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.”


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Pantone has released its 2024 Colour of the Year — and it’s warm and fuzzy.

Peach Fuzz has been named as the colour to sum up the year ahead, chosen to imbue a sense of “kindness and tenderness, communicating a message of caring and sharing, community and collaboration” said vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, Laurie Pressman.

“A warm and cosy shade highlighting our desire for togetherness with others or for enjoying a moment of stillness and the feeling of sanctuary this creates, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz presents a fresh approach to a new softness,” she said.

Pantone Colour of the Year is often a reflection of world mood and events

The choice of a soft pastel will come as little surprise to those who follow the Pantone releases, which are often a reflection of world affairs and community mood. Typically, when economies are buoyant and international security is assured, colours tend to the bolder spectrum. Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Israeli-Gaza conflict and talk of recession in many countries, the choice of a softer, more reassuring colour is predictable. 

“At a time of turmoil in many aspects of our lives, our need for nurturing, empathy and compassion grows ever stronger as does our imaginings of a more peaceful future,” she said. “We are reminded that a vital part of living a full life is having the good health, stamina, and strength to enjoy it.”

The colour also reflects a desire to turn inward and exercise self care in an increasingly frenetic world.

“As we navigate the present and build toward a new world, we are reevaluating what is important,” she said. “Reframing how we want to live, we are expressing ourselves with greater intentionality and consideration. 

“Recalibrating our priorities to align with our internal values, we are focusing on health and wellbeing, both mental and physical, and cherishing what’s special — the warmth and comfort of spending time with friends and family, or simply taking a moment of time to ourselves.”

Each year since 2000, Pantone has released a colour of the year as a trendsetting tool for marketers and branding agents. It is widely taken up in the fashion and interior design industries, influencing collections across the spectrum. 


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