Political instability, corruption and technological changes are combining to make this the most unpredictable period in world history for the globe’s richest people, according to 82% of millionaires surveyed by UBS.
Around seven in 10 said that political uncertainty is the biggest risk because governments have become unable to plan long-term as they are too busy fighting short-term dangers.
“At the same time, a series of powerful long-term trends continues, including climate change, a rising tide of populism, the development of artificial intelligence and robotics. Each has the potential to cause significant disruption and uncertainty,” UBS said in the report published on Wednesday.
UBS interviewed more than 2,800 millionaires in seven countries around the world (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland and the UK), asking what their major domestic concerns are.
Below is the map with the results:
Despite the growing risks, 51% expect their finances to improve in the next 12 months compared to 13% who expect them to deteriorate. More than half of those surveyed were optimistic “about achieving their long-term financial goals,” UBS said.
And here is the chart of optimism versus pessimism per country, with Italy the most pessimistic about future prospects:
One last point of interest is the long-term psychological effects of the 2008 financial crisis on wealthy individuals. As the chart below shows, the market turmoil has made younger millionaires much more risk averse than older high net worth individuals: