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What is the World Wealth Report?

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  • Written By: John Lister
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2018
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The World Wealth Report is an annual report produced by research and consultancy firm CapGemini. It details the number and distribution of high net worth individuals, which it defines as people with assets worth at least $1 million US Dollars (USD) or the local currency equivalent. The report aims to track trends in the behavior of millionaires, which may be an indication of economic and investment patterns.

The assessment of high net worth individuals does not include the value of a person's primary residence. One reason for this exclusion is that it discounts people who are millionaires simply because they happen to live in areas with large price rises in the housing market. There is also an argument that a person's main home should not count as part of his wealth because it is a necessity; in many cases, a person with a home that takes his or her total assets to more than $1 million USD could not turn it into cash without having to spend a similar amount of money to get a property in the same area. This means the value of the house should arguably not count as part of the person's spending power, which is one way of defining wealth.

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The details in the World Wealth Report can be seen as an indication of more general economic trends. For example, in 2009, the report showed more millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region than in Europe. This prompted speculation about why this had happened. One theory was that Asian investment markets had performed better than their European counterparts, which was more likely to benefit domestic investors. Another theory was that it simply reflected a change in the respective economies, with Asia booming through a combination of a larger population base and a switch to market-based economies, most notably in China.

The World Wealth Report does not detail individual people or produce a ranking of the richest people in the world. That task is carried out by rivals such as the Forbes "World's Billionaires" list. There are also national equivalents such as the Sunday Times Rich List in the United Kingdom.

Investment companies are among the people most interested in the World Wealth Report. This is because it details both the ways millionaires have made their money, and the some of the ways they spend or invest it. Because such people have so much money available to invest, millionaires may have a disproportionate effect on investment markets.

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