According to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook 2016, a Filipino adult has an average net worth of $9,878 in 2016. Using 1 USD = PHP 50 as exchange rate, that converts to a net worth of P493,900.
This means that if you own a car or a real estate property, then you’re most probably richer than the average Filipino.
I say “probably” because the accurate way to really know is to calculate for your net worth. You do this by subtracting your total liabilities from the value of your total assets.
How to calculate your net worth
Formula: NET WORTH = TOTAL ASSETS minus TOTAL LIABILITIES
TOTAL ASSETS: equal to the sum of…
- Cash on hand and in the bank
- Current market value of properties such as real estate, vehicles, jewelries, etc.
- Receivables such as money your clients and friends owe you
- Current market value of investments such as stocks, bonds, time deposits, etc.
TOTAL LIABILITIES: equal to the sum of…
- Credit card debts
- Amount that still needs to be settled in your housing, auto, or salary loans
- Insurance debts, or total amount that you still need to pay
- Other cash payables such as the amount of money that you owe friends
Asia-Pacific and Global Average
You might be feeling good right now if your net worth is above P493,900 (or $9,878). But how do you stack up against the Asia-Pacific and global average? Let’s see.
According to the same report, the average net worth of the Asia-Pacific region is $46,325. Meanwhile the global net worth average is $52,819.
If you convert those figures to Philippine Peso (1 USD = PHP 50), then you’ll discover that the average net worth of people living in the Asia-Pacific region is P2,316,250.
If your net worth is above that, then you’re richer than the average Asian and Pacific Islander. But if your net worth is above P2,640,950 then you’re actually richer than the average person in the world.
Average, Median, and the Wealth Gap
So far, we’ve been talking about the average net worth. This is the value when you get the sum of every adult’s net worth and then dividing it by the number of adults.
However, there is also the median value, which refers to the net worth of the person who is exactly in the middle if you line up everyone from poorest to richest.
The simple graphic below illustrates the difference between an average and a median.
As you can see, if your net worth is above the Philippine average of P493,900 — then you’re actually richer than most Filipinos because you are closer to the wealthy end of the line.
Credit Suisse calculated that the median wealth of Filipinos is only $2,055 or P102,750 (1 USD = PHP 50). That’s the net worth of the person at the middle if you line up all the adults in the Philippines.
The current 2016 wealth gap is 79.2 percent. This has been steadily rising over the years. For comparison, the gap between the median and the average net worth of Filipinos was only 72.6 percent last 2008.
One assumption that analysts are saying for this increasing difference is that the rich is getting richer, while the poor is getting poorer in the country.
So what’s in it for me?
You might be asking, what’s the use of knowing these numbers? How does it help me if I understand these facts?
First, knowing your net worth is an essential part of financial planning and proper money management.
If your number falls below the average (or worse, the median), then consider this as your wake-up call. It’s time for you to really focus on improving your finances.
Secondly, the numbers from the study indicate that Filipinos still have a long way to go before they can be at par with other countries when it comes to wealth status.
And thus, if your net worth is fortunately above the average, then I hope you can help others in improving theirs. Teach your family, your friends, your colleagues — teach them how you do it — how you budget, how you save, how you invest.
But why would you want to teach? Because teaching is one of the best ways to learn.
When you teach, you learn. When you learn, you acquire more knowledge and skills to become better. So in essence, in helping others, you’re also helping yourself.
Global Wealth Databook 2016. Credit Suisse. January 2017.
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