How the richest 1% live

Global wealth has risen considerably over the last 10 years but this wealth is spread unevenly. The richest 1% have more than 46% of all global assets and the richest 10% have more than 86% of wealth. Here’s a neat youtube video which graphically illustrates this inequality.

So what do the 1% spend all they money on? Lots of things I am sure, but evidence of their ostentatious expenditure is very visible here in the Côte d’Azur and yesterday we had a look at some of their toys. In Port Vauban, Antibes, there is the IYCA (International Yacht Club of Antibes) which is home to the mega-yachts of the super-wealthy. Here are some photos:


How much does it cost to own a boat like this? Lots. You can search to see how much they sell for. The most expensive that I can find comes in at £119,523,252. Don’t have that kind of money? Well, you can charter them out for your friends and family by the week.  For this 88m yacht which sleeps 12 guests, you’re looking at £855,470 per week. Add to that fuel expenses, food and drink and tips for the crew (usually 10% of the total bill). Your crew will consist of a Captain, first mate, engineer, chef, and numerous deckhands and stewardesses. A superyacht like this can easily have 20 or more permanent staff living on board.

There’s something almost obscene about this kind of money. The people in possession of it do not have any special intelligence or creativity over and above the rest of us. And nor do they work harder than the average person as Gina Rinehart might have us believe. A large proportion of the yachts I photographed on the IYCA are owned by wealthy Russians and I can’t help but wonder whether their wealth was acquired honestly.