Rich spend more on lifestyle enhancement

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If you ever wondered how wealthy Chinese spend their money, here is some insight from Hurun, a research firm specialized in tracking China's rich and famous.

According to Hurun's latest study, affluent Chinese are buying up antiques and artwork from China Guardian Auctions, wearing name-brand jewelry and watches from Cartier and Patek Philippe, playing golf on exclusive courses and downing Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, priced online at between $1,500 and $1,899 per 750ml bottle.

And, yes, many of them also enjoy red-carpet services rolled out by their banks.

The study surveyed 383 people with a net worth over 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) each.

It also revealed the average Chinese millionaire is male, approximately 41 years of age, owns four wristwatches and three cars.

New members in the millionaires' club have a penchant for collecting antique watches, rare jewelry, fine art and Chinese calligraphy. In addition, they are more optimistic about China's future economic development than the average citizen.

The study also revealed that China's well-to-dos are more concerned about their personal health than the average Joe.

The rich, the study showed, tend to spend more time and money on drinking tea, which is traditionally considered to be healthy. They also spend, on average, 16 days a year on vacation, with the most favored pastimes being traveling, golfing and swimming.

About 70 percent of the respondents get their health checked on a regular basis, with one-third saying they abstain from drinking and 50 percent of respondents saying they don't smoke.

The real estate sector was their top financial investment in 2009. By comparison, only 23 percent of respondents listed stocks as their main investment.

Despite a downturn in the art world in 2009, Chinese millionaires' investment in fine art rose from eighth place to fourth. And the newly rich in Shanghai were found to have a much greater appetite for art investments, while those in Guangdong had a hunger for stocks.

The overall conclusion of the sixth Hurun study was that China's "entrepreneurs are paying more attention to their lifestyle", said Rupert Hoogewerf, publisher of the Hurun Report.

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