The Global Wealth Market in 2016; Analyzing 69 country wealth markets worldwide.

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The global wealth market is on a continuous growth path. Worldwide liquid onshore assets will exceed $100tn no later than 2017. But the market is not homogenous: rates and reasons for growth differ between affluent segments, the level of economic development in any given nation, and local conditions. Volatile exchange rates affect not only the relative strength of regional wealth markets but also investors’ preferences with regards to different asset classes. This means that understanding not just the actual size of a market but also all the above factors is crucial for wealth managers expanding to new countries and developing client targeting strategies.


• The wealthiest individuals grow their assets faster than the rest of the population, with the $10m+ segment forecast to increase its growth rate in the coming years. This underlines the fact that the majority of global wealth is held by a small number of people.

• Most developing economies are deposit-heavy, with equities and mutual funds the domain of mature markets. However, increasing capital market volatility has encouraged sophisticated investors to seek the safe haven of deposits, particularly as bond yields remain low.

• Inequality in wealth distribution is clearly seen in frontier markets in particular, where 83% of liquid assets are held by less than 1% of the population.

• The US is and will remain by far the biggest wealth market in the world. The Asia Pacific economies will lead the growth of liquid asset pots in developing markets.

• Currency exchange rates have a significant impact on countries’ relative strength against other wealth markets. As a result of British pound depreciation following the EU referendum, the UK will be overtaken by Germany in the biggest markets classification.

• The Swiss remain the wealthiest in terms of value of savings per individual, but as growth is slowing down in Western Europe in general by 2020 Hong Kong will lead the way.

Reasons to Buy

Understand the dynamics of regional wealth markets and how this is set to change by 2020.

Learn about local preferences regarding tendencies towards investing in different asset classes.

Discover the main drivers for offshore investments.

Identify the markets and affluent segments offering the highest growth potential.

Find out challenges for growth in regional wealth markets.

Credit Suisse
International Monetary Fund
World Bank

Table of Contents


Different local factors drive the growth of the global wealth market

Key findings

Critical success factors


The global wealth market is on a continuous growth path

Globally, the affluent market is worth more than $84tn

Affluent individuals will hold more than $110tn in liquid assets by the end of 2020

The global affluent population totals 350 million individuals and continues to grow

The wealthiest will grow their assets at an even faster rate

Global retail savings and investment trends

Equities and mutual fund holdings have reached pre-financial crisis values, but growth has been slowing

Bond holdings have been decreasing

For HNW individuals, less liquid asset classes play an important role

Retail savings and investment geographical analysis

Attitudes towards deposits differ clearly between mature and emerging markets

Investors in the US hold three times more equities and mutual funds than the developing markets average

Bond holdings are significantly affected by yields

Offshore holdings represent a significant proportion of global wealth

Globally, HNW investors hold

22.7% of their wealth offshore

Motivations for off shoring wealth differ by country


Global wealth is distributed unequally

HNW individuals hold a third of global wealth

The mass affluent segment is more important in developed markets

Inequality in wealth distribution is clearer in frontier markets

Developing countries will be chasing mature markets

Kazakhstan will be the fastest-growing wealth market over 2016-20

Central and Eastern Europe will be the fastest-growing region

Developing markets' impressive growth is offset by inflation

Relative wealth market strength depends on exchange rate fluctuations


The US will remain by far the biggest wealth market in aggregate terms

China ranks second, although developed markets still dominate the top 15

HNW segment rankings highlight the growth of Asia Pacific

Wealth market rankings are affected by exchange rate volatility

Liquid assets per capita analysis

By 2020 the average Hong Kong citizen will be wealthier than their Swiss counterparts

Large emerging markets' rankings highlight unequal wealth distribution


Abbreviations and acronyms

Supplementary data


Countries classification





Developed (mature) economies or markets

Developing economies or markets

Emerging economies or markets

Frontier economies or markets


Liquid assets

Mass affluent

Mass market



Verdict Financial's 2015 Global Wealth Managers Survey

Global Wealth Model methodology

Global Retail Investments Methodology

Exchange rates


Further reading

About Verdict Financial



Table 1: Global total liquid assets ($bn), end of year 2013-20f

Table 2: Global number of affluent individuals (millions), end of year 2013-20f

Table 3: Global total retail savings and investments, end of year 2013-20f

Table 4: Top 10 countries in terms of deposit allocations (%) as of 2015, with results for 2010 and projections for 2020

Table 5: Top 10 developed countries in terms of deposit allocations (%) as of 2015, with results for 2010 and projections for 2020

Table 6: Top 10 countries in terms of equities and mutual funds allocations (aggregate %) as of 2015, with results for 2010 and projections for 2020

Table 7: Top 10 countries in terms of bonds allocations (%) as of 2015, with results for 2010 and projections for 2020

Table 8: Retail non-resident savings and investments in selected markets ($bn), 2015

Table 9: Top 10 (and selected) global wealth markets in terms of forecast CAGR, 2016-20

Table 10: Top five (and selected) global wealth markets in terms of forecast real CAGR, 2016-20

Table 11: Countries with the highest and lowest CPI rate over 2011-15

Table 12: Top 10 (and selected) countries with the lowest CAGR (2011-15) if current exchange rates are used

Table 13: Top 15 wealth markets in terms of liquid assets ($bn) 2010, 2015, and 2020f

Table 14: Top 15 wealth markets in terms of HNW liquid assets ($bn) 2010, 2015, and 2020f

Table 15: Top five markets in terms of liquid assets ($bn), 2015, using August 2016 exchange rates

Table 16: Top 10 markets in terms of onshore liquid asset holdings per individual ($), 2015

Table 17: Top five (and other selected) developing markets in terms of onshore liquid asset holdings per individual ($), 2015

Table 18: Global total liquid assets ($bn), end of year 2006-12

Table 19: Global number of affluent individuals (millions), end of year 2006-12

Table 20: Global total retail savings and investments, end of year 2006-12

Table 21: Our geographic coverage spans 69 markets and six regions

Table 22: Country classification in terms of level of market development

Table 23: US dollar exchange rates: part one

Table 24: US dollar exchange rates: part two


Figure 1: HNW global onshore liquid assets have been growing

Figure 2: The $10m+ segment is set to experience the highest growth over the next few years

Figure 3: Deposits account for almost half of global savings and investments

Figure 4: HNW investors hold 20.3% of their portfolio in alternative asset classes

Figure 5: Central and Eastern European markets are deposit-heavy

Figure 6: Mature market average deposit holdings are below the global midpoint

Figure 7: Developing markets have relatively low allocations in equities and funds

Figure 8: Hungarian investors currently have the highest allocation in bonds

Figure 9: Globally HNW individuals offshore almost a quarter of their assets

Figure 10: Tax efficiency is the second most important driver of offshore investments

Figure 11: The wealthiest 8.7% of the global population hold over 90% of the world's liquid assets

Figure 12: Mass affluent individuals represent 37% of developed market populations

Figure 13: Verdict Financial's Frontier Markets Wealth Pyramid highlights significant inequalities in wealth distribution

Figure 14: Developing markets will continue to grow faster than mature economies

Figure 15: Western Europe will struggle with growth in the foreseeable future

Figure 16: In real terms, frontier markets' growth over 2016-20 will exceed mature economies growth only slightly

Figure 17: In real terms, Asia Pacific's wealth market has been growing much faster than other regions

Figure 18: The US dollar has gained against most currencies since 2010

Figure 19: Kazakhstan is one of the fastest-growing wealth markets

Figure 20: India has been improving its HNW liquid assets rankings

Figure 21: By 2020 Hong Kong will overtake Switzerland in terms of assets per capita

Figure 22: Our geographic coverage spans 69 markets and six regions

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