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Making sense of the markets this week: September 4

Consequently, where millionaires are deciding to take their cash is an informative real-life experiment that reveals which countries have the most attractive combination of legal stability, low tax rates and standards of living. However, wealthy people can generally enjoy a pretty high standard of living in most countries.

Take the above graphic and data in the Visual Capital article, and the sheer number of people migrating versus past years paints an interesting picture.

My bets to top the list: The United Arab Emirates and Singapore. The two countries offer playgrounds for the world’s elite, along with their low-to-no taxation. No surprise: Portugal and Greece make sense for those wanting to live the Mediterranean life, with their low cost of living, options for European Union residency and surprisingly attractive tax incentives for new residents. 

But I have to admit, I was surprised to see Canada on the list. It popped up in the eighth spot of countries to which HNWIs are immigrating. 

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are high-tax countries, relatively speaking. And I would have thought, if anything, we might have seen an outflow of HNWIs. A clue as to how these former British colonies ended up on the list might lay in how many HNWIs left China, India and Hong Kong. 

Those countries would be in a similar time zone to Australia and New Zealand, and are relatively close Pacific neighbours. Canada, in particular, would benefit from the Hong Kong exodus. After all, if you’ve owned a home in Hong Kong for more than a few years, you’re probably a HNWI on that asset alone!

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the data, though, is just how many wealthy individuals are leaving Russia and China. For these two countries that are quick to champion just how strong they are, their wealthiest residents appear to want some distance.

Kyle Prevost is a financial educator, author and speaker. When he’s not on a basketball court or in a boxing ring trying to recapture his youth, you can find him helping Canadians with their finances over at MillionDollarJourney.com and the Canadian Financial Summit.

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