5 Things You Need To Know About China's Super-Rich In 2014

China luxury wealthy louis vuittonREUTERS/ Carlos BarriaA woman shops in a Louis Vuitton store during Vogue’s 4th Fashion’s Night Out: Shopping Night with Celebrities in downtown Shanghai, September 7, 2012.

The Hurun Report released its annual survey of China’s ultra-wealthy last week, and in addition to providing information about their luxury shopping preferences and travel destinations, the report questioned these high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) on a host of other details about their lives.

Here are five key findings to know from the report:

They want to send their children to UK boarding schools and U.S. colleges.

Many Chinese HNWIs still plan to send their kids out of the country for school, and the United States is still a top choice for college. While 36 per cent picked the United States as their main selection for their children’s university education, 28.7 per cent said that the UK is the best choice for pre-university education. The kids getting shipped off to British boarding schools tend to be the richest: the average age among millionaires to send their kids abroad for school is 18, but for the super-rich, it’s 16.

More than half of them want to emigrate.

Partially related to the previous point, the number of Chinese HNWIs who want to emigrate rose from 60 per cent last year to 64 per cent in this year’s survey. This was “driven mainly by the number of super-rich who have already emigrated,” it says. One reason they want to do so is greater ease in getting their children a foreign education, which includes both private high school and college. Like their top destination for their children’s schooling, the United States remains the top emigration destination, followed by Europe and Canada. The full chart is to the left.

They’re becoming more confident in China’s economy.

Although more than half want to emigrate, a growing number of China’s HNWIs think the economy is getting better. The survey found that the number of Chinese millionaires with an optimistic outlook rose for the first time in five years. It’s still pretty low: only three out of 10 say that they feel “extremely confident” about the future of the Chinese economy, but the number is up from last year’s 25 per cent. In addition, the number of wealthy who are “not confident” in the economy dropped from 10 per cent last year to only 3.3 per cent this year.

They care more about their health.

The emphasis on health by China’s wealthy has grown rapidly in the last five years, according to the report. The percentage of those who do not smoke has risen to 61 per cent, up from 40 per cent five years ago. Their favourite sporting activities are swimming and golf, followed by jogging. The number who do not drink has increased by 12 per cent to 40 per cent this year. According to the survey, they also like going to the spa, and especially enjoy foot massages.

Their collection choices are changing.

A shaky stock market means that China’s wealthy prefer to collect hard assets. Real estate is still the most important investment, and in 2013, “the super-rich shunned equities and invested more heavily in art and alternative investments.” Traditional Chinese ink paintings were the most popular collection item, causing watches to lose their status as the top choice for the first time in five years.

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