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Canadian Stock Investors: Want to Become a Millionaire?

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According to the Global Wealth Report 2021, published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, total global wealth grew 7.4% in 2020.

For the first time in history, more than 1% of global adults are millionaires. Most of this wealth is concentrated in just three countries: the U.S., China, and Japan. These countries contain over 50% of the world’s millionaires.

Canada’s rankings

Regarding the portion of the world’s millionaires that live in Canada, the country ranks 8th, with 3% of the world’s millionaires living in the Great White North.

The U.S. far outranks any other country, with 39.1% of all of the world’s millionaires. China and Japan rank a distant 2nd and 3rd, with 9.4% and 6.5% respectively. In the report, millionaires are defined as individuals with a personal wealth of over US$1 million.

When considering millionaires as a portion of a country’s population, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States are at the top.

In these countries, 14.9%, 9.4%, and 8.8% of the population respectively, have personal wealth over $US1 million. Although China holds nearly 10% of the globe’s wealthy individuals, its vast population makes millionaires a rarity in the country.

Canada is in the top 10 spot with millionaires as a portion of its population. Of its population, 5.6% have personal wealth over $US1 million.

Coronavirus exacerbates global wealth inequality

As expected, the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the inequality of wealth around the world.

According to the authors of the Credit Suisse report, “The verdict is unanimous – the indices all agree that global wealth inequality rose in 2020 by a substantial amount. The share of wealth held by the top 10% increased, as did the share of the top 1%.”

As home prices continued to soar, even during the pandemic, so did the wealth of homeowners. This certainly benefited the population of wealthier nations, like those in North America. The same applies to the booming equities market. Again, the number of gains in the stock market disproportionately affected the net worth of individuals in wealthy countries.

Stocks contribute to wealth

As history has shown, long-term investments in high-quality equities have proven to be an excellent way to accumulate wealth.

If you are searching for high-quality, buy-and-hold stocks to add to your portfolio, consider a stock like Fortis (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS).

As one of the largest utilities on the continent, Fortis makes for a stable investment. Most of Fortis’ business stems from regulated assets bound by long-term contracts. Those contracts, known as power-purchase agreements (PPAs) provide Fortis with a stable and recurring source of revenue. These PPA contracts typically span one or more decades in duration.

Currently, Fortis operates in 10 regions across Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean. When combined, these areas provide the company with approximately 3.4 million customers across its electric and gas segments.

Growth in the company comes not only through acquisitions but through an aggressive capital improvement campaign. As the world turns toward renewable energy, Fortis is at the forefront.

Fortis currently has a market cap of nearly $26 billion. With shares trading at $54.90 as of writing, the dividend yield is 3.6%.

Stable dividend payments are a great tool for building personal wealth. Fortis has maintained its dividend increases for 47 consecutive years. The company also plans to maintain that pace until at least 2025 with an average annual bump of 6%.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

The Motley Fool recommends FORTIS INC. Cindy Dye owns shares of FORTIS.

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