It’s a good time for the self-made American billionaire, and those who made their wealth on their own are doing better than those to the manor born, a new report says.
“For the first time in 10 years, the average wealth of self-made billionaires surpassed the average wealth of U.S. billionaires with inherited fortunes,” say UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers in their joint annual report, “Billionaires Insights: Are Billionaires Feeling the Pressure?” The self-made averaged $4.5 billion while inheritors averaged $4.3 billion, the report says.
“The U.S. has always been a standout for creating wealth, and this report shows that the American dream is alive,” says John Mathews, head of Private Wealth Management at UBS. However, new billionaires are now created at a faster pace in Asia than in any other region, with communist China leading the way, the report says.
The study says 210 people became billionaires in 2015, and more than half of those were from Asia.
These changes have come in a 10-year period when total billionaire wealth has declined by some $300 billion, the report says. However, the new billionaires are doing very well.
“The U.S., which boasts the biggest collection of billionaires by region, set the trend,” says the report. Total U.S. billionaire wealth fell, but new money fared better than old, falling by just 4 percent, from an average of $4.7 billion per individual to $4.5 billion, says Michael Spellacy, leader of global wealth management at PwC.
The report also says there will be many inherited fortunes over the next generation. Approximately 460 billionaires will transfer $2.1 trillion to their heirs in the next 20 years.
Europe Keeps It In The Family
Europe, the report says, has been the best region at keeping the billions all in the family. It has the greatest number of the world’s multigenerational billionaires at 182 (54% of the region’s total billionaires), and they have proved to be the most resilient at preserving their fortunes.
“While it may not be the best at creating great wealth, Europe has proved the best at keeping it,” says the report. “The region’s billionaire wealth remained broadly the same (with a small fall of 3%), at $1.3 trillion.”