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Business Briefing Canadians make up 3% of the 1%, but ‘dollar’ millionaires dwindle

‘Dollar millionaires’

Canadians account for 3 per cent of the world’s 1 per cent, but we’re losing “dollar millionaires” as the loonie erodes.

According to the latest annual Credit Suisse global wealth report, released this week, there are 1.5 million Canadians who rank among the top 1 per cent in terms of wealth.

The study highlights a drop in the number of Canadians in the 1 per cent, and those who are millionaires in U.S. dollar terms, but this comes, of course, amid a decline in the loonie.

In last year’s wealth report, Canada was home to 1.14 million people who could boast millionaire status, and 1.6 million who could say they ranked among the world’s 1 per cent.

This year’s report, though, shows just 984,000 millionaires, and 1.5 million 1-percenters, or those with at least $760,000 (U.S.) in assets.

Of course, you can still call yourself a millionaire if you don’t care about the “dollar” aspect of it all, and assuming you still have $1-million if you’re just counting loonies.

“This year the economy and the Canadian dollar have been hit by the falling price of oil and other commodities,” said the Credit Suisse report.

“Wealth has continued to grow in terms of Canadian dollars, but it has declined in U.S. dollars.”

The report shows wealth on the rise in Canadian currency, by an annual average of 4.5 per cent per adult since 2000, though that picked up to 5.8 per cent since 2010.

The report underscores the uneven distribution of wealth across the country, though the picture is better than it is in the United States.

And that, said Credit Suisse, accounts for the “much higher” median wealth of $74,800 in Canada, compared to America’s $49,800.

“Canada has both a smaller percentage of people with less than $10,000 and a larger percentage with wealth above $100,000,” it added.

And for the record, there are 14.3 million Canadians in the top 10 per cent.

Wal-Mart tumbles on outlook

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. tumbled today after the company warned its 2017 profit will sink by between 6 per cent and 12 per cent before recovering.

“Fiscal year 2017 will represent our heaviest investment period,” said chief financial officer Charles Holley.

“Operating income is expected to be impacted by approximately $1.5-billion from the second phase of our previously announced investments in wages and training as well as our commitment to further developing a seamless customer experience,” he added.

After the 2017 dip, he said, the company expects earnings per share to rise by 5 per cent to 10 per cent, from a year earlier, by 2019.

Home prices seen strong

A major Canadian real estate firm is warning about the “growing challenge” of affordability in Toronto and Vancouver.

Home prices across the country climbed 8 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, to $502,643, Royal LePage said in a report today.

The cost of a two-storey home rose 9.9 per cent to $615,304, that of a bungalow 6.8 per cent to $421,757, and the price of a condo 2.7 per cent to $338,945, according to the report.

But it’s really Toronto and Vancouver that are driving those numbers.

And, noted LePage chief executive officer Phil Soper, housing affordability in those two cities “is already becoming a growing challenge for many individuals and families.”

Stat of the day

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Percentage of Alberta entrepreneurs who told an ATB Financial survey they’re “very happy,” up from 13 per cent in February.

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