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Rich are getting richer; over $6.5 trillion gain in wealth, FED reveals!

According to the Federal Reserve, the wealth of America’s wealthiest people or the prolific CEO’s;

 Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, increased by a total of $6.5 trillion last year, mainly driven by stock prices and financial markets!!

  • The total wealth of the 1% reached a record $45.9 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, said the FED’s latest report on household wealth.

Their fortunes increased by more than $12 trillion, or more than a third, during the course of the pandemic.

“The numbers are astounding,” said Wolff, professor of economics at New York University.

The top 1% owned a record 32.3% of the nation’s wealth as of the end of 2021, data show. The share of wealth held by the bottom 90% of Americans, has declined slightly since before the pandemic, from 30.5% to 30.2%.

The main drivers for the richest Americans last year were stocks and private businesses. About $4.3 trillion of the overall gains for the 1% last year came from corporate equities and mutual fund shares, Fed data shows.

*FED’s chart on wealth by wealth group

The stock portfolios of the top 1% are now worth $23 trillion, and they own a record 53.9% of individually held shares, according to the central bank.

A Gallup in 2021 found that 56% of Americans owned at least some stock  (slightly above the average of 55% in 2019 and 2020) but still down from the 62% high before the 2008 financial crisis.

Stock ownership is usually tilted toward the top of the wealth ranks, hence rising stock prices shift more money to richer Americans.

Since the wealthy can afford to save and invest a larger share of their added wealth

Private businesses have also been a powerful engine as, according to FED’s data

The 1% own 57% of private companies. The value of private businesses held by the wealthiest increased by 36%, or $2.2 trillion, last year.

The 1% have also benefited also from the rising real-estate values.

Their real-estate holdings increased by $1 trillion during the pandemic, to reach a new-high of $5.27 trillion

source: Forbes/FT/Bloomberg