The rich stopped becoming richer.
The world's billionaires saw their total wealth fall last year – the first time in 15 years, according to the UBS / PwC Billionaires Report of 2019 released on Friday.
Billionaire's wealth fell 4.3% globally, falling by $ 388 billion to $ 8.5 trillion last year. "The billionaire boom over the past five years has now undergone a natural correction," explained Josef Stadler, head of ultra-high net worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a statement. "The stronger dollar, coupled with greater stock market uncertainty amid a tough geopolitical environment, has created the conditions for this decline."
One of the steepest falls occurred in Greater China, including Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region. Private wealth fell 4% in Hong Kong to $ 31[ads1]9.8 billion last year, according to the report, which pegged it during the months of anti-government protests that have saved the Chinese-ruled city. The net worth of China's richest fell 12.8%, which took tens of billions of billionaires.
However, America beat the trend, largely thanks to technological entrepreneurs, whose wealth rose 3.4% last year to $ 1.3 trillion. Target billionaires in America increased 0.1% (good news for those like the Amazon)
Jeff Bezos, Microsoft
MSFT, + 1.18%
founder of Bill Gates and Facebook
FB, + 0.22%
Mark Zuckerberg), and the net number of billionaires increased by 4.8% to hit 749 by the end of 2018.
The world's billionaire population increased overall, in fact by the report that counts 2,101 billionaires globally, or 589 more than five years ago. And this was largely driven by women, as the report also noted that the number of female billionaires grew 46% in five years – surpassing the growth of male billionaires, which was 39% over the same period.
Despite the decline in general wealth, the report claimed that billionaire businesses continue to thrive. In fact, China continues to produce a new billionaire every two to a half days, despite a fall in wealth. The report also noted that the top three personality traits that billionaires share include being determined, being smart risk takers and being business focused, which benefits their business.
“Billionaires create and manage businesses that consistently outperform equity markets. This business desire has also translated into their philanthropy, as billionaires seek new ways to develop far-reaching environmental and social change, "Stadler said. "This 'billionaire effect' is alive and well all over the world – and shows little sign of slowing down."