Transfers of assets within families, falling commodity prices
and a stronger dollar helped reduce total billionaire wealth by
$300 billion in 2015 to $5.1 trillion.
That meant the average billionaire -- there were 1,397 of them,
a net gain of 50 over 2014 -- was worth only $3.7 billion, the
survey of 14 big markets by Swiss wealth manager UBS <UBSG.S>
and advisory group PwC [PWC.UL] discovered.
"After more than 20 years of unprecedented wealth creation, the
Second Gilded Age has stalled," the report found.
The United States added only a net five billionaires as 41
joined and 36 dropped out of the ranks of the ultra-rich. China
alone, buoyed by its tech sector, minted 80 new billionaires.
It suggested Asia's newly rich could learn from their
counterparts in Europe, where old money is especially adept at
passing wealth down the generations. Germany and Switzerland had
the greatest share of such old wealth.
Two decades of unparalleled fortune generation are about to make
way for the greatest wealth transfer in history, the study also
It estimated that fewer than 500 people will hand over $2.1
trillion -- a sum the size of India's economy -- to their heirs
in the next 20 years.
(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Larry King)
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