SA’s rich: where they live, what they studied, how they grow assets – wealth expert

South Africa has a high number of rich residents – and many of them have studied law on their wealth creation journey. These are some of the fascinating findings to emerge in analysis by New World Wealth analyst Andrew Amoils. He has been tracking High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) for the best part of a decade. Although emigration is a hot topic at braais, migration from developing to developed countries is a common theme, he says. Amoils speaks to BizNews Radio about what his analysis reveals about the path to wealth creation in SA. He shares tips for young people who have aspirations to amass a fortune. – Jackie Cameron

Key takeaways: How the rich have built their wealth in SA

  • South Africa is home to over twice as many millionaires (HNWIs) as any other African country. The country ranks 30th in the world by this measure, ahead of major economies such as Greece, Portugal and Turkey, says New World Wealth in a report produced in conjunction with Steyn City Parkland Residence.
  • Currently, there are just over 35,000 HNWIs living in SA (as at Sept 2020).
  • Things that attract HNWIs to SA include: weather, beaches and scenery; a large free media which helps disseminate reliable information to investors. This sets South Africa apart from most other emerging markets worldwide; one of the 20 biggest stock exchanges in the world (by market cap).
  • HNWIs also like SA’s  well-developed banking system and large fund management sector.
  • New World Wealth estimates that over 45% of SA HNWIs either live or have homes on estates. An additional 30% have homes in luxury apartment blocks (which have been the fastest growing residential segment in SA over the past 20 years in terms of price growth).
  • UCT produces around 20% of SA HNWIs, followed by WITS with 18%, Stellenbosch University with 12%, UNISA with 10%, Rhodes with 8% and University of Pretoria with 6%

Millionaires, billionaires

New World Wealth research suggests the following breakdown of SA’s wealthiest people:

  • There are approximately 680,000 mass affluent individuals living in SA, each with net assets of $100,000 or more.
  • There are approximately 35,000 millionaires (HNWIs) living in SA, each with net assets of $1m or more. Most of these HNWIs are based in Johannesburg (Sandton especially), Cape Town, Umhlanga and Pretoria.
  • There are approximately 1,800 multi-millionaires living in SA, each with net assets of $10m or more.
  • There are 86 centi-millionaires living in SA, each with net assets of $100m or more.
  • There are 5 billionaires living in SA, each with net assets of $1bn or more.

Note: “Wealth” refers to the net assets of a person. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities.

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