Nearly half of wealthy Chinese are planning to move to another country within the next five years, according to a new Barclays survey.
The survey, which questioned more than 2,000 high net-worth individuals with more than $1.5 million in total net worth, found that 47% of Chinese respondents said they want to move, compared with a global average of 29%.
Singaporeans were the second-most eager to flee home, with 23% planning to relocate in five years, followed by 20% for the U.K. and 16% for Hong Kong. Indian and American rich are the least likely to move, with only 5% and 6% of respondents saying they would relocate.
The top reasons Chinese cite for moving abroad are better educational and employment opportunities for children (78%), economic security and desirable climate (73%), and better health care and social services (18%). Hong Kong is their top destination (30%), followed by Canada (23%).
But for all this money drain, China is also on the receiving end: It’s a top destination for Singapore’s high net-worth individuals, with 30% saying they want to move to the Middle Kingdom.
Around the world, a growing proportion of high-net-worth individuals are earning their wealth through entrepreneurship. They have bigger risk appetites than those who inherit money and are more willing to move to find the most promising business opportunities.
Asia, set to become the largest regional market by number of millionaires by the end of 2014 according to Barclays, has created a new generation of wealthy individuals keen to educate themselves and their offspring overseas.
Greater mobility also has made it more likely for wealthy individuals to donate globally. Earlier this month, the family of Gerald Chan, a Harvard-educated, Hong Kong-based investor, donated $350 million to the university‘s School of Public Health, the largest gift in the 378-year history of the university.
Yet when it comes to investments, the home bias is still there.
“Diversification is happening at a slow pace, there is still a bias of investments towards their home markets,” said Didier von Daeniken, head of wealth management for Asia, Middle East and Africa at Barclays.
Home bias is also strong when it comes to retirement. The vast majority of respondents to the survey who have lived in multiple countries during their life retire in the country where they were born. While economic success is a big driver for high-net-worth individuals during most of their lives, emotions and psychology rule in later stages of life, the report says.
[by Wei Gu, writing for The Wall Street Journal]
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