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Latin America Gets Richer

The number of millionaires is growing in Latin America. And like their billionaire counterpats, their fortune is also growing.


Producers of private jets, yachts, high-end automobiles and other luxury collectibles love Latin America. After all, thats the region where local millionaires spend most on these items compared to wealthy in other parts of the world, according to the latest World Wealth Report from CapGemini and Merrill Lynch.

"Private jets, yachts, high-end automobiles and other luxury collectibles again accounted for [high net worth individuals] largest investments of passion, with wealthy Latin Americans at the forefront of this trend," says the report, which was released last week.

Latin Americas wealthy also are among the most avid buyers of fine art.  While only 11 percent of North Americas wealthy spend their money on fine art, 21 percent of Latin Americas wealthy do so. That is also more than what their counterparts in Asia and the Middle East spend and only lags slightly behind Europe.


And the good news for luxury companies is that the number of wealthy individuals is growing in Latin America. There were 417,000 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the region last year, an increase of 12.4 percent from 2006. CapGemini and Merrill Lynch define a HNWI as an individual with more than $1 million in financial assets excluding collectibles, consumables, consumer durables and primary residences.  Even better, their combined fortune has grown by 20.4 percent to $6.2 trillion.

The reports data confirms the trend among Latin Americas wealthiest - the regions billionaires - which are also seeing a strong increase in their fortune, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of recent data from Forbes magazine.

Keywords: Eike Batista, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Carlos Slim


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