Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's that time of year ....

when people go absolutely butt-wild spending money for Christmas. I don't know if it's because of the time of year or because financial writers tend to focus on these type of things when they don't have Fed reports to talk about, but MSN Money reports that if you have $2,200 dollars in net worth you're in the top half of the world's wealthiest people.

The report quotes a global study of the wealth gap, with half the world's population, more than three billion people, living on less than two dollars a day. My Starbucks coffee costs that much!

And even relatively developed nations have low standards of wealth. In India, people have per capita assets of just $1,100! In Indonesia, capital amounts to $1,400 per person.

The type of assets owned varies from country to country, with Asian and developing nations favoring savings accounts and Western nations prefering stocks and other financial products.

The worlds total wealth is valuated at $125 trillion dollars. North America has only six percent of the world's population, but accounts for 34% of household wealth. The average wealth in the United States is $144,000 per person. In Japan it's $181,000. People in North America, Europe, and wealthier Asian-Pacific countries account for 90% percent of total wealth.

And the super rich? Guys like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu have more money than the 48 poorest countries combined.

Something to think about this Christmas.

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