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World’s ultra-rich are getting even richer, Swiss bank finds

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A bare 0.004 percent of the world’s adult population controls nearly $30 trillion in assets, 13 percent of the world’s total wealth, according to a new study released Thursday.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, the study by the Swiss bank UBS and luxury industry consultant Wealth-X said the concentration of money in the hands of the ultra-rich is growing.

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The report said 211,275 people qualify as “ultra-high net worth” (UHNW) — those with assets above $30 million. Of them, 2,325 have more than $1 billion.

Their numbers grew 6 percent over the past year, but their wealth grew 7 percent, as asset markets like stocks and property soared in many places around the world.

The fastest growth, indeed, came in the “demi-billionaire” group worth a half-billion to a billion dollars apiece, the study said.

“Even amidst geopolitical conflicts, socio-economic strife, and volatile currency markets, the world’s equity markets displayed strong performances, thereby enabling UHNW individuals’ wealth to increase and their influence across industries and sectors to grow — from their importance in wealth management to their consumption of luxury goods,” it said.

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“Such a large concentration of wealth in the hands of these few individuals means that they tend to have a large degree of influence, whether on global equity markets or specific industries.”

Of the nearly $30 trillion this elite group controls, just over one-third is in the hands of tycoons in North America, more than one-quarter in Europe, and 23 percent in Asia.

Of them, 87 percent are men, of the average age of 59, and nearly one-quarter of them were in banking. Of them, 68 percent were “self-made” rich, 13 percent rich by inheritance, and the rest a combination of the two.

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The average ultra-rich woman was 57, and more likely to be involved in non-profit and social organizations (19 percent) than any other sector. Nearly half became wealthy through inheritance, while one-third were self-made wealthy.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, the rich are different. The average UHNW-er spends $1 million a year on luxury goods and services.

Yet, the study points out, luxury items can be “part and parcel of their lifestyle and are not necessarily considered a ‘luxury.'”

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“For example, UHNW individuals with private jets use their aircraft not only for leisure, but also for business purposes. On the other hand, while yachts, and particularly superyachts, are usually a non-necessity, many UHNW individuals lead very public lives, and the privacy of a family holiday on a yacht is a very special treat.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump lies to the press about his massive tax increasing while departing to France for the G7 Summit

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President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.

"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.

In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.

"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.

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Bill Maher presents ’25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller’ on Real Time

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The host of HBO's "Real Time" presented "25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller" on Friday.

"In high school, I was voted 'Most Likely to Comb My Mummified Mother's Hair,'" was one item.

"I think tacos are stealing jobs from hamburgers," was another.

"I'm a Cancer. I don't know my astrological sign," was a third.

"The worst part about my car smelling like wet dogs, is that I don't own dogs," was a fourth.

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Bill Maher dances on David Koch’s grave: ‘I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful’

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HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher celebrated the death of right-wing billionaire David Koch, who died of prostate cancer.

"I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer," Maher said.

"Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running," he said.

"I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I'm sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market," Maher said. "He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers -- for decades."

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