The ranks of Ireland's super-rich swells by a third in five years

The ranks of Ireland’s super rich swelled by a third over the past five years.

The ranks of Ireland's super-rich swells by a third in five years

The ranks of Ireland’s super rich swelled by a third over the past five years.

Ireland is now ranked 31st in the list of the world’s ultra-wealthy, according to the latest Wealth Report by consultant agency Knight Frank, which predicts that the number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) — anyone worth at least $30m or €27m — will rise by 17% over the next five years.

More than 1,343 UHNWI were counted in the country last year.

The number of high net worth (HNW) people — anyone worth more than $1m or €900,000 — in Ireland rose by 49% between 2014 and 2019. And more than 100,000 HNW individuals were registered in Ireland last year.

Ireland now has nine billionaires — four more than in 2014.

All three classifications are expected to rise again in the next five years — the rich by 35%, the ultra-rich by 17%, and the billionaires by 33%

Despite geopolitical uncertainty, the world’s super-rich grew even wealthier in 2019, their profits boosted by rising global stock markets and increased property prices.

Although the International Monetary Fund reduced its forecast for global GDP growth from 3.5% in January 2019 to just 2.9% in January 2020 — a 10-year low — the world’s ultra-wealthy rose by 6.4%, the report found.

And the next 10 years look set to be the new “roaring twenties”, according to Rory Penn of Knight Frank.

Asia is quickly closing the wealth gap on Europe. The company predicts that by 2024, Asia will be the world’s second largest wealth hub, with forecast five-year growth of 44%.

But even with this growth, Asia’s UHNWI cohort will still only be half the size of North America’s, which is forecast to grow by 22% over the same period, according to the report.

Globally, over the next five years, UHNWI numbers are predicted to grow by 27%.

Of the top 20 fastest growing countries measured, six are located in Asia, led by India with 73% growth, five are in Europe, led by Sweden with 47% growth, and three are in Africa, led by Egypt with 66% growth.

Stocks and property makes up a large portion of the super-rich’s wealth while geopolitical uncertainty sparked a rise in the value of “safe haven” assets with gold hitting a six-year high in September and, by the end of 2019, prices were some 16% higher than they had been 12 months previously.

The technology industry is tipped to continue to grow as is the wellbeing or longevity industry. “The longevity business has quickly moved from wacky land to serious science and within just a couple of decades we expect average life expectancy in the developed world to rise to around 110,” wrote Jim Mellon, an investor and author. “This is the biggest money fountain that I have ever seen.”

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