A new report from Wealth-X found that, even during a pandemic, the very high net worth (VHNW) population grew.
Wealth-X defines the VHNW as those with a net worth between $5 million and $30 million. The report, called Very High Net Worth Handbook 2021, looks at where they are, who they are, and how big their ranks have grown.
In 2020, their global population increased “slightly,” by 1.3%, to around 2.7 million people. In 2019, by contrast, the population saw 10% growth.
“This was a sharp slowdown from double-digit growth a year earlier, and masked large regional differences, but was a resilient performance set against the backdrop of a global pandemic, national lockdowns, international travel bans, trade disruption and the deepest contraction in world economic output for a generation,” the report said.
Their total wealth also saw a similar increase, increasing by 1.2% to a total of $26.8 trillion.
Meanwhile, their global billionaire peers tacked on an additional $4 trillion to their wealth during the pandemic. That was a 54% increase for the world’s 2,365 billionaires, bringing their cumulative wealth to $12.39 trillion – a little under half of the VHNW’s cumulative wealthy.
But the VHNW class may be in for more growth than their smaller showing in 2020. The Wealth-X report anticipates that they’ll add around 1.2 million members, for a total population of 3.8 million. Wealth-X also predicts that their wealth will increase by $11.4 trillion to $38.2 trillion.
Those in the global middle class did not fare as well. A recent report from the Pew Research Center – which classifies the middle class as those who earn about $14,600 to $29,200 a year (or live on $10 to $20 a day) – found that 54 million fell out of the global middle class.
While the number of VHNW individuals grew, so did another group: A January report from Oxfam estimated between 200 million to 500 million people may have fallen into poverty during 2020.
However, the second installment of the Fed’s study reveals that these strides look quite different when broken down by race. While white and Hispanic families saw improvement in building wealth, the study states, Black families experienced the reverse as they fell further below wealth expectations between 2007 and 2019.
From 2016 to 2019, white families of this older millennial cohort saw wealth levels go from 40% to 5% below where they should be. That wealth deficit doubles to 10% for Hispanic families, but that is still less than their 2016 wealth deficit of 15%. The deficit soars for Black families, who were 52% below wealth expectations in 2019 – a significant increase from 39% three years prior.
These differences look just as staggering when framed as median wealth for the same year. For older white millennial families, that’s $88,000 – four times the $22,000 median wealth for Hispanic families and roughly 17 times the $5,000 median wealth for Black families.
The report doesn’t take into consideration effects from coronavirus recession, as full data for that period isn’t yet available.
Black millennials bear a bigger student debt burden
Despite these wealth differences, the St. Louis Fed found that all three groups had income levels that aligned with expectations, indicating that earnings weren’t preventing wealth accumulation.
The report suggests that one reason older Black millennials are increasingly falling below wealth expectations is because of their staggering student-loan debt.
Right now, it looks like this socieconomic divide isn’t close to narrowing any time soon. As the St. Louis Fed report’s authors, Ana Hernández Kent and Lowell Ricketts, wrote, “Given the large wealth deficit and negative trend, the disparities among older Black millennials may persist as these families age, inhibiting their full participation in the economy.”
Elon Musk just surpassed Jeff Bezos as the richest person on the planet.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s fortune soared as high as $187 billion on Thursday, outstripping the Amazon chief’s $186 billion fortune, according to calculations based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Musk’s wealth derives from his roughly 20% Tesla stake and 48% SpaceX stake, as well as 57 million exercisable Tesla stock options, Bloomberg says.
The Tesla chief has added more than $150 billion to his fortune in the past year, after shares in his electric-vehicle company rocketed up 740% in 2020.
Elon Musk has toppled Jeff Bezos to become the wealthiest person in the world for the first time, based on calculations using the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Tesla shares rose as much as 4% on Thursday, boosting the net worth of its CEO to north of $187 billion. Amazon’s shares also rose by up to 2%, but that left Bezos a few billion short of Musk’s fortune.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index listed Musk and Bezos’ fortunes as $184 billion and $181 billion respectively as of Wednesday’s close. It’s set to be updated after trading ends for the day.
Musk’s wealth on paper reflects his roughly 20% stake in Tesla and 48% stake in SpaceX, as well as 57 million vested Tesla stock options, Bloomberg says. Bezos’ net worth largely derives from his 11% stake in Amazon.
The Tesla CEO’s fortune has ballooned by more than $150 billion in the past year, Bloomberg said, after the electric-vehicle company’s stock price rocketed up 740% in 2020.
At age 50, Shonda Rhimes has already created a legacy.
The success of her production company Shondaland’s show “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC made Rhimes the first Black woman to showrun a successful primetime drama on a broadcast network. But that was only the beginning. Her following hit shows “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” brought Rhimes into the cultural lexicon with #TGIT (“Thank God It’s Thursday”), dubbed as such because of how Rhimes’ shows dominated TV’s Thursday night primetime line-up.
In 2017, she ended her contract early with ABC, trading in her $10 million base salary for a four-year deal with Netflix worth an estimated $150 million, per The New York Times. Three years later, her first Netflix show, “Bridgerton,” debuted on Christmas to much hype.
It’s all made Rhimes one of the highest-paid showrunners in TV, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $135 million. A representative for Rhimes didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment regarding Rhimes’ net worth and spending.
From buying the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast vacations to snapping up properties around Los Angeles, here’s how Rhimes spends her millions.
With an estimated net worth of $135 million, Shonda Rhimes is one of the wealthiest women in TV.
Her TV career launched in 2003 when ABC picked up “Grey’s Anatomy,” which garnered 20 million viewers by the end of its first season. It made Rhimes the first Black woman showrunnner of a successful primetime drama on a broadcast network, Forbes reports.
In recent years, Rhimes has ventured into other forms of media. In 2015, she published a memoir, “Year of Yes,” which became a New York Times bestseller. At the time it was announced, Rhimes joked “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal, as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom.”
Details about the value of the book deal, including any advance Rhimes might have been paid by the publisher, were not made publicly available.
At Elle Magazine’s 2018 Women in Hollywood celebration, Rhimes said she’s the highest-paid showrunner in Hollywood, but an April 2019 Observer ranking put her at No. 4 behind Greg Berlanti, Ryan Murphy, and Mike Schur. Regardless, Rhimes is clearly pocketing some of TV’s biggest paychecks.
But Rhimes still has several residences in the area, like the 1920s Spanish-style duplex she bought in 2007 for $1.66 million and the English country manor house she purchased in 2017 for $4.6 million.
But she’s previously said her happy place is with her daughters. She adopted Harper and Emerson in 2002 and 2012, respectively, and had Beckett in 2013 via a surrogate. She said they help boost her creativity.
She’s also a generous boss. Rhimes once bought everyone in the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast and crew a vacation to a luxury resort as a gift for the show’s 350th episode, “Grey’s” actor Kevin McKidd revealed in a “Live with Kelly and Ryan” interview in November 2019.
While Rhimes has a few splurges, they’re not atypical from any other celebrity. Her less than lavish lifestyle might be due to her humble upbringing.
“When I was a struggling graduate student in film school, I often had no money,” she said in a commencement speech at Dartmouth, her undergrad alma mater. “And so I often had to choose between wine and things like toilet paper. Steak did not even enter into the equation.”
Bill Gates is no longer the world’s second-richest person.
That title goes to Elon Musk, who unseated Gates as the world’s second wealthiest in November. But Gates is still pretty wealthy, with an estimated net worth of $129 billion. He’s one of three people in the world with a net worth exceeding $100 billion.
In fact, Gates and his wife, Melinda, previously said it’s unfair they’re so rich. Instead of spending billions on themselves, they often donate it to charity through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They’ve also pledged to give away most of their fortune through the Giving Pledge, which they launched in 2010.
Keep reading for a look at how Gates spends his billions.
Bill Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, has an estimated net worth of $129 billion.
Gates previously invested in Amyris, a synthetic-biology company that originally produced precursors to malaria drugs and hydrocarbon-based biofuel. Today, it focuses on health through fragrances, skincare, and sweetener.
Gates and Melinda are huge on philanthropy. They were recently named the most generous philanthropists in the US by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, having donated more than $36 billion to charitable causes through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
They’ve pledged about $2 billion to defeat malaria, donated more than $50 million to fight Ebola, and pledged $38 million to a Japanese pharmaceutical company working to create a low-cost polio vaccine.