Wealth

Emile Wamsteker | AP
Picasso's Women of Algiers Version 'O' is up for auction at Christie's.

The big spring auctions are still more than six weeks away, but there are already signals that they could continue to fuel the art market’s dizzying climb. Among the new records that could be set is that of the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. Christie’s said Wednesday that Pablo Picasso’s 1950s masterpiece “Les …

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The number of Americans worth $30 million or more grew by 6 percent last year, with the Dakotas and Florida seeing the fastest growth, according to a new report. There are now 69,560 individuals in the U.S. worth $30 million or more—a group also known as ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI)—according to wealth research firm …

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Hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones said the growing gap between the rich and the rest could be “disastrous,” and that the drive for corporate profits has “ripped the humanity” from American companies. Speaking at a sold-out TED Talk in Canada this week, the co-chairman of Tudor Investment and a man Forbes says is worth …

Pat Sullivan | AP
In this Aug. 15, 2014 file photo, real estate heir Robert Durst leaves a Houston courtroom.

He’s been called a “real estate baron,” a “rich scion” and even a “billionaire.” Yet Robert Durst, the real estate heir who was arrested in New Orleans on murder charges, may be none of those things. While Durst is indeed wealthy, which no doubt has helped turn an old unsolved murder into a new media …

Melpomenem | Getty Images

Climbing stock markets and rising real estate values helped create nearly 500,000 new millionaires in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new report. The study, from market research and consulting firm Spectrem Group, found that there are now 10.1 million households in the U.S. with $1 million or more in investable assets, excluding the …

Mike Segar | Reuters
One57, a new luxury skyscraper apartment building on New York City's West 57th street.

Talk about a steal: The total property tax bill for a $100 million Manhattan penthouse apartment came to $17,268—a rate of just 0.017 percent— thanks to a controversial valuation loophole. The calculation, made by The New York Post using data from Revaluate.com, highlights the unusual methods the city employs when calculating real estate values for …

Source: Bonhams
Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta.

Among the cultured elite, art has been the most widely watched and talked about collectible in recent years. But it’s the good old automobile that has been a better investment. According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, classic cars were the top performing collectible investment in 2014, posting gains of 16 percent. That narrowly beat …

Janne Nousiainen | AFP | Getty Images
A file photo of a police action in Finland.

The next time you get a speeding ticket, be grateful you don’t live in Finland—and that you don’t make $7 million a year. Like many Nordic countries, Finland bases its speeding tickets only partly on the actual speed violation. Most of the fine is determined by the violator’s income. So when businessman Reima Kuisla got …

Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images
Chinese property tycoon Tian Ming shows one of his new New York developments at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

Money moves around the world faster than ever. And millionaires, it turns out, are becoming just as global. According to a new study from global real estate consultant Knight Frank with Fragomen, the immigration specialist for the wealthy, more millionaires than ever are looking for homes in other countries. Their overseas interests range from pied-a-terres …

Silvain Sonnet | Getty Images
Monaco Harbor on the French Riviera.

A million dollars isn’t what it used to be, especially in the world’s luxury real estate markets. According to a new survey from Knight-Frank, $1 million buys you only 17 square meters, or 183 square feet, in Monaco, the world’s most expensive real estate market as measured by average cost per square foot. Hong Kong …

Alexander Zemlianichenko | Reuters
Yuri Kovalchuk

A record 1,825 billionaires made the Forbes World’s Billionaires list. But more than 100 fell off the list—with the largest number from Russia. According to Forbes, 138 people lost their billionaire status in 2014. There were losers in the oil sector, with the decline in oil prices. There were losers from the slowdown in emerging …

Boat sales are back

As the economy improves, people are making discretionary purchases, giving the boat industry a lift.

Source: Sotheby’s
This extraordinary 100-carat perfect diamond in a classic emerald cut will be going up for auction by Sotheby’s on April 21.

An extremely rare 100-carat emerald cut diamond is heading to the auction block in April. Sotheby’s Auction House said it could fetch between $19 million and $25 million. The diamond’s current owner, who remains anonymous, spent over a year studying, cutting and polishing a rough 200-carat diamond to deliver the perfect stone. Read More Meet the …

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While politicians are focused on all the foreigners who want to become Americans, perhaps they should consider all the Americans who are becoming foreigners. According to the latest data from the Treasury Department, spotted by Andrew Mitchel at the International Tax Blog, a record 3,415 Americans renounced their citizenship in 2014. That was up from …

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images
Bill Gates, founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

America’s 50 top givers in 2014 donated $9.8 billion to charity, up 27.5 percent from the top 50 gifts in 2013, according to a new report. Bill Gates was the top giver last year, according to the Philanthropy 50, assembled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Gates and his wife, Melinda, made a gift of $1.5 …