It has been a decade since the global economy sunk into a Great Recession following the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, which precipitated a domino effect that swept Europe, sparking a debt crisis. How well have Western nations fared in the recovery? Not too badly at all, according to the latest edition of the Global Wealth Report, released in late 2017 by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.
In Canada, the median household income, based upon the most recent census numbers from 2015, was $70,336. Out of a total of 14 million households, 4.5 million households had incomes of more than $100,000. To help put this in perspective: with the median wealth per global household being $3,582, owning more than this places you among the richest 50 percent of the global population. This pales, however, next to the top one percent, which owns more than half of all global wealth. If this wealth were divided equally around the world, each household would have US$56,540.
From June 2016 to June 2017, global wealth rose by 6.4 percent, the fastest pace since 2012 and one of the best results since the financial crisis. Meanwhile, the rarefied millionaire club welcomed 2.3 million new members. The United States had the lion’s share, with 43 percent of the global total of
millionaires, although “wealth inequality remains a prominent issue,” Michael O’Sullivan, CIO for International Wealth Management at Credit Suisse stated.
China’s highest absolute wealth gain was second only to the US.
Economic stability across the European continent resulted in positive growth in wealth. Switzerland led the pack in terms of both average and median wealth, with individual wealth rising to US$537,600 per adult.
Millennials have it rough. In the US, Americans aged 30-39 have amassed 46 percent less wealth on average in 2017 than the equivalent cohort in 2007. The reasons include high student debt and an inability to enter the real estate market. ◊