What Is an Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individual (UHNWI)?

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An ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) is someone with a net worth of $30 million or more. Their net worth is made of investable and liquid assets.

Key Takeaways

  • An ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) is someone with a net worth of at least $30 million.
  • In 2021, there were more than 600,000 ultra-high-net-worth individuals worldwide.
  • Ultra-high-net-worth individuals have access to investments not available to the everyday retail investor.

How It Works Being an Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individual

“Ultra-high-net-worth individual” (UHNWI) is a term for a person with a net worth above $30 million. This may include a combination of many assets such as cash, stocks, bonds, investment funds, and other investable and liquid assets.

Ultra-high-net-worth individuals may be self-made through business or investments, or they may interhit their wealth from a family member.

Some firms track how many individuals there are with over $50 million in net worth. In 2021, there were more than 140,000 people in the U.S. with that net worth (or more), according to a report from financial services company Credit Suisse.


In 2021, the U.S. had 140,000 UHNWI with $50 million or more in assets. China came in second with 32,710, according to Credit Suisse.

Examples of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals

Because of the threshold to qualify as an ultra-high-net-worth individual, all well-known billionaires qualify. This includes Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Steve Ballmer, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, and Larry Page.

The list above is made up of individuals who earned their billionaire status by founding successful companies. Many of the world’s wealthiest families earned their billions from founding large, successful companies. Others join the list through successful investments.

Owning businesses and real estate are common threads among the ultra-wealthy. Some also achieve ultra-high-net-worth status through an investment strategy involving the stock market or early investments in growing companies.

According to data from global real estate consulting firm Knight Frank, there were 610,569 ultra-high-net-worth individuals worldwide in 2021. According to Forbes, these are some of the richest people in the world who are among the 600,000 UHNWIs.

 Individual Net Worth (October 2022) Source(s) of Wealth
Elon Musk $219 billion Tesla, Space X
Jeff Bezos $171 billion Amazon
Bernard Arnault & Family $158 billion LVMH
Bill Gates $129 billion Microsoft
Warren Buffett $118 billion Berkshire Hathaway
Larry Page $111 billion Google
Sergey Brin $107 billion Google
Larry Ellison $106 billion Oracle

Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individual vs. Average Person

United States Census Bureau data indicates that the average household has a net worth of $46,870, excluding home equity. That means ultra-high-net-worth individuals have at least 640 times more net worth than the average household.

The people with the top 0.1% of wealth in the U.S. have the majority of their assets in corporate equities and mutual fund shares, and private companies. The bottom 50% generate their wealth from real estate and consumer durable goods.

High-Net-Worth vs. Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals

While ultra-high-net-worth individuals have net worths of $30+ million, there are plenty of other individuals who qualify as wealthy. Many financial institutions consider anyone with a net worth of $1 million or higher to be a high-net-worth individual.

Net Worth Category Minimum Net Worth
High-Net-Worth Individual $1 million
Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individual $30 million


Once someone has a net worth of $1 million, they’re considered high net worth. You need at least 30 times that to get the “ultra-high” addition.

Once someone has at least $1 million in investable assets, they can work with most investment advisors and investing services. However, a small slice of the elite investment world—notably hedge funds, private equity funds, and venture capital—may be reserved only for those who qualify as ultra-high-net-worth investors.

What It Means for Individual Investors

With a median net worth of around $47,000 (without home equity), the typical U.S. household can’t invest like ultra-high-net-worth investors. Investors with tens of millions of dollars have access to a suite of investments that most others can’t access.

For example, many investments and investment products considered risky by government regulators require you to be an accredited investor to participate. Accredited investors are individuals with at least $1 million in net worth, excluding their primary residence, or an annual income of at least $200,000 for at least two years. Some investment professionals may qualify as well.

Examples of investments for ultra-high-net-worth individuals that most households can’t utilize include hedge funds, pre-IPO investing in private companies, land, commercial real estate, and expensive artwork.

If you’re an investor who does not have a high net worth, you can work with a financial planner to put a strategy together for how you could potentially reach the status of a high-net-worth individual. Becoming an ultra-high-net-worth individual may be much harder to achieve if you’re starting out with a low net worth. Consider your options for investing, starting a business, saving, and more so that despite your net worth, you’re financially stable over the course of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much money do you need to be an ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI)?

According to typical banking and finance definitions, an ultra-high-net-worth individual has $30 million or more in investable and liquid assets. That includes cash, stocks, and other investment holdings.

How many ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) are there in the world?

In 2021, there were more than 600,00 ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI), an increase of 9.3% from 2020. The largest regions for these households are North America, Asia, and Europe.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Knight Frank. “The Wealth Report: Knight Frank Wealth Sizing Model Reveals Pandemic Impact.”

  2. Credit Suisse. “Why Wealth Matters. The Global Wealth Report.”

  3. Forbes. “World’s Billionaires List.”

  4. U.S. Census Bureau. “Wealth, Asset Ownership, & Debt of Households Detailed Tables: 2020.” Download “Wealth and Asset Ownership.”

  5. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “DFA: Distributional Financial Accounts.”

  6. Vanguard. “Investing With Vanguard Flagship Services.”

  7. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Accredited Investor.”

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