The superyacht state of the nation

State of Wealth

NOTE: The below originally appeared as the editorial in our April 7 Superyacht Investor Insight newsletter. To find out more, and sign up for free, please fill out the form to the right.


This week saw the launch of the State of Wealth, Luxury and Yachting survey – from renowned marketing consultant Wealth-X and superyacht sales and charter company Camper & Nicholsons – addressing the lifestyles of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI). It made for interesting reading.

Wealth-X analysed data from 211,275 of the world’s top-tier individuals. You don’t get to enter the club unless you were defined as defined as someone with a minimum net worth of $30 million.

The most important section, in my mind, was tucked away on right at the bottom of page 19, in a blink and you’ll miss it spot. The revelation is actually a correlation, and that correlation refers to the location of the owners of superyachts versus the location of these illusive UHNWIs.

While the amount of American superyacht owners directly correlates to the amount of UHNWIs, a third of the world’s numbers at 33%, when you reach second place the shift begins to happen. While the second spot in superyacht ownership, as stated before, held by the UK (11%), the second place in the UHNWI poll is held by Germany (9%). In third place Italy hold the yacht position (5%) while Japan has the third most financially successful individuals (7%). In fourth place Australians own the most superyachts (4%) while the UK holds the position for all UHNWIs (5%). Finally, in fifth place Russia owns the most superyachts (3%) while China has 5% of the richest of the rich.

It proves that we simply can’t take for granted that where the ultra-rich are located will be rich pickings for superyacht brokerage, and that (in the case of China, where more billionaires are bound to emerge) that if you don’t have some sort of presence in the territory you will be – for want of a better phrase – dead in the water.

But the survey opens up a wider issue and that is, even if you locate the territory you have to locate the need. Brokering superyachts is not something that can be measured by a slide rule. Just because there are high earners in a territory does not mean they will automatically want a superyacht. It takes the desire to want a superyacht and this is as much to do with conditioning and desire than anything else – has your potential client got that superyacht sized hole in their life, and can you convert that desire into a sale?

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