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June 20, 2021

The rich got poorer in 2011: report

Quick: who’s tougher to drum up sympathy for right now, rich people or Hosni Mubarak?

Okay, well, likening the affluent to a deposed Egyptian tyrant that was briefly declared dead in jail this week might not be totally fair, but the point is clear: in this economic climate, led by Jamie Dimons and “London Whale” rogue traders, the wealthy are the enemy.

So if you’re the kind that’s out for blood, here’s a bone for you.

Last year, for the first time since the recession hit, the world’s rich people lost money.

According to a joint report from consulting firm Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, the planet’s richest saw their wealth dip by 1.7 per cent in 2011.

*Bing: How to calculate your net worth

Who are the planet’s richest? By the survey’s measure, they’re any individual with investible assets of US$1 million or more. Investible means cash or other liquid funds.

Last year’s 1.7 per cent drop is the first decrease since 2008, when such millionaires slugged through a year in which their overall worth plummeted 19.5 per cent.

Of course, these are rich people we’re talking about here. Not all the news is bad.

While as a collective worth fell for the world’s wealthiest, the number of high net worth individuals – those with investable assets of $1 million or more, remember – increased by nearly a per cent (0.8 per cent) across the globe.

That’s offset a bit by the number of ultra  high net worth individuals – those with investable assets in excess of $30 million – declining 2.5 per cent last year, but hey, who’s counting pennies?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...