In case you were wondering, one must have a net worth of more than $30 million to qualify as “ultra high net worth” (UHNW). As of December 2014, there were 211,275 people in the world who fit this profile. Although they comprise a mere 0.004 percent of the world’s population, these individuals represent a whopping 12.8 percent of the world’s share of wealth, or $29.7 trillion.
Many of them own superyachts, and according to the Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report, that trend shows no signs of abating. Clearly, the very well-to-do enjoy their opulent isolation on the open seas.
The report, sponsored by UBS, sheds further light on the level of impact this fraction of the world’s population has on various sectors of lifestyle spending. UHNW individuals own a 22.5 percent world market share when it comes to travel, 28.1 percent in housing, and 37.9 percent of the art. Those numbers pale in comparison to the 88 percent market share the UHNW control in yachting.
In summer (Q3) 2014, CSQ examined the benefits of flying private for business – speed, efficiency, ability to meet in groups and work alone mid flight, and finally, privacy. The same “pros” can be applied to the investment in a yacht, albeit at a more leisurely pace.
According the report, the reason for such dominance in the market comes down to privacy. As Wealth-X reports, “UHNW individuals with private jets use their aircraft not only for leisure, but also for business purposes. On the other hand, while yachts, and particularly superyachts, are usually a non-necessity, many UHNW individuals lead very public lives, and the privacy of a family holiday on a yacht is a very special treat.”
According to BOAT International, superyacht sales have risen nearly 46% in the past four years. In 2014, there were 382 superyachts sold, the most expensive at a price of $186 million. So clearly, the market is riding the high tide of oceanic opulence.
Top 5 Most Expensive Superyachts in the World
Eclipse – $1B
BUILDER Blohm + Voss
OWNER Roman Abramovich
LENGTH 536 ft.
ABUNDANT ADDITION Two helipads
Azzam – $600m
OWNER Khalifa Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
LENGTH 590 ft.
ABUNDANT ADDITION Bulletproof master suite, missile define system
Topaz – $520m
OWNER Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
LENGTH 482 ft.
ABUNDANT ADDITION Yacht deck features two swimming pools and a hot tub
A – $390m
BUILDER Blohm + Voss
OWNER Andrey Melnichenko
LENGTH 390 ft.
ABUNDANT ADDITION Interior furniture prominently features Baccarat crystal
Serene – $330m
OWNER Yuri Scheffler
LENGTH 439 ft.
ABUNDANT ADDITION Fully equipped health spa and beach club