The world is divided into the poor, middle class, millionaires and billionaires. As of 2017, there is an estimate of 36 million millionaires, but the billionaires are in another level. Those outside the ultra-rich bracket can always wonder what it’s like living within such tier.
Here are five things you need to know about the elite billionaires club in the world.
1. The rich get richer
According to Barron’s, the combined wealth of billionaires last year reached a record high due to strong market performance and equity markets. The report added that the number of billionaires also went up from 2,473 in 2015 to 2,754 in 2017.
The overall wealth will also naturally increase. All the private holdings, liquid assets, real estate and other luxury assets of the billionaires in the world reached $9.205 trillion.
“Although the year 2017 had its fair share of political upheaval, the remarkable performances in equity markets and global economy supported robust wealth gains across the financial, commodity, technology and industrial sector,” Wealth-X director Winston Chesterfield explained.
2. Billionaires favor education as top philanthropy
Billionaires are not all about the money. They engage in philanthropic activities as well. Education came out on top of their favorite sector to help out. A total of 66 percent choose to support scholarships, teacher training and other educational programs. On the other hand, healthcare sector came in second with 14 percent.
Prominent billionaire Bill Gates is known as a staunch supporter of education and healthcare sector. Gates, together with Warren Buffett, started the “Giving Pledge,” which encourages fellow billionaires to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
3. Asia is an emerging hotbed for billionaires
China, India and Hong Kong had the biggest growth in terms of the number of billionaires in 2017. A total of 21 new billionaires can be found in Hong Kong, hiking the total to 93 and trailing behind leader New York City in the top 10 billionaire city rankings. The Big Apple has 103 billionaires in 2017.
“Dynamic wealth creation [in Asia] was supported by improved emerging-market growth, more resilient currency movements against the US dollar, higher infrastructure spending, booming real estate prices, and robust demand from an expanding middle class,” a Wealth-X report claimed.
Most of the billionaires in Hong Kong are involved in the real estate industry. With the area rising to the top of the list for world’s most expensive city to live in the past decade, it is no wonder that billionaires there control the land and housing sector.
4. Jeff Bezos is still the “Cash King”
The world’s richest man is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $130.3 billion at the time of this writing. His net worth is expected to increase even more this year. As Forbes reported, Bezos revealed that the subscriber count for Amazon Prime has reached 100 million around the world, which resulted in an additional $7.7 billion in his bank account in April this year alone. He owns 16 percent of Amazon, and it is where the bulk of his wealth comes from.
The world’s richest man attributes the success of Amazon to its focus on customer service. He added that the company has been consistently on top of the American Customer Satisfaction Index in the last eight years. This feat is something other millionaires can learn from. If they want to join the billionaires’ club, they must provide a service that is needed and give customers what they want.
5. The gap between the ultra-rich and poor is getting bigger
A controversial report released by Oxfam in 2017 states that the world’s eight billionaires own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people belonging to the poorest of the globe’s population. The report pinpoints wage gap and tax evasion as possible reasons for the widening rift between the rich and the poor.
The report said the inequality is more vulgar and shocking as years go by. “While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight, a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it. The fact that a super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us at home and overseas shows how warped our economy has become,” Oxfam GB CEO Mark Goldring added.
More billionaires need to do their part in making the world a better place to live in. With such a staggering amount of money in their hands, they have more than enough resources and power to turn things around for the better.
(Featured image via DepositPhotos)
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