Which Countries Gained and Lost the Most Millionaires in 2020?
2020 was an unusual year for everyone, and even some of the world’s millionaires had a rough go. But just how much did COVID-19 impact the ultra-wealthy, and how many actually lost their millionaire status in 2020?
The answer to that varies, depending on the region. Here’s a look at which countries gained—and lost—the most millionaires last year.
The World’s Millionaires: Top Gainers and Losers
There was an unusual amount of movement both in and out of the millionaires club in 2020. For instance, the U.S. gained almost 2.3 million new millionaires, while Brazil’s millionaires club lost around 81,000 members compared to its 2019 numbers:
|Country||Net Change, 2019-2020||% Change, 2019-2020|
What are some possible reasons for this discrepancy?
One potential factor is the stock market falls that were triggered by COVID-19. But another likely reason is currency devaluation, which could have happened regardless—during the first half of 2020, Mexico’s currency depreciated by 18%, while Brazil’s dropped by 27%.
Big Loss for Some, Huge Gain for Others
Clearly, the COVID-19 impact has differed greatly across regions.
But geography isn’t the only factor at play—while certain sectors have proven to be pandemic proof, other industries have suffered greatly because of the virus.
For instance, the tech sector thrived last year, and a few key tech billionaires grew their net worth significantly in 2020 as a result. On the flipside, hospitality took a beating, with many restaurants facing permanent closures.
Ranked: The Performance of Restaurant Stocks on the NYSE
Restaurants are increasingly digitally driven, and this shift can be seen in the recent performance of the 18 restaurant stocks on the NYSE.
Restaurant Stocks on the NYSE
Restaurants, arguably more than other industries, have had to adjust swiftly to a new and unrecognizable landscape during the pandemic. And the level of preparedness towards adverse and unpredictable conditions reflects in the last 12 month (LTM) stock price performance of the 18 restaurant stocks on the NYSE.
The performance for this basket of stocks ranges from a high of 90% to a low of -21%. The companies that have rewarded shareholders are at the forefront of industry trends, doubling down on a digital ecosystem through concepts like membership programs, ghost kitchens, delivery, and mobile sales.
Winners and Losers
The vast division of stock price performance has a David and Goliath component to it in that the larger companies with deeper pockets have had the ability to invest in modern initiatives.
The top five performing stocks have an average market cap of $14 billion, while the bottom five possess an average of $630 million.
|Stock||Last 12 Month Performance||Market Cap ($M)|
|Brinker International, Inc.||90.85%||$3,120|
|Shake Shack, Inc.||88.63%||$4,970|
|Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.||70.19%||$40,580|
|Yum China Holdings, Inc.||37.53%||$25,090|
|Darden Restaurants, Inc.||28.26%||$17,900|
|Flanigan's Enterprises, Inc.||16.10%||$44|
|Yum! Brands, Inc.||6.18%||$31,060|
|Biglari Holdings Inc.||2.90%||$356|
|Cannae Holdings, Inc.||-1.87%||$3,420|
|Restaurant Brands International, Inc.||-2.81%||$27,580|
|J. Alexander's Holdings, Inc.||-6.12%||$131|
|Dine Brands Global, Inc||-9.25%||$1,330|
|Biglari holdings (Class A)||-10.20%||$363|
|Drive Shack Inc.||-11.82%||$238|
|Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc.||-21.23%||$1,100|
Digital Haves and Have Nots
The same types of initiatives appear to be paying off, especially for the biggest winners.
- Brinker International has exceeded expectations with its ghost kitchen virtual offering—It’s Just Wings. A ghost kitchen is a restaurant optimized strictly for delivery, with a no dine-in approach and a condensed menu, they are intended to achieve higher margins.
- Shake Shack saw 60% of shack sales go digital in Q3’20. Their digital footprint is expected to grow along with their target to open 50-60 new locations in 2021.
- Chipotle’s loyalty rewards member program reached 17 million members as of late. Furthermore, digital sales grew 177% year-over-year in their fourth quarter, and nearly 50% of revenues are now derived from digital orders.
Those in negative territory have not had the same good fortune. They tend to be sit-down establishments suffering from drastic falls in foot traffic.
Without a pre-existing digital presence to reach customers, sales run the risk of taking a nosedive. Hospitality workers are among those hardest hit by the pandemic, and a lack of demand for hospitality labor again points to the dire circumstances for some sit-down restaurants.
For the food industry, the fall in foot traffic is partially offset by the rise in food delivery. Pure play companies in the food delivery space like DoorDash and Grubhub have fared well. Grubhub reported 622,700 Daily Average Grubs (daily deliveries) in 2020, up from 492,300 from the year prior. And for Uber, growth in the delivery segment of their business has buoyed the decline in ride hailing.
With the vaccine rollouts in play, the restaurant stocks on the NYSE may get a much-needed boost. But pandemic or not, the digital trends in the restaurant space will continue to shape the industry after COVID-19 just as it has done prior.
Charted: Money Can Buy Happiness After All
We’ve heard that money can only buy happiness up to a certain point. But a new study suggests cut-off may be a lot higher than we thought.
In One Chart: Money Can Buy Happiness After All
What’s the relationship between money and happiness? Previous studies have indicated that, while money can in fact buy happiness, it plateaus at approximately $75,000/year.
However, new research suggests otherwise.
Using over a million real-time reports from a large U.S. sample group, a recent study found that happiness increases linearly with reported income (logarithmic), and continues to rise beyond the $80,000/year mark.
Below, we’ll provide more details on the research methodology, while touching on a few possible reasons why higher incomes may improve people’s happiness levels.
How is Happiness Measured?
Past research on happiness relative to income has relied on retrospective data, which leaves room for human memory errors. In contrast, this new study uses real-time, logged data from a mood tracking app, allowing for a more accurate representation of respondents’ experienced well-being.
Data was also collected by random prompts over a period of time, with dozens of entries logged for each single respondent. This provides a more well-rounded representation of a person’s overall well-being.
Two forms of well-being were measured in this study:
- Experienced well-being
A person’s mood and feeling throughout daily life.
- Evaluative well-being:
Someone’s perception of their life upon reflection.
Both forms of well-being increased with higher incomes, but evaluative well-being showed a more drastic split between the lower and higher income groups.
The Results (Measured in Standard Deviations from Mean)
|Annual Income||Well-Being (Experienced)||Well-Being (Evaluative)|
Why Does Money Buy Happiness?
The report warns that any theories behind why happiness increases with income are purely speculative. However, it does list a few possibilities:
- Increased comfort
As someone earns more, they may have the ability to purchase things that reduce suffering. This is particularly true when comparing low to moderate income groups—larger incomes below $80,000/year still showed a strong association with reduced negative feelings.
- More control
Control seems to be tied to respondents’ happiness levels. In fact, having a sense of control accounted for 74% of the association between income and well-being.
- Money matters
Not all respondents cared about money. But for those who did, it had a significant impact on their perceived well-being. In general, lower income earners were happier if they didn’t value money, while higher income earners were happier if they thought money mattered.
Whatever the cause may be, one thing is clear—Biggie Smalls was wrong. Looks like more money doesn’t necessarily mean more problems.
»Like this? Then you might enjoy this article, Which Countries are the Most (and Least) Happy?
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