High net worth individuals still target London, New York and Paris but there is a continual shift in wealth distribution towards the Asia-Pacific region.
According to The Wealth Report 2012, which draws on the insight from Knight Frank, Citi Private Bank and other leading commentators, the key factors that high net worth individuals are looking for are a combination of quality of life, knowledge and influence and economic activity.
Education systems are important, with the UK and US being home to some of the leading universities of the world. There’s luxury housing too and prime property markets into which many like to invest.
Whilst places such as Beijing, Singapore, Hong King and Shanghai have all evolved economically, they still carry a worry of a lack of freedom and democracy which knocks their position slightly.
That said, according to the report, China, South East Asia and Japan now have more centa-millionaires (those with over $100 million in assets) than North America or Western Europe.
MoneyHighStreet comments: “Clearly high net worth individuals seems to be weathering the economic storm better than some.
“Investing in low risk assets is a target for many and often prime property is considered to fit the bill.
“There are of course alternative assets that some are turning to – for example wine investment can be a good alternative asset to diversify into. The wine collectables market though is highly specialised and you may be best to seek advice from a wine broker.
“If investing in wine, be aware of the cost and complexities of storing the wine. If it is stored incorrectly it could be rendered worthless.
“It is unlikely that your standard home insurance will cover your wine collection and you will need to make sure you protect your investment with suitable insurance cover.
“Please remember too that the value of wine can go up as well as down – albeit if prices do fall at least you do have the potential to drown your sorrows by opening a bottle or two!”
“For reference, fine wine investments are not regulated under the Financial Services Act 1986.
“Do remember if you have a high value home or perhaps have a property investment portfolio or other high value collections, you are likely to need bespoke high net worth insurance. This will provide you with the same insurance as you would get with a standard home insurance policy but will have enhanced benefits or levels of cover.”