Money can make a lot of ills better, but cash in the bank cannot stop millionaires worrying about their wealth.
The world’s richest families have concerns about political instability, corruption and how technology will impact business, among other things, says research by Swiss banking giant UBS.
Around 82% of millionaires worldwide consider now as an unpredictable period and are concerned about how changes may affect their fortunes.
For 70%, political uncertainty injected by the election of President Donald Trump in the US and a changing of the guard in Europe as Britain and Germany all have important polls that could see leaders change and Emmanuel Macron has won the presidency in France.
“At the same time, a series of powerful long-term trends continues, including climate change, a rising tide of populism, the development of artificial intelligence and robotics. Each has the potential to cause significant disruption and uncertainty,” said the UBS report.
Worries about wealth
The research also found millionaires faced regional concerns that were different to the rich living elsewhere.
In Mexico, 90% of millionaires voiced worries about corruption, whereas Brexit is a perceived risk for 82% in Europe, trade barriers affected 84% in Singapore and 79% were concerned about the aging population in Japan.
Despite their fears, just over half of millionaires expected to make more money in the coming year and just 13% predict their fortunes will worsen.
Most (85%) had confidence in finding safe investments, by keeping cash or investing in markets they knew. A similar number view property as one of the best investments, while a third have half their wealth tied in property.
Younger investors explained they were not too concerned by political changes as they considered governments only dealt in the short term.
Nick Tucker, head of UK domestic at UBS Wealth Management, said: “After a year of Brexit, high-profile shocks and global tensions, most believe we live in a very unpredictable age. Political, economic, societal and financial risks are all prominent in people’s minds.
“In response, people reacting to each event as uncertainty grows. Investing on your own doorstep can be tempting in this climate. Holding onto cash can feel safer, even as it erodes your wealth in real terms. Although confidence remains high, neither approach is likely to work well in the long term.”