Last year's stellar stock market performance helped lift 1.76 million more individuals worldwide into the ranks of millionaires, according to the latest Capgemini/RBC survey of investors.
Asian wealth is closing in on North America
North America still houses the most wealth and highest number of millionaires, but the Asia-Pacific region is growing faster.
The number of millionaires in North America grew by 16 percent to 4.33 million last year. Wealth expanded by 17 percent, to $14.88 trillion.
In the Asia-Pacific countries, wealth grew by 18 percent, to $14.2 trillion. The population of millionaires increased 17 percent, to number 4.32 million.
Europe and Latin America trailed, with Europe adding 12 percent to its millionaire population of 3.83 million and Latin America adding only 4 percent in population of millionaires and 2 percent in wealth. Slow economic growth and difficult equity markets were to blame in that region.
Confidence rises with stock market
Not coincidentally, as the stock market has risen, so has the confidence the rich place in financial planners, the markets and even the regulatory agencies that control them. The rich are feeling the wealth effect, with 77 percent saying they are confident in their ability to generate wealth in the near future.
The rich are revising their investment portfolio
Perhaps as a result of their confidence, millionaire investors shifted their focus toward growth instead of preservation, with 31 percent favoring growth early this year, up from 18 percent a year earlier. The 45 percent who aimed for wealth preservation a year ago dropped to 28 percent this year.
Millionaire investors also increased their global investment exposure, with 37 percent of their assets falling into this category, up from 25 percent a year earlier.
Allocations to cash still remain high, at 27 percent, according to the survey, but the rich increased their allocation to alternative investments by 3 percentage points, to total 13 percent of the portfolio.
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