How do the world’s richest people invest their money?
Visual Capitalist’s Dorothy Neufeld created the graphic below to show how ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) – people with a net worth of $30 million or more including their primary residence – allocate their wealth based on data from Knight Frank’s 2023 Wealth Report.
How the Ultra-Wealthy Invest
Below, we show where UHNWIs invest their fortunes, based on a global survey of over 500 wealth managers, family offices, and private bankers that oversee a combined $2.5 trillion in assets:
|Rank||Asset||Average Proportion of Total Wealth|
|1||Primary and Secondary Homes||32%|
|5||Private Equity / Venture Capital||6%|
|6||Commercial Property Funds||5%|
|7||Commercial Property REITs||3%|
|8||Investment of Passion (e.g. art, cars, wine)||3%|
Numbers may not total 100 due to rounding.
As the table above shows, primary and secondary homes make up 32% of total wealth, the largest share across assets. The average UHNWI owns 3.7 homes.
Investments in stocks comprised almost 20% of UHNWI wealth, with those in the Americas having the highest share of wealth in equities (33%) followed by Europe (28%) and Asia (26%).
Private equity and venture capital investments, which include investments in startup companies that have not yet gone public, accounted for 6% of total wealth on average. A separate report shows that the average investment in a private equity company ranges between $1.8 million and $6.9 million for UHNWI investors.
Luxury Investments of the Ultra-Rich
Investments of passion, which include a range of luxury items from art to classic cars, make up an average 3% of the total wealth of the ultra-rich.
In 2023, nearly six in 10 UHNWIs said they plan to purchase art.
|Likely to Purchase in 2023||Global Average|
|Rare Whiskey Bottles||18%|
Many of these items retain their value over time. In fact, all 10 of these items increased in value over 2022 despite a challenging economic environment which saw the S&P 500 fall over 19%.
The art market saw prices increase 29% last year, the highest across luxury items. Luxury cars (25%) and watches (18%) also saw some of the highest price increases.
The Growth of the Uber-Affluent
In 2022, there were roughly 579,000 people globally with wealth that exceeded $30 million. New York, Tokyo, and San Francisco are home to the most ultra-rich individuals worldwide. Over the next five years, this number is projected to reach 744,000—a 29% increase.
As these numbers continue to climb, demand for luxury real estate, equity investments, and luxury items will likely grow given the investment patterns of the ultra-wealthy illustrated today.