I love being the bearer of good news, particularly as the festive season approaches. It gives me a jolly feeling inside. I’ll leave it there before I go overboard with the Christmas talk.
Back to my good news; Credit Suisse has ranked Australians the second wealthiest people in the world behind the Swiss. Given every criminal and super-villain hides their cash in an off-shore Swiss bank account, we’re basically the legitimate winners. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…
Our average wealth of USD 375,000 is seven times the global figure. In addition 1.1 million Australians can call themselves millionaires, slightly fewer than 2015, in part due to changes in the exchange rate with the US dollar. Australia accounts for 0.32% of the world population but 3% of the world’s millionaires. Congratulations if you’re one of them! Australia ranks well in terms of income inequality. Only 11% of Australians have net worth below USD 10,000. This compares to 22% in the UK and 35% in the USA. Average debt amounts to 21% of gross assets. The luck country, indeed.
The report sees no end to Australia’s increasing wealth, predicting that it will rise by a further 34% over the next five years. Household wealth in Australia is skewed towards non-financial assets, which average USD 286,900, and form 61% of gross assets. Reflecting the importance of property in wealth creation, only 18% of Australia’s household wealth is held in equities. The report notes:
‘The high level of real assets partly reflects a large endowment of land and natural resources relative to population, but it is also a result of high urban house prices in the largest cities.’
I started this year by asking you to keep perspective. While that advice was initially centred on the opportunities the local property market presented, it applies equally to the broader economic landscape.
I trust the good news I’ve shared today puts a bit of pep in your step. Don’t say I never do anything for you.