Hey, did you see that item the other day which says the ranks of the world's millionaires increased in 2002, but at a slower pace than in the past because of weak global economies coupled with stock market declines? Did it choke you up?

Actually, a new study called "World Wealth Report, " prepared by my college friends at Merrill Lynch together with the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young consulting firm, says that there were 7.3 million people in the world with financial assets of $1 million or more at the end of 2002, up by 2.1 percent from the previous year. The increase, down from 3 percent in 2001, was pegged as the lowest rise in the survey's seven-year history.

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