The Asia-Pacific region has edged ahead of Europe as the second most popular investment region behind North America for high net worth individuals, according to the latest Merrill Lynch/Capgemini World Wealth Report. The survey found that 23% ranked Asia-Pacific behind No. 1 North America, just one percentage point ahead of Europe. The report expects that there will be a decline in high net worth investments in North America and Europe as this class moves away from mature markets and into emerging ones. Robert McCann of Merrill Lynchs Global Private Client Group credits the twin drivers of market capitalization and GDP for the rise of Asia Pacific. The study also found that U.S. high net worth individuals tend to invest more domestically than their international counterparts, suggesting that wealthy Americans are missing out on the full benefit of gains posted overseas, says Bertrand Lavayssiere of Capgemini.