For the 2014 edition, the survey was completed by almost 600 private bankers or wealth advisors representing around 23,000 UHNWI clients across the world.
This year, for the first time, we have been able to split the results down by every major world region: Europe, Russia and the CIS, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Latin America.
All the survey responses, broken down by world region, are included in The Wealth Report, additionally, some of the key findings are highlighted below.
Are the rich getting richer is what everybody always seems to want to know these days.
Helping to answer the question, three-quarters of the survey’s respondents said the net worth of their clients increased in 2013. Almost 65% said their clients were also positive about their wealth creation prospects in 2014.
The most bullish regions of the world regarding wealth creation this year were Europe and the Middle East – 70% of respondents said their clients were positive about their prospects.
In terms of the factors that could influence UHNWI’s ability to generate wealth in 2014, a net balance* of 42% of respondents said local economic conditions could have a positive impact, while a net balance of 21% said local taxation conditions could have a negative impact.
Prime Residential Property
According to the survey results, 28% on average of an UHNWI’s net worth is accounted for by their main house and any second homes, of which, on average, they own 2.4.
Just over a fifth of UHNWIs are considering buying another home in 2014, while 15% are thinking about permanently changing their domicile of country of residence. Quality of life was cited as the main reason for wanting to make a move and the UK the country people were most likely to head to.
Almost a quarter of UHNWI investment portfolios is accounted for by property and as an asset class it is growing in popularity.
Just over 40% of survey respondents said their clients increased their allocation to property in 2013 and 47% expect it to increase further in 2014.
Residential property was the most popular area to invest in (54%), followed by commercial premises (34%) and agricultural land and forestry (12%).
As well as property, the survey asked how the popularity of other asset classes was changing.
Reflecting the general increase in appetite for risk among investors, equities were growing in popularity the most, with a net balance of 65% of respondents saying their clients were likely to increase their exposure to stocks and shares in 2014.
Gold and commodities were the most out of favour, with a net balance of 26% of respondents saying their clients would be reducing their exposure to them.
Luxury Spending Trends
Only 7% of respondents said their clients would be spending less on luxury goods in 2014, with 36% predicting an increase.
Investments of passion are a growing area of UHNWI spending activity, and a net balance of 44% of the survey’s respondents said their clients were becoming more interested in collecting art, with 34% reporting wine was gaining in popularity and 32% cars and watches.
Despite their investment potential, personal pleasure was still considered the main motivation by far (61% of respondents) for UHNWI collecting activity.
*The net balance of responses is the difference between the percentage of survey respondents providing a positive response to a question, for example, the changing level of interest in a particular asset class, and the percentage indicating a negative response.
Download The Wealth Report 2014 for full UHNWI Attitude Survey results broken down by world region.