I was looking at the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2011 online (my fund manager forgot to post me a copy). It has some very interesting detail about the desires and concerns of certain people:

high-net-worth individual (HNWI)

These are defined as a ‘person whose investible assets, excluding their principal residence, total between $1m and $10m’.

ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI)

These are people ‘whose investible assets, excluding their primary residence, are valued at over $10m’.


Eating into profits

For instance, the type of thing they invest in.


So instead of using land to produce crops for food for people, this will be used to make fuel for machines. Demand for food will rise as potential sources of supply are limited, and HNWIs want a piece of the action. But there are problems!

A spectre is haunting High-Net-Worth-Individuals

South America also offers farming on a massive scale and remains a preferred target for many investors because of its productive climate and soils, but values in more popular areas have started to climb. The spectre of farmland nationalisation, as seen in Venezuela, also worries some investors.


Critics of foreign land ownership in Africa, especially deals where most of the crops are shipped back to the investing nation, call it a new form of colonialism of little benefit to hungry populations. The political upheaval in Tunisia was partly driven by the rising cost of food. Indeed, Stephen Johnston of Canadian fund manager Agcapita prefers to keep his investors’ capital closer to home. “We could have gone anywhere,” he says. “But I don’t think you can make a long-term case for investing in developing countries. Poor people vote and politicians listen. At some point, somebody will get elected who will nationalise farmland.”

This whole poor people voting, politicians listening thing is just not on. Someone should have a word.

Displeasure at other people’s leisure

Feeling like you’re doomed to spend your life working, or looking for work, and the remainder of your time dealing with household tasks, paying off exorbitant household bills and generally doing a whole pile of stuff you don’t want to be doing? The High-Net-Worth-Individuals feel that way too! About you, that is. They don’t see much of a future in the whole business of relaxing.


The Havens And The Have-Nots

You would think, wouldn’t you, what with the attention devoted to tax havens these days, that the tendency would be towards a clampdown. Not so, according to this geezer


You may, if you are a High Net Worth Individual, be nonetheless concerned at the negative attention being devoted to tax havens. You will therefore be gratified to learn that the arc of indirect taxation bends in your favour, and away from the proles.


So to use a practical example, it is a good thing for the global rich that indirect taxes such as the upcoming household charge in Ireland are imposed, because this will mean that they won’t have to rely on tax havens so much! Neat, yes?

Barack Obama meanwhile, is proving his socialist tendencies by presiding over a 15% growth in the wealth of High Net Worth American Individuals to $13,000,000,000,000. And that’s only in the course of 2010.    


Ireland, of course, has had its wealth destroyed, as everyone knows. Not a weekend has passed without a Sunday Independent story about some poor rich soul deciding to end it all. But sure it isn’t all bad news:


On a per capita basis, The Little State That Could is still punching well above its weight in terms of having lots of rich people. And of course the trend toward indirect taxation in Ireland will soften the blow for Ireland’s HNWIs at there being only five Irish billionaires.

Something for us all to be cheery about, what?



1 Comment

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  1. The bit about poor people voting reminds me of that Citi Bank memo proclaiming American is a Plutonomy .

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