The Second Gilded Age: Self-Made Billionaires Amass Trillions

We've entered the Second Gilded Age, but don't expect it to last very long, according to a recent study by UBS (UBS) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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We've entered the Second Gilded Age, but don't expect it to last very long, according to a recent study by UBS (UBS) and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Billionaires today have new ways to tap into philanthropy and face increased societal pressures against inheritance. The report found 917 'self-made' billionaires who have created a combined fortune of $3.6 trillion, primarily by advancing the Internet in various ways, revolutionizing finance and asset management, and participating industrial and consumer. The report covers 1,300 billionaires in total over a 19-year period, and surveys the 14 markets most familiar to the super-rich, which account for three quarters of all billionaires. The findings suggest the Gilded Age could soon be at an end, as many are aging and looking for ways to parcel out their fortunes, with a surprising number turning to philanthropy. UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers predict two main factors will lead to a thinning of such massive fortunes: punitive taxation brought on by popular discontent with historic inequality and a tendency for inherited health to be squandered.