migration Review.
On Monday, we looked at where super-rich international migrants are heading to, and where they have come from. Yesterday, we looked at the countries, and cities (hint – New York!) that attract the world’s wealthiest. Today let’s examine some other super-rich trends, from favourite restaurants, to preferred locations for fly-fishing trips!
The rich, or at least the nouveau riches, are often associated with flashy lifestyles, brash pastimes and bling – and confirmation can be found in AfrAsia’s survey, which found that the 2 most frequented luxury hotels by the super rich can both be found in gambler’s paradise and superficial luxury emporium Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Bellagio Hotel, and Caesars Palace are the top 2 most popular hangouts for HNWIs with money to burn, and a third Las Vegas hotspot, the Wynn Resort, ranks number 5. Las Vegas resorts sandwich The Ritz, in London, and Disney World Florida. Conclusion? No matter how much wealth you have accumulated, we all have a taste for a quick flutter and a ride on a roller coaster, it seems.
The super rich have another trait in common with the rest of us – they like to take the train. But in HNWI’s case, those trains tend to be the Orient Express, Eastern and Orient Express (which runs through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand), the Blue Train, South Africa, Pride of Africa, and Royal Scotsman. Not exactly the Southern Rail early morning commute to Waterloo, but many high net worths will be familiar with a dawn scrum to board a delayed “express” to central London, no doubt.
What do millionaires and billionaires do with their down time, you might wonder. Again, the results play up to the stereotypical view of the playboy, or playgirl, super rich. Art collecting is the most popular pastime amongst the wealthy elite, followed by yachting, skiing and golf. Cycling is on trend, taking 6th spot in the most popular hobbies list, just below collecting cars, in case you were wondering what side of that debate most HNWIs were on. Horses, fly fishing, collecting watches, and tennis complete the top ten. And if you are on the lookout for fly fishing hotspots where you can rub shoulders with the world’s wealthiest, try Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Tulchan Estate, in Scotland, or New Zealand’s Ahuriri river in Central Otago – ranked numbers 1,2, and 3, according to AfrAsia.
Other notable millionaire and billionaire extravagances include (but are not limited to) a “hotel residency” – so much more convenient to simply buy your favourite hotel room outright than have to book it every year; think the Mandarin Oriental, London, the Plaza Pied a Terre, New York, or the Palazzo Tomabuon in Florence.
Or, a residential estate perhaps – the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana; Wentworth, in Surrey, England, the Royal Palm Yacht and Country club in Boca Raton, Florida, or Quivira Los Cabos in Mexico, are amongst the most favoured.
If property isn’t your thing, how about art? HNWIs own about $75 billion worth of paintings, sculptures, and murals by some of the world’s best known artists, living and dead. With the market for high end art increasing 12% in the last decade, buying up beauty is a steady, if unspectacular investment.
If it’s spectacular you are after, however, how about a classic car? The Ferrari 250 GTO, the world’s priciest automobile, built in the 1960’s, is worth a cool $24 million, a shade pricier than its cousin, the Ferrari 250 GT California Spider ($20m) and the Testa Rossa, from the 1950’s ($18m). If you fancy something a little more modern and a smidgen swifter, the Mclaren F1 is a relative bargain at “only” $8m, whilst a personal favourite, the Lamborghini Miura, costs 10x less – a mere $800,000. Worth every penny.
If it’s high end property you are after – good old bricks and mortar – The Cote D’Azur is where the truly flash splash out, so they can splash in, in comfort. London and New York, Hong Kong, Geneva, and Lake Como are also notable for the price tags attached to their properties, as are Sydney, Zurich, Melbourne, Monterey and Singapore.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about all of these mega-wealth lists, is how unsurprising they are. In the globalised world, there are fewer secrets, fewer hideaways, and everything has been given a price tag.
On a more serious note, AfrAsia’s report identifies the key drivers of growth in wealth for countries. They include strong safety and security, strong property ownership rights, strong economic growth and a well developed banking system, a free and independent media, less government intervention, low income tax, ease of investment, and wealth migration.
Of course, not all countries are created with the wishes of the wealthy in mind. Nobody minds the odd extravagance or eccentricity, but it is worth remembering, as much as countries have obligations towards those who generate the most wealth, the opposite also applies.
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