Global median wealth actually rose 3% in 2022, as the uber-rich took losses on financial assets.
Credit: Abdullah Durmaz /iStockphoto / Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Last year, as interest rates rose and inflation stayed stubbornly high, total household wealth declined for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

That might sound like bad news, but the numbers tell a more optimistic story.

Here’s the deal: The grand total of all the private wealth in the world fell 2.4% to $454.4 trillion, according to the annual Credit Suisse and UBS global wealth report. Much of that was due to losses in stock and bond markets, which disproportionately affect wealthier people.

Meanwhile, global median wealth, a more meaningful indicator of how the typical person is faring, actually rose 3% in 2022.

In short, the average Joe got a bit of a boost and a bunch of millionaires and billionaires took a bath — a phenomenon some refer to as a “rich-cession.”

(For the record: The report defines net worth or “wealth” as the value of a household’s financial assets and […]

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