High net worth individual
A high net worth individual is a person with large personal financial holdings. High net worth is used to describe financial assets, discounting real-estate. There is another category called ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs), who have financial assets in excess of US$30 million. Globally there are estimated to comprise approximately 1% of the total high net worth population.
Why should I be aware of this?
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With levels of wealth speedily going up, the term net worth individual is gradually losing the prestige once associated this. In some business sectors it is not uncommon for the average employee to be propelled to high net worth status by their yearly income.
The high net worth individual has also been far surpassed by a sizeable section of people reaching the levels of "super millionaire" or "billionaire". These sections have created new tiers of luxury exist that are inaccessible to those high net worth individuals having only a few million dollars at their disposal.
HNWIs are in high demand by private wealth managers. The more money a person has, the more work it takes to maintain and preserve those assets. These individuals generally demand (and can justify) personalized services in investment management, estate planning, tax planning, and other similar activities.
All about high net worth individual
The most commonly quoted figure for membership in the high net worth "club" is $1 million in liquid financial assets. An investor with less than $1 million but more than $100,000 is considered to be "affluent", or perhaps even "sub-HNWI". The upper end of HNWI is around $5 million, at which point the client is then referred to as "very HNWI". More than $50 million in wealth classifies a person as "ultra HNWI".
HNWIs are in high demand by private wealth managers. The more money a person has, the more work it takes to maintain and preserve those assets. These individuals generally demand (and can justify) personalized services in investment management, estate planning, tax planning, and so on.
Investments of passion
This group of individuals is characterized by a high level of investments of passion, such as art collections and intangible investments, like experiential travel, according to a Capgemini analysis.
During 2007 private jets, custom yachts, high-end automobiles and other luxury collectibles accounted for 16.2 percent of passion investments among HNWIs as a whole, followed closely by fine art at 15.9 percent. Jewelry held third place at 13.8 percent and luxury/experiential travel ranked fourth at 13.5 percent. 
The Report also found that even as financial market turmoil impacted the US, luxury goods makers, high-end services providers, and auction houses all found ready clients in the emerging markets of the world – most notably, China, India, Russia and the Middle East – thereby sustaining their own growth.
Ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI)
There is a higher category of individuals termed Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals, who have at least US$30 million in investable assets. The number of ultra high net worth individuals worldwide is estimated at about 95,000. 
- The Merrill Lynch Cap Gemini Asia Pacific Report for 2008 reveals that India’s HNWI (High Net Worth Individual) population grew by 23% which makes it the fastest growing globally. 
- Taxpayers at the top of the wealth or income scale make a significant economic contribution to society and account for a large part of total income tax. In Germany, for example, the top 0.1 % of taxpayers pay about 8% of total income tax and the top 5% of taxpayer pay about 40%.6 In the United States the same top 5% pay 60% of total income tax.7 The relative percentages in other OECD countries are likely to be of a similar magnitude. 
- According to the 10th Anniversary edition of the World Wealth Report released June by Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) and Capgemini, high net worth individuals are increasingly earning rather than inheriting their financial wealth. The Report found that while business ownership or the sale of a business is the primary source of wealth (37 percent) for the majority of the world’s HNWIs, income ranks second at 24 percent as the source of wealth, and inheritance rates third at 18 percent.
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