Though world gross domestic product shrank in 2009, high-net-worth individuals managed to almost make up for 2008 losses, according to the Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini 14th annual "World Wealth Report."

The number of high-net-worth individuals around the world returned to the 10 million mark in 2009 and their wealth soared 18.9%, to $39 trillion.

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