Oz is all-time favourite for high net worth expats

Published:  9 May at 6 PM
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Australia is migrating millionaires’ number one destination.

If there was ever any doubt that the past several years saw more people deserting their countries of birth than ever before, the latest figures on millionaire migration prove it’s all about the money, one way or the other. High net worth individuals can go where they please, as can the top talents in tech and other 21st century sectors, with destination cities all resembling each other in the race to attract mega-wealthy incomers.

Over the past year, 12,000 or so high net worth individuals arrived in Australia, the world’s smallest continent, buoyed up by fortunes of a million dollars or more. Other favourites included the USA, the UAE, the Caribbean, Switzerland, Singapore, Monaco, Hong Kong, Malta and several less obvious destinations such as Spain, Greece, Latvia, Portugal and Israel. According to a recent report, preferred cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York, all of which resemble one another in many ways, and the Asian hub of Singapore claimed 1,000 members of this exclusive club as permanent residents.

Reasons behind the migration include safety and security, a sympathetic tax structure including a lack of inheritance tax and the US’s growing healthcare problems, although the last doesn’t quite fit with the four chosen US city hubs. Dubai attracted around 2,000 HNWIs, with property investment boosting the UAE economy as a result and increasing the numbers of the mega-rich by a full two per cent. Again, safety and low taxation were prime considerations.

Emigrants from China made up the majority of HNWIs heading for fresh fields and pastures new, with 15,000 leaving during 20018. Russia lost some 7,000 millionaires,and 5,000 of their Indian equivalents decided it was time to move on. Somewhat surprisingly, France as well as Turkey also lost a good number of their wealthiest nationals. In the UK, the Brexit effect was alive and kicking, forcing 7,000 of its millionaire citizens to leave since the referendum.

Over the past decade, global wealth as a whole has increased by over a quarter, mostly due to the increasing numbers of mega-wealthy Asians. Right now, the world holds a staggering number of 14 million high net worth individuals, ranging from over half a million who’re worth over $10 million through 25,000 with $100 million to 2140 billionaires with net assets worth a billion dollars or more. For the lucky few, chasing the dream is no longer necessary, as they’ve enough hard cash to create their own dreams anywhere on the planet.
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