Despite the global financial crisis, the number of US millionaires has grown by 29% since President Obama was elected. Looking ahead to 2016, HNWI wealth is forecast to increase by a quarter, but considerable downside risks remain.
- From the end of 2008, when President Obama was elected to the White House, to the end of 2011, the US has added more than 1.1 million HNWIs, an increase of 28.6%.
- This is equivalent to over a thousand new millionaires per day during President Obama’s first three years in office.
- As of 2011 there are just over 5.1 million millionaires in the United States, still 165,360 fewer than in 2007.
- These high net worth individuals (HNWIs) hold $18.8 trillion in wealth which equates to 34% of total individual wealth held in the country. This is above the global average of 29%, indicating a relatively uneven spread of wealth.
- Since 2007, the number of ultra-HNWIs in the financial services sector has risen by 12%, despite the financial crisis.
- Looking forward, the total number of US millionaires is forecast to grow by 19%, reaching 6.1 million in 2016.
- But significant downside risks remain which could hit HNWI wealth, specifically the so-called fiscal cliff looms if political action on fiscal policy is absent in the months ahead.
- At present, we expect HNWI volumes to rise by 4.3% in 2013. If the fiscal cliff were not averted, we see the HNWI population declining by 5.9% – a 10.2% swing in the US’ millionaire population.
According to WealthInsight analyst, Christopher Rocks: “The US wealth sector has recovered strongly since the financial crisis. Contrasting with a lot of campaign rhetoric, growth in the HNWI population under President Obama has been rapid, far outpacing growth in the broader economy.”
“With signs that growth in the US economy might be slowing, HNWIs will be worried about the economic uncertainty being created by the so called ‘fiscal cliff’. At the moment it’s not entirely clear how either presidential candidate would solve the current political deadlock, which could have a huge impact on America’s wealthy population.”
See the full report on the US wealth sector here.