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Millionaires collective assets climb in 2009

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The rich are rich again. After plummeting by a record amount in 2008, the number of millionaires in the world recovered last year despite ongoing weakness in the global economy, according to a new survey.{{more}}

The number of high net worth individuals, those with assets of $1 million or more, surged by 17.1% in 2009 to 10 million, a survey by brokerage firm Merrill Lynch and consulting firm Capgemini showed. In 2008, the millionaire ranks plunged to 8.6 million worldwide from 10.1 million in 2007

“The last few years have been significant for wealthy investors,” said Sallie Krawcheck, president of global wealth and investment at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), parent of Merrill Lynch, in a statement. “While in 2008 global high net worth individuals showed an unprecedented decline, a year later we are already seeing distinct signs of recovery, and in some areas a complete return to 2007 levels of wealth and growth.”

Millionaires saw the value of their collective assets climb to $39 trillion, up 18.9% from $32.8 trillion in 2008, thanks to substantial growth in emerging markets, the survey showed.

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