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Quick Thought Of The Week: Crazy

It was only meant to be a low-budget romcom. It was not meant to be a blockbuster.

But “Crazy Rich Asians” has turned into more than just a love story about the scion of a billion Singaporean property developer and a well-educated but considerably less well-off American-born Chinese girl.

It has raised some interesting questions about the unfair distribution of wealth in Asia and why there are many so many rich people in Asia.

According to Capgemini, there were fewer people with investable assets of more than $1 million in Asia Pacific than either Europe or North America in 2008. But over the last decade, their numbers have grown….

…. There are now 6.2 million of them, compared to 5.7 million in North America and 4.8 million in Europe.

The number of super rich individuals has increased too. America is reckoned to have 585 billionaires, compared to 373 in mainland China. However, the number of billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region – some 600 in total – has already surpassed that of America.

We can point to all sorts of things for the increase in the number of wealthy people. For instance, many economies in Asia Pacific are growing faster than in the west.

What about lower tax rates? That certainly helps.

A lower tax rate means that we get to keep more of our income every month. Let’s not also forget that many individuals in Asia are exempt from capital gains taxes and inheritance tax too.

So, individuals can pass on their wealth to the next generation, without fear of the taxman robbing their graves.

But probably the biggest driver of wealth has been economic growth in the region.

That is something that we can all take advantage of. Some of us already are doing so, through faster wage growth and improved job opportunities. But there is another way….

…. We can tap into the success of growing companies by investing in their future earnings. The stock market is fertile hunting ground for those wonderful companies.

Building a portfolio of success companies is a good way to grow, not only our wealth but the wealth of the next generation too.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.