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Thu 13 Oct 2016 07:34 PM

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Billionaires had a poor year in 2015

Transfers of assets within families, falling commodity prices and a stronger dollar helped reduce total billionaire wealth by $300 billion in 2015

Billionaires had a poor year in 2015
Warren Buffet (3) and Bill Gates (1), two of the worlds richest people

Billionaires
on average became poorer last year as their collective fortunes
shrank, even as Asia continued to crank out a new billionaire nearly
every three days, a study released on Thursday found.

Transfers
of assets within families, falling commodity prices and a stronger
dollar helped reduce total billionaire wealth by $300 billion in 2015
to $5.1 trillion.

That meant
the average billionaire - there were 1,397 of them, a net gain of 50
over 2014 - was worth only $3.7 billion, the survey of 14 big markets
by Swiss wealth manager UBS and advisory group PwC discovered.

"After
more than 20 years of unprecedented wealth creation, the Second
Gilded Age has stalled," the report found.

The United
States added only a net five billionaires as 41 joined and 36 dropped
out of the ranks of the ultra-rich. China alone, buoyed by its tech
sector, minted 80 new billionaires.

It
suggested Asia's newly rich could learn from their counterparts in
Europe, where old money is especially adept at passing wealth down
the generations. Germany and Switzerland had the greatest share of
such old wealth.

Two
decades of unparalleled fortune generation are about to make way for
the greatest wealth transfer in history, the study also found.

It
estimated that fewer than 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion - a
sum the size of India's economy - to their heirs in the next 20
years.