According to a study, wealth in Germany and around the world has risen sharply in the past year – but is still extremely unequally distributed. There are only two other countries where there are more super-rich people than in Germany. Despite the war and inflation, the outlook is positive.
Despite the Corona crisis, wealth in Germany has increased significantly in the past year. According to the Boston Consulting Group’s “Global Wealth Report”, the private assets of Germans grew by around 10 percent in 2021 to over 20 trillion US dollars (almost 19 trillion euros). Globally, net assets from financial and real assets minus debt rose by around 10 percent – to a new record of $ 473 trillion (442 trillion euros).
The main reason for the strong increase is the stock market boom of the past year. BCG reports that rising share prices caused financial assets to rise the most in more than a decade in 2021. In Germany, however, rising real estate prices also play a major role: “Traditionally, Germans prefer to invest in real estate than in securities, as the real asset ratio of more than 65 percent clearly shows,” says study author Anna Zakrzewski.
Club of the super rich in Germany
However, wealth is extremely unequally distributed, especially when it comes to financial assets. According to a study in Germany, a small group of 3,100 super-rich own more than a fifth of all financial assets. Each of these super-rich has at least 100 million dollars, around 300 Germans joined this exclusive club in 2021.
There are only two countries in the world that are more super-rich than in Germany: in China, the club of the 100 million dollar rich has 8,500 members, and in the USA there are even 25,800 members. There are also comparatively many super-rich in France (2700), Canada (2600), Great Britain (2300) and Italy (2100).
More wealth despite war and crisis?
But how will things continue in the face of war, the energy crisis and supply bottlenecks? The stock exchanges have been smeared since the beginning of the year, inflation is skyrocketing, experts such as Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff are already warning of the danger of a global economic crisis. The BCG authors’ outlook for private assets, on the other hand, is surprisingly positive. Despite the Ukraine war, they expect wealth to continue to rise five years from now.
If the Russian attack ends this year and the sanctions are not tightened further, the BCG experts expect global asset growth of 5.3 percent per year. “More than $80 trillion in additional wealth will emerge over the next five years, despite the tremendous challenges we are currently seeing,” says Zakrzewski.
Even in a less optimistic scenario, where the war lasts until 2023, sanctions last and Russia restricts gas supplies, the authors project annual wealth growth of 5 percent. However, this only applies if the conflict does not further escalate militarily. According to the study, the greatest gains in wealth will be in Asia, while wealth will grow much more slowly in Western Europe.