The very rich saw their wealth fall by 10% in 2022 as their investment portfolios were hit by rising interest rates, the fallout from the war in Ukraine and inflation, but there is optimism for this year, according to a study by consultancy Knight Frank.

The total wealth of the “very rich” people—that is, those who have at least $30 million, including the value of their primary residence— decreased by 10% or $10.1 trillion, says this research released today.

“Over the past year, the Ukrainian crisis fueled the energy crisis in Europe and inflated already high inflation. As a result, 2022 has seen one of the sharpest rate rises in history,” commented Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s chief research officer.

Although four in 10 of the super-rich saw their wealth increase in 2022, “the overwhelming trend was negative,” which is “not surprising” given that interest rate hikes by many central banks to offset inflation are hitting the investment portfolios.

The biggest decline was in Europe where the big fortunes decreased by 17%. It is followed by Australasia (-11%), the Americas (-10%), Asia (-7%) and Africa (-5%).

Although there are still “significant risks to the global economy”, in 2023 “the market climate will change rapidly” thanks to the “very real opportunities emerging in the global real estate market”, Liam Bailey reckons.

According to the Knight Frank survey, seven in ten (69%) affluent investors expect their portfolio to grow this year.