High net worth assets grow to $1.4 trillion
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:30am

High net worth (HNW) investors now hold around $1.4 trillion in investable assets, almost as much as the entire superannuation system, according to new data from Investment Trends.

The report found the number of high net worth (HNW) investors in Australia rose by 30,000 in 2013, reaching a total of 400,000.

Investment trends classed investors as high net worth if they had more than $1 million of investable assets, excluding the family home, business and super, but including self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

Regarding the investment habits of HNW investors, 2013 saw a shift away from cash and term deposits towards listed shares, with 32% of assets in direct shares compared with 26% in 2012.

"We find HNW investors to be leading indicators for what the general investor population will do," Investment Trends senior analyst Uwe Helmes.

"While the general population continued to accumulate cash reserves in 2013, according to RBA figures, HNW investors were ahead of the curve with a quarter of them already in the process of re-investing their excess cash."

The rotation from defensive to higher risk assets included more interest in global equities, with half of all HNW investors having exposure to foreign markets, particularly in North America.

"However," Helmes added, "when you look at what proportion of total HNW assets is invested in overseas markets it is only 6 per cent on average - a sign of strong home bias even among HNW investors."

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