World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires' wealth swells to $6tn

World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires' wealth swells to $6tn

World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires' wealth swells to $6tn

The total wealth of billionaires rose +17% in 2016, up from US$5.1 trn to US$6 trn.

The majority of the world's billionaires now live in Asia, according to a report of 1,550 billionaires compiled by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

There were more billionaires in Asia than in the United States for the first time past year - and half of them were Chinese, according to a report by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The combined wealth of Asia's richest people soared by nearly a third from $1.5 trillion to two trillion dollars.

Although the region still lags the wealth held by billionaires collectively, the assets are being accumulated at twice the American rate, helping global wealth return to a trajectory of growth. "Dramatic growth in Asian wealth shows it could overtake the USA in just four years".

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He added that this would become more important, as an estimated $2.4tn (£1.83tn) of billionaire wealth was expected to be transferred in the next two decades. The report's authors credited much of the rise to China's swelling population of entrepreneurs.

Three-fourths of the world's newly-minted billionaires from 2016 are from China and India, according to UBS. "Dramatic growth in Asian wealth shows it could overtake the U.S. in just four years". Led by China, Asia saw 63% of its 568 billionaire-linked companies being publicly listed, versus 37% of 421 companies in the US and 40% in Europe.

Stadler said media coverage of inequality and the super-rich suggested there would be an "inflection point", but he said "the perception that billionaires make money for themselves at the expense of the wider population" was incorrect.

"So they can be a billionaire one day, but not the next", he said. Private museums are growing in number and public museums are receiving more funding, increasing the accessibility of art to the public.

While the main source of wealth for most billionaires is the founding of a successful business, which typically causes them to accumulate huge stock positions in these companies, many choose to hedge with large cash holdings, per financial research firm Wealth-X, as reported by The New York Times.

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