The number of UK millionaires is booming! Here’s how you could become one of them

Two hands holding champagne glasses toasting each other with Paris in the background
Two hands holding champagne glasses toasting each other with Paris in the background

We here at The Motley Fool know full well that the investment world is ripe with opportunities for you to make a fortune. Data released late last week from Credit Suisse showed, in clean black and white, that we are onto something. And then some.

According to the broker’s latest Global Wealth Report, the number of millionaires on Planet Earth rose by 2.3m during the 12 months to mid-2018, taking the total to a stunning 42.2m.

Credit Suisse noted that aggregate global wealth boomed by $14trn dollars in the period to $317trn, representing annual growth of 4.6%. It added that “this growth rate was sufficient to outpace population growth, so that wealth per adult grew by 3.2%, raising global mean wealth to $63,100 per adult, a record high.”

It’s probably not a surprise to find that the US led the way in the list of new millionaires over the past year. The country added an extra 878,000 millionaires, accounting for some 40% of all new people with seven-figure-plus bank balances around the world.

Meanwhile in the UK, some 244,000 new millionaires were created in the 12 months to the middle of this year, taking the total to 2.4m. Britain is now ranked fourth on the list behind the US, which is home to 17.4m millionaires; China, which boasts 3.5m mega-rich citizens; and Japan which has some 2.8m millionaires.

Rising stock values boost wealth levels

Now here’s where the report gets really interesting. While the sterling exchange rate and stock market values in Britain both dropped in the wake of the Brexit referendum of summer 2016, the subsequent recovery in stock exchanges meant that their market capitalisation in the following 12 months rose 10%, Credit Suisse said. And at the same time, wealth per adult rose 1% in dollar terms.

This trend continued during the 12 months to mid-2018, Credit Suisse added. In this period the broker said that “market capitalisation went up by a further 8%, the exchange rate stabilised and wealth per adult rose 6%.” Mean wealth per UK adult as of the middle of this year stood at $279,048, while the median sat at a more modest $97,169.

Get busy investing!

The report underlines just how critical the stock market is to helping citizens to build wealth. Indeed, a glance at recent figures from HM Revenues and Customs shows how savers are wising up to this school of thought and dumping low-yielding cash ISAs in exchange for equivalent products that specialise in stock market investment instead.

Investors still need to be on their toes, mind — as Credit Suisse noted with the UK’s date of departure from the European Union in March approaching, “the outlook is now uncertain, with the probability of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and attendant disruptions apparently rising.”

There’s no shortage of potential millionaire-making stocks out there, however, irrespective of whether or not the UK economy thrives or experiences a catastrophic, Brexit-related recession. And there’s plenty of great advice like that from the Fool to help you separate the wheat from the chaff and make a fortune on the global stock markets. So don’t sit around… get busy getting rich!

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.