The 1% Club: What It Takes To Be Rich In The Lucky Country
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The 1% Club: What It Takes To Be Rich In The Lucky Country

The definition of a high net worth individual in Australia has shifted

By Nina Hendy
Wed, Nov 1, 2023 10:32amGrey Clock 4 min

The pathway to growing wealth in Australia is changing, with new research revealing that the amount of money you need behind you to be in the top one percent of wealthiest people in Australia has doubled over the past two years.

While many households across the country are battling the rising cost of living pressures, it has been revealed that 2.2 million Australians have amassed at least $8 million in money and assets, up from $4 million in 2021. This status places them in the list of the nation’s High Net Wealth Individuals.

The data, revealed in this year’s Knight Frank’s Wealth Report, gives anyone interested in wealth fascinating insights into just how much money it takes to reach the one percent threshold across the world. The report reveals that Australia now ranks as third for the money required to be in the top one percent, up from seventh in 2021,

sitting behind Monaco in top place and then Switzerland.

In Monaco, it takes $18.1 million to be considered rich, but bear in mind that the nation has long been considered a tax haven, with residents avoiding income and capital gains taxes.

Finance experts are adamant that the fundamentals that help you get rich haven’t changed — the wealthy purchase property, pay down their debt, stick to a budget and utilise the tax offsets that exist within the nation’s superannuation system to build their wealth.

Sounds simple enough, but amid a cost of living crisis, it’s not quite so straightforward.

The power of money

Rachael Evans entered the realm of HNWIs a few years ago, admitting that she takes a structured approach to building and managing her wealth.

Money isn’t just a functional, tangible thing. There’s energy associated with it, she says.

“The first thing that you have to get your head around is that money wants structure, so if you don’t have rules that govern your money, it will not stay with you, no matter how much you earn,” she says.

The CEO of four-day work week consultancy, 4 Days 4 All, and business coach always pays herself first as the owner of her business, and then allocates what’s left over back to the business.

“Most business owners do it the other way around, which leaves owners with a very small portion left over, if anything,” Evans says.

Evans and her husband aim to be debt free by the time they reach 55 years of age, and have reverse engineered their finances based on that to allocate what’s needed to pay off her investment properties.

She has a team of experts

< to help her achieve that goal. “What’s changed over the past five years is the value that I place on the people we hire to advise us, such

as our property adviser, financial adviser and our accountant. There’s far too many financial advisers out there advising others on how to handle their money based on theory because they don’t actually have any skin in the game.”

Investing in herself is also critical, so she sets aside up to 10 percent
of her annual revenue in business- related coaching for herself and her team.

Millionaire status

Melbourne businessman Ryan Watson has reached the HNW status. The founder of financial advice firm Tribeca Financial admits that it dawned on him that he had reached a financial milestone that he considered to place him among other wealthy Australians about four years ago. He’s since stepped down to working four days a week and likes to spend his money on buying experiences, like travelling with family when he can.

The business has nearly 1,000 clients and has an annual turnover in excess of $5 million. Being in a position to build the financial literacy of his clients spurs him on.

“I have been able to build my personal wealth from receiving a small inheritance in 2002 to today where I’m now worth 8 figures,” he says.

A key plank in wealth-building has been his focus on diversifying his investments. He’s also not risk averse, buying shares in lithium companies nine years ago.

“It’s certainly not been an overnight success, the shares have gone up and down over the years, but with the advent of electric cars, they make a lot of sense at the moment,” Watson says.

The forced discipline of structuring his finances so that he’s always paying something off also appeals to him. Right now, he and his wife pour a minimum off 33 per cent of their income into paying off their principal residence.

“The responsibility and commitment of paying back debt works well for us,” he says.

Rich getting richer

The mega-rich are also getting richer. People with a net worth of more than $43.8 million is a category of wealth expected to grow by 40.9 percent over the next five years from 17,456 in 2022 to 24,589 in 2027. That’s almost 3,000 additional UHNWIs than the 31.1 percent growth over the past five years.

A large contributor to the top one percent wealth doubling in Australia over the past two years has been prime residential property performance recording an upward trajectory, resilient despite the rising cost of finance, with half of this cohort tending to be cash buyers.

“The level of wealth required to reach the wealthiest one percent varies extensively, depending on where you live in the world, but it has risen across the board … reflecting the growth in wealth portfolios over the past two years, despite the dip in 2022,” Knight Frank’s head of residential research Australia, Michelle Ciesielski says.

“We can’t underestimate how much the pandemic brought forward decision making, rebalancing of portfolios and re- evaluating how much time is spent in Australia going forward, given many spent longer periods of time grounded at home than they had over the past decade,” she says.

“On average, the UHNWI population in Australia owns 2.9 homes, or equivalent to 36 per cent of their total wealth is in primary and secondary homes.

“For their investible wealth, 94 percent of their portfolios tend to be held in Australia, 34 percent is in some form of commercial property ownership, while 21 per cent is in equities.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

By Rachel Feintzeig
Mon, Jul 22, 2024 4 min

Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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