Unexpected truths you probably didn't realize about the richest people in the world

The world's richest people are an impressive bunch. They think, act, and work differently than the rest of us.

Wealth-X, a market research firm, defines the world's richest as those with $30 million or more in assets, also known as ultra-high net worth (UHNW). Their latest report gives us a peek into the makeup of this exclusive group.

In total, Wealth-X tracked 226,450 UHNW individuals with a combined wealth of $27 trillion.

The global UHNW population has $9.6 trillion in cash.

According to Wealth-X, the global UHNW population's asset portfolio is more than one-third cash — a total of $9.6 trillion.

The rest of their assets are parked in private holdings such as privately-owned companies (33%), stocks and other public holdings (25%), and real estate and other luxury assets, including yachts, planes, cars, art, and jewelry (6.6%).

Ultra wealthy women are younger, on average.

According to Wealth-X, the average age of the world's UHNW woman is 50, about 12 years younger than the global ultra wealthy population average.

Their average net worth is $110 million, and they command just 12% of global UHNW wealth. Just over half of women received all or some of their fortune from inheritance, compared to one-third of men.

Millennials account for 3.2% of the global UHNW population — and two-thirds are self-made.

Millennials — defined by Wealth-X as people born between 1980 and 1994 — make up 3.2% of the global UHNW population, which is about 7,200 individuals. Two-thirds of this group are self-made, including Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Harvard dropout became the youngest self-made billionaire in history at just 23 years old. Today he's worth an estimated $64.7 billion.

According to Wealth-X, UHNW millennials control a total of $334 billion; meaning Zuckerberg is responsible for nearly one-fifth of that wealth.

Only 15% of the global UHNW population graduated from an Ivy League.

Although it may set you on the right path, an Ivy League degree isn't the only ticket to wealth.
According to Wealth-X, 15% of the global UHNW population — nearly 35,000 individuals — graduated from one of the American Ivy League universities. Of the top 20 colleges that have produced the most ultra wealthy people, five are public schools.

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