A new report from Wealth-X, the global authority on wealth intelligence, offers fascinating insights into the lives of billionaires. Not only does it discuss the demographics of billionaires around the world, but it also talks about what they do throughout the year. Here are some of the top passions, interests, and hobbies that make up the billionaire lifestyle.
At the top of the list is philanthropy, which over half of billionaires list as one of their passions. Perhaps this is why so many have signed up to The Giving Pledge. And perhaps this is why so many attend the Davos World Economic Forum every year.
Not only does the annual Swiss shindig give them a chance to rub shoulders with global leaders – over a fifth of billionaires list ‘Politics’ as one of their top interests – but being in that part of the world at that time of year means they can indulge in another hobby: skiing, mentioned by over 7% of billionaires. (Also in Switzerland in January are the St Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and Cresta Run.)
Speaking of outdoor activities, almost 15% of billionaires list health and exercise as one of their passions. For some, this means active pursuits like hunting (9%) and fishing (8%). For others, it means enjoying things that are more laidback. And what’s more laidback than a round of golf, loved by 11% of the world’s rich?
Highlights on the social calendar tend to focus on the United States: the US Masters in April, the US Open in June, the US PGA Championships in July, and the Ryder Cup in September. But even bigger than golf is the billionaire love for boating, cited by almost 15%. Highlights in the year include the Yachts Miami Beach in February, the Singapore Yacht Show Singapore in April, the Henley Royal Regatta in June, and the Monaco Yacht Show in September.
Over 14% of the world’s billionaires list collectibles as one of their greatest passions. Around 8% go with watches and 8% list jewellery of all kinds. But let’s not forget about the 15% who have a love for automobiles.
If that hobby coincides with a love for sport, some suggested activities include the Grand Prix races around the world. Even better are the Concorso d’Eleganza, an elegant competition for classic and vintage cars, and Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance, which is the UK’s premier supercar event.(Photo: Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix)
Speaking of pretty things, it’s clear that billionaires love beautiful. Almost 29% list art as one of their top interests. Highlights on the annual calendar in this field include Art Stage (Singapore) in January, Art Basel (Hong Kong) in March, Frieze Masters (London) in October, and Art Basel (Miami) in December.
And for those who like art in the form of fashion and style, as a quarter of billionaires do? Fashion Week happens in the London, Milan, Paris and New York. France is also home to Bal des Débutantes, an annual event that raises money for charity while celebrating the French way of life.
Appreciation of the finer things in life is one of the reasons 12% of billionaires are passionate about cultural events. Those who love cinema enjoy the Sundance Film Festival in January, the Cannes Film Festival in May, and the Venice International Film Festival in August. But those who love opera are even more spoiled for choice.
The Vienna Opera Ball (Austria) takes place in February, the Glyndebourne Festival (UK) happens in May, the Bayreuther Wagner Festival (Germany) follows in July, the Beijing International Music Festival (China) comes in August, and the opening night of La Scala (Italy) is in December.
Last on our list is what billionaires love most after philanthropy: travel, a passion for over 30%. No doubt part of this relates to their desire to experience all of the abovementioned pursuits, as well as to feed their love for wine/spirits (16%) and dining (11%). But where do they go to experience the best of the best?
The world is full of unique luxury experiences for today’s discerning travellers. But one of the more exclusive for billionaires is to enjoy New Year Celebrations at St Barthélemy in the Caribbean, with its private parties in luxury villas and super yachts. Sounds like the perfect way to toast another year of financial success!
Learn more about the Billionaire Census.