Are you one of the 1% of the World’s top earners who thinks they’re not rich at all?

How much money do you need to join the super-rich? A lot more than you might think.

The current hot topic for those who would like to see more equality, i.e. 99% of Planet Earth, is that the remaining 1% are forecast to own 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.

To be in that 1% you need assets as well as cash worth a $1m dollars (c£660k). But it’s not such a fine life for the rich as one can be led to believe and certainly if you want to live in London’s Chelsea.

Very expensive Chelsea garage

THIS CHELSEA GARAGE WAS SOLD RECENTLY FOR £550,000 ($720,000)

So it’s not surprising that if you’re a just a $ millionaire you are not one of the super-rich. You need to be worth between £33m-£66m ($50m-$100m).

Catherine Tillotson, joint managing partner of Scorpio Partnership, a London-based firm which advises the super-rich, says while $50m is the starting point for serious wealth, “in reality your spending power and investing power really gets to the next level when you get to around $100m”. Ms Tillotson also opines there is a reason for this dividing line between the wealthy elite and the rest of us.

“This is the point at which families will start to think about employing people purely to help them manage their financial affairs,” she says. So if you aren’t banging on the door of Scorpio Partnerships then you really will need to queue for buses, shop at Lidl (UK’s Walmart) and doff your cap to your betters.

And of course this isn’t just a UK phenomenon, on average the richest have incomes nine-and-a half times greater than the poorest. The actual figures vary widely across the 34 OECD’s member states.

How much more do the top 10% earn than the bottom 10%?

  • Denmark: 5.3 times more
  • Norway: 6.1 times more
  • Netherlands : 6.6 times more
  • France: 7.4 times more
  • Ireland: 7.7 times more
  • UK: 9.6 times more
  • Italy: 10.2 times more
  • Greece: 12.6 times more*
  • Spain: 13.8 times more
  • USA: 16.5 times more
  • Chile: 26.5 times more
  • Mexico: 30.5 times more

Source: OECD

 * I wonder how much tax this lot pays?

And it is not just the super-rich that are doing well – those whose business is dealing with super-rich customers are profiting too.

Alex Cheatle is chief executive of Ten Group, a lifestyle concierge service that can helps its clients get that exclusive restaurant table, sell-out theatre ticket – or finds that vintage sports car in a particular colour. He says “Business is booming for us, we’ve grown every year since 2008 – growing at an average rate of 25-30% a year.”

When you consider how much the super-rich spend, that growth is perhaps not surprising. Over the course of a year, it’s reckoned the world’s top 1% spend a staggering £30bn ($45bn) on travel and hospitality, £26bn ($40bn) on cars, and £16bn ($25bn) each on art, jewellery and watches.

Or course, the ultimate statement of wealth is to have your own super-yacht.

Super yacht

A WATER PARK FOR THE SUPER RICH

Superyacht sales according to Boat International:

2014 412 superyachts sold $3.7bn (£2.4bn)
2013 355 superyachts sold $3.0bn (£2bn)
2012 270 superyachts sold $2.5bn (£1.6bn)
2011 262 superyachts sold $2.8bn (£1.8bn)
Source: Boat International

Of course the big question is: How do the Super Rich justify this enormous wealth and what benefits accrue to the less fortunate? According to the Institute of Mediocre Management  it’s not for sharing with the lower orders who should know their place. After all the Super Rich are the Masters of the Masters of the Universe.

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