Healthy gains on stock markets across the world in 2012 helped boost peoples' finances by over 8 percent, according to a report which investigates individual wealth across more than 50 countries.
Allianz's Global Wealth Report found that last year, people held a total of 111 trillion euros ($150 trillion) of financial assets, which include bank deposits, investments and pensions – a record high.
This marked an 8.1 percent increase on 2011, and was driven by gains on global stock markets, despite a number of global concerns including the ongoing euro zone crisis, the U.S. fiscal cliff and fears of a China slowdown.
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Over 2012, the Dow jumped 7.26 percent, the S&P 500 bounced 13.41 percent, and the Nasdaq advanced 15.91 percent. Europe's FTSEEurofirst 300 Index ended the year 12 percent higher, while in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both jumped nearly 23 percent,
Allianz found that, as such, assets held in securities swelled by 10.4 percent across the year - the best result since the financial crisis took hold in 2008.
"Booming stock markets allowed North America, and even crisis-ridden western Europe, to achieve commendable growth in 2012, at 8.3 percent and 5.3 percent respectively," the Allianz analysts, led by chief economist Michael Heise, wrote in the report, which was published on Tuesday.
Asia witnessed the fastest rate of growth in total financial assets, they said, at almost 16 percent. The region was followed by Oceania (which includes Australia and the islands of the central and south Pacific), Latin America and eastern Europe, all of which also reported growth running into the double digits.
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