Canada among top 5 ultra-wealthy countries

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Despite our high taxes, it might come as a bit of a surprise to know that Canada is home to one of the largest populations of ultra-wealthy, and that’s not all, this segment is getting even richer.

A new report from New York-based research firm Wealth-X takes stock of the world’s “ultra high net worth” (UHNW) individuals — people with a net worth above US$30 million — and it found that there were 10,840 ultra-wealthy people in Canada last year. That’s up by 13.9 per cent from the previous year.

These individuals boast combined assets of US$1.153 trillion dollars, a figure that signals a 14.8 per cent increase from 2016.

Coming in fifth place, Canada has more ultra-rich people than France (10,120), Hong Kong (10,010) and Switzerland (6,400). The United States, Germany, China and Japan are the only countries with more.

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The report points to “an improving domestic economy, higher market yields and a stronger currency,” as the reasons behind the rich thriving and getting richer.

The fact that Canada has more high net worth residents than many European countries on the list and that could probably be a result of a lack of an inheritance tax, according to one expert.

While Canada doesn’t have such a tax, Europe’s ultra-rich get heavily taxed.

In 2017, there were about 256,000 UHNW individuals with combined assets of $31.5 trillion, a sharp acceleration from the previous year. According to the report, 2017 represented a six-year high in the gains of the uber-rich.

Notably, a record-high share of the UHNW population in 2017 were women, accounting for 13.7 per cent of the global total.

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As the number of ultra-wealthy people in Canada increased from the previous year, the wealth possessed by them also rose by 14.8 per cent.

As Canada’s wealthiest accumulated assets, the average net worth of Canadians as a whole actually shrank in 2017.

As StatsCan reported earlier this year, household net worth declined by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 — a first since 2015.

StatsCan attributes the numbers to large declines in equity and investment funds and continued weak growth in household residential real estate, a trend that first cropped up in 2017.

Wealth-X predicts that the trend will continue, with the global population of ultra-rich people rising to 360,390 people by 2022 — an increase of almost 105,000 compared with last year. Their combined wealth is projected to increase to $44.3 trillion. -CINEWS

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