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Why 12 Million American Millionaires Isn’t Good News

Millionaires

“This time next year, we'll be millionaires,” was the frequent catchphrase of Del Boy, the character of classic British Only Fools And Horses.

Yet years later, Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter, a local businessman from Peckham, London never became a millionaire. But nearly 12 million Americans have achieved what he couldn’t, according to the most recent Credit Suisse wealth report. 

At the start of 2020, the U.S. had 11.8 million millionaires, almost a million more than the total population of Greece and representing 3% of the United States’ entire population. 

That means Americans account for some 40% of the global millionaire population. 

The pandemic has added an extra angle to the global wealth picture. 

Credit Suisse experts estimate that global wealth per adult would have risen in H1 2020 by nearly $1,000 per adult, had it not been for the pandemic. 

Instead, the pandemic has caused average wealth to drop to $76,984 from $77,309, with Latin America being the most “adversely affected” region. 

 

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report

And among the major global economies, Credit Suisse notes that the most significant erosion of wealth has been in the United Kingdom. 

Specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic caused global household net worth to decline by $17.5 trillion (4.4%) from January through March 2020. Government action saw this decline reverse by June. 

“However, reduced GDP and rising debt will result in long-term damage, so wealth growth will be depressed for the next couple of years and likely longer,” warns Credit Suisse. 

However, according to research firm Spectrem Group, the number of US households with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million plummeted in the last three months.

While the 78% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck probably weren’t counting on joining the millionaire club anytime soon, it’s still not promising news. 

According to a recent GoBankingRates survey, only 21% of Americans have more than $10,000 in savings, with nearly 60 percent having.

As for retirement savings--they have been depleted, with estimates suggesting that 13 million Americans aged 65 or older will still be in the labor force by 2024.

The number of $25 million-plus American households has fallen by almost 10%, from 196,000 at the end of 2019 to 178,000. Those with a wealth of $5-25 million have been reduced by 5% from 1,520,000 to 1,440,000.

The top 1% of households owned 53.5% of equities and mutual fund shares, according to recent Federal Reserve data. So, in the early stages of the pandemic, wealthy Americans felt the effects of a stock-market free-fall. 

A study by the Institute for Policy Studies says the richest 400 Americans have a combined net worth of $3 trillion, equal to the bottom 61% of the U.S. population, or some 194 million people. They also own 3.5% of the country’s assets.

Next, they’ll be piling into bitcoin to feed their FOMO. 

A new Devere Group poll shows that 73% of global millionaires will invest in cryptocurrencies before the end of 2022 or are already investing in them. And it helps that bitcoin has just blown past $18,000.  

By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com 

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