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Period of 'extraordinary wealth generation' may soon decelerate: report

IN the second "Gilded Age" spanning just two decades, more than US$3.6 trillion from 917 self-made billionaires has been amassed globally, with most of these billionaires earning their first billion after they turn 40 years old.

That's according to a report co-written by UBS and PwC released on Tuesday, based on data covering more than 1,300 billionaires, and the 14 largest billionaire markets. These account for three-quarters of global billionaire wealth.

But amid the exuberance, the report suggests that this period of "extraordinary wealth generation" may soon decelerate.

"While this analysis is historical, our belief is that the conditions in which billionaires thrive are cyclical. The response to rising inequality, increasing taxes and asset price deflation may all play a part in slowing the current cycle," the report said.

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"At the same time, scientific innovations in fields such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and cyber security, as well as the growing needs of an ageing population, suggest that some new opportunities for aspiring billionaires will emerge."

Asia's billionaires make up 36 per cent of self-made billionaire wealth, now second only to the US. Over in the US, the technology sector produced the second-highest number of self-made billionaires in the last two decades.