Dec 012016

More Millionaires 

The best way to make a lot of money is to work for the mint. 😄 But even if you don’t, chances are your finances have been improving. About 25,000 Canadians became millionaires in the past year according to a report released last week by Credit Suisse. The bank claims that there are currently 1,117,000 individual adults with net assets exceeding US $1,000,000. 😀 We normally see studies of Canadian millionaires based in $CAD, but this study uses $USD to define millionaire status. These kinds of wealth studies are telling, but they tend to underestimate real net worth because participants may forget, or choose not to disclose particular assets such as their precious metals, art, collectables, jewelry, etc. Many of these items such as gold can be acquired anonymously with no paper trail. I think the real number of millionaires is quite a bit higher.

Based on its forecasts in the growth of Canada’s GDP and equity market capitalization, Credit Suisse expects the number of millionaires to increase by 50% to 1,680,000 in 2021. I hope one of those new entrants will be me. 🙂

But 2021 is still five years away and a lot can happen since then. I believe low interest rates are the main cause of asset price inflation which has resulted in so many new millionaires in recent years. But a pull back could be right around the corner. Let’s take a look at history.


Between 1988 and 1990 much of the world was in recession with riots breaking out in the UK. 10 years later between 1998 and 2000 we had the Asian financial crisis and the dot-com crash. 10 years after that between 2008 and 2010 we had the great recession with the Lehman and AIG panic, and European banking crisis. They say history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. And I am certainly seeing a pattern here. 🙂

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Aug 152016

Asset Allocation for the Wealthy

I don’t always recognize good investment opportunities when I see them. But I do know that we should never invest in funerals… because it’s a dying industry. But when I run out of investment ideas I usually turn to the wealthy.

I think it’s extremely important to follow what rich people do. It gives us insight about financial opportunities that we should be aware of. People with extremely high net worths tend to have either a natural knack for managing money, or are at least smart enough to hire the best advisors to invest on their behalf. Of course wealthy people don’t make the best investment decisions all the time, but their historical performance is consistently higher than the average Joe, which is how the rich continues to stay rich. 🙂

One way to track the “smart money” is to follow the quarterly member surveys from Tiger 21, an exclusive network of high net worth investors. To get into this private club all you need is to have a minimum net worth of $10 million. Easy right? 😛 This confidential and anonymous survey asks members about where they have their net worths allocated.


Almost all participants are either self made investors or entrepreneurs with a good eye for business trends. With hundreds of members spread across North America, the results of the survey should represent a fairly accurate cross section of investment opinions from some of the most sophisticated millionaires and billionaires in the world. So what have the wealthy been doing during the last year? For the most part they have decreased their exposure to real estate and increased investments in private businesses. 🙂

Below we can compare the Tiger 21 survey results from the first quarter of last year with the same quarter this year.

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Feb 182016

Expensive Diamond Sells for Record Price

In 2014 Hong Kong real estate mogul Joseph Lau bought his daughter, Zoe, a rare 10 carat blue diamond for $32.6 million! But when his other daughter, Josephine, found out she understandably became jealous and asked him for an expensive diamond too. He couldn’t help but feel guilty and obliged to buy her something special as well. But Zoe’s diamond is one of a kind. So he planned to buy Josephine an even bigger and more expensive diamond.

In late 2015 at a Sotheby’s auction, Mr. Lau was the top bidder on an insanely rare 12 carat “blue moon” diamond. He paid in Swiss francs equivalent to US $48.4 million, which set a new record for the world’s most expensive diamond ever sold! And he bought it for his little princess. Maybe it’s just me but I think somebody is trying a little too hard to win the world’s greatest dad award. 😛


Some people are not convinced that spoiling his daughter with a fancy vivid blue diamond ring is the best parenting move he could have made, especially considering that Josephine is only 7 years old. 😀 But next to sound judgment, diamonds are the rarest things in the world, at least according to De Beers. 😛 Since Mr. Lau has an estimated net worth of $10 billion, I can’t blame him for wanting to splurge on his family once in awhile.

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Nov 262015

Discreet Success

What I appreciate the most about investing is the option to be inconspicuous about it. ? If someone buys a detached house in an affluent neighborhood like Lawrence Park for $5 million, then people will know he’s rich. There is no way to hide his wealth from his close friends or his employer. If he drives to work in a comfortable Aston Martin One-77 then his coworkers will find out about his affluence. But when it comes to his financial holdings, nobody has to find out what, or how much he has. 🙂 This usage of stealth wealth is how most millionaires are able to blend into society.



Keeping our wealth a secret allows us to enjoy work, travel, play, and financial security without attracting unwanted attention to ourselves. We can’t hide our success if we’re famous, but we can hide our financial position if we’re rich. 😉 Driving an older model vehicle is an excellent way to disguise wealth. It allows us to spend like poor people while we continue to grow our income and wealth like rich people without any distractions.  Continue reading »

Oct 162015


The annual world’s wealth report by Credit Suisse financial group was recently released. For the first time in history, the top 1% of the world’s richest now owns 50% of all the wealth. And I bet they’re working hard to get the rest, lol. 😀 Here are some of the highlights I found interesting from the report. Wealth is defined as the value of net assets including property and stock market investments. Everything is in $US unless otherwise specified.

At a Glance

  • In total, global households have $250 trillion (an amount equal to 100 times JP Morgan’s assets.)
  • There are 34 million millionaires in the world. They make up 0.7% of the world’s adult population.
  • Wealth inequality was actually falling before the financial crisis but has increased every year since 2008. Median wealth has stagnated in the U.S. while the country created 903 new millionaires between 2014 and 2015.
  • 71% of the world’s population (3.4 billion adults) have less than $10,000.
  • Global wealth could reach $345 trillion by mid-2020, 38% above its mid-2015 level.


The Upper Class

  • There are 123,800 people in the world with a net worth exceeding $50 million. Of these, 44,900 are worth at least $100 million, and 4,500 have assets above $500 million. 😯
  • There are 984,000 millionaires in Canada.
  • Canada has a disproportionate number of millionaires as Canadians represent 0.6% of the global population but make up 3% of the world’s 1% wealthiest.
  • Having $68,800 would secure you a place in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest.
  • The top 1% have at least $759,900.
  • Millionaires from just about every country saw their collective wealth decline last year, but the main factor was the rise of the U.S. dollar, which made wealth denominated in other currencies look comparatively smaller.

Here’s the full press release from Credit Suisse.

This year’s report focuses on the middle classes, as defined by personal wealth rather than profession. It says 14% of adults worldwide are middle class, with $50,000 to $500,000 of assets. From 2008 onwards, wealth growth has not allowed the middle-class to keep pace with population growth. Furthermore, the distribution of wealth gains has shifted in favor of those at higher wealth levels. So if you want to benefit from this trend, or at least make your financial life easier, simply get your net worth above the middle-class range. 🙂

Random Useless Fact:

Mosquito bite? Press a hot spoon onto the spot. The heat will destroy the protein that caused the reaction and the itching will stop.