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Wealth in Australia: Sizing the Market Opportunity

Published By :

Verdict Financial

Published Date : May 2016

Category :

Wealth Management

No. of Pages : 41 Pages

Compared to previous years, the Australian wealth market expanded at a slightly lower (but still impressive) rate in 2015, with economic concerns having a negative effect on performance. Weak equity market conditions and economic growth are also expected to contribute to lower growth in 2016, before the market bounces back in the following years thanks to returning economic strength. Between 2015 and 2019 liquid assets held by affluent individuals are forecast to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5%, representing a sizable opportunity for wealth managers operating in the country. Yet there is notable regional disparity within Australia in terms of wealth distribution; while the east accounts for the majority of assets, growth is typically found in the capital state and the north.

Key Findings

  • At the end of 2015, of the approximately 17.9 million adults living in Australia, 26.1% (or 4.7 million) could be considered affluent. 
  • While expanding at a slightly slower pace than in previous years, wealth market growth in Australia still dwarfed other developed markets in 2015, and wealth held by affluent retail investors is forecast to record a CAGR of 8.8% between 2015 and 2019.
  • While Australia’s stock market struggled in 2015, generous dividend payouts and a friendly tax system have seen retail equity holdings growth outperform the local stock market index.
  • Australian HNW individuals are heavily exposed to property in their non-traditional investments, and despite a slight rise in interest rates for investors appetite for real estate is forecast to remain strong.


Verdict Financial’s “Wealth in Australia: Sizing the Market Opportunity” analyzes Australia’s wealth and retail savings and investments markets, with a focus on the HNW segment. The report is based on our proprietary datasets.

Specifically the report:

  • Sizes the affluent market (both by the number of individuals and value of their liquid assets) using our proprietary datasets.
  • Analyzes which asset classes are favored by Australia’s investors and how their preferences impact the growth of the total savings and investments market.
  • Examines HNW clients’ attitudes towards non-liquid investments, such as property and commodities.
  • Identifies key drivers and booking centers for offshore investments.

Reasons To Buy

  • Benchmark your share of Australia’s wealth market against the current market size. 
  • Forecast your future growth prospects using our projections for the market to 2019.
  • Identify your most promising client segment by analyzing the penetration of affluent individuals in Australia.
  • Evaluate your HNW proposition by understanding how the local tax system affects your HNW clients.
  • Review your offshore strategy by learning HNW motivations for offshore investments and their preferred booking centers.

Table of Contents


Australia’s wealth market continues to represent a sizable opportunity for wealth managers 
Key findings 
Critical success factors 

By 2019 affluent individuals will constitute 35% of Australia’s adult population 
Australia’s affluent population is forecast to record an AAGR of 9.3% between 2015 and 2019 
HNW individuals account for 1.1% of adults but hold 38.2% of liquid assets 
Affluent individuals hold 90% of Australian retail liquid assets 
Australia’s onshore wealth is concentrated in the populous states of the eastern seaboard, while growth is to be found in the west and north 

While still impressive, retail savings and investment market growth dropped in 2015 
Australia’s investment market is forecast to perform strongly despite weak economic conditions 
Australians’ love affair with equities is not expected to come to an end any time soon
Growing at above market rate, retail deposit holdings will remain the largest asset class 
Deposit growth will continue to outstrip GDP growth 
Economic concerns suppressed retail investment holdings growth in 2014, but this is expected to change 
Equities and mutual funds are most allied to the performance of the Australian stock market 
Mutual funds are less sensitive to stock market movements than equities 
There is a negative correlation between the ASX S&P All Ords and retail bond holdings 
Retail bond holdings growth will be sluggish despite efforts to spur the asset class 

An opportunity for Australian wealth managers, HNW individuals’ high allocation into superannuation should not be ignored 
HNW investors in Australia hold 14% of their wealth offshore 
Australian HNW investors prefer to invest their wealth at home 
An expectation of better returns is the primary driver for HNW offshore investment 
Tax efficiencies are also an important driver for offshore investments 
HNW offshore wealth is held not in one single location but spread around the globe 
Australia has signed numerous TIEAs in an effort to combat offshore tax evasion 

Abbreviations and acronyms 
Supplementary data 
Liquid assets 
Mass affluent 
Global Wealth Model methodology 
Global Retail Investments Analytics methodology 
Verdict Financial’s 2015 Global Wealth Managers Survey 
Further reading 
About Verdict Financial 

List of Table

Table 1: Australian income tax rates for residents 2015–16, applicable as of July 1, 2015 
Table 2: Stamp duty levied in New South Wales, Australia 
Table 3: Australia: adult population segmented by affluent category and asset band (000s), 2010?14 
Table 4: Australia: adult population segmented by affluent category and asset band (000s), 2015e?19f 
Table 5: Australia: total liquid wealth segmented by affluent category and asset band (A$bn), 2010–14 
Table 6: Australia: total liquid wealth segmented by affluent category and asset band (A$bn), 2015e–19f

List of Chart

Figure 1: 26% of the Australian population can be considered affluent
Figure 2: HNW individuals hold 38.2% of liquid assets in Australia
Figure 3: Eastern Australia accounts for the majority of affluent liquid assets
Figure 4: Australia's retail investments market is forecast to record a CAGR of 8.7% between 2015 and 2019
Figure 5: Deposits account for 55.7% of the Australian retail investment market
Figure 6: Retail deposit holdings will perform strongest over the forecast period
Figure 7: Deposit holdings growth is forecast to exceed GDP growth
Figure 8: The performance of the local stock market was weak in recent years
Figure 9:  Retail mutual fund and equity investments correlate strongly to the performance of the Australian stock market
Figure 10: Mutual funds are heavily invested in property and equity and little else
Figure 11: Retail bond holdings tend to move in the opposite direction of Australia's All Ords Index
Figure 12: HNW investors allocate 17% of their wealth into non-traditional investments
Figure 13: HNW individuals in Australia hold 14% of their assets offshore
Figure 14: Access to better investment options is the biggest motivation for offshore investment
Figure 15: Australian HNW investors prefer to invest in the US, the UK, and Singapore
Figure 16: The Australian government has signed 37 TIEAs over the past few years

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