Ever heard of the phrase “Rich is loud, wealth is silent?”
You may be surprised to hear that only 20% of millionaires are retired. Eight out of ten millionaires are still working and you won’t even know who they are. They come off just like everybody else who goes to work. They aren’t bragging about how rich they are. Far from it.
People who spend money on things that scream rich usually end up with more stuff and less money. Wealthy people know that.
Consider instead striking a balance. You can’t deny yourself all pleasures in life. Starbucks’ got the lattes. But Starbucks probably isn’t destroying your bank account. So don’t write it off just yet.
Believe it or not, there are numerous advantages to concealing your riches and blending in. I’m talking about living in a modest home, driving an average automobile, and wearing Levi’s jeans and a basic T-shirt. You have a lot of money, yet you don’t exude wealth. Nobody has any idea how much money you have.
People who practice stealth wealth seek to stay under the radar for an apparent number of reasons. Individuals that fit the secretly rich profile find importance primarily in being financially self-sufficient and having a high net worth.
Let’s see why the secretly rich life may be right for you.
What is stealth wealth?
Stealth wealth is a term used to describe individuals or families who have a significant amount of wealth, but choose to live a relatively low-key, modest lifestyle in order to avoid drawing attention to their financial status. These individuals choose to keep their wealth hidden from others in order to maintain privacy, avoid jealousy or resentment from friends, family, or colleagues, or to avoid being targeted by financial frauds or scams.
Individuals who practice stealth wealth may choose to live in modest homes, drive older or less expensive cars, and avoid conspicuous consumption or other behaviors that would draw attention to their wealth. They may also choose to keep their investments and financial information private, and may avoid discussing their financial status with others.
Stealth wealth is not only about keeping a low profile, it’s also about avoiding to give off the impression of being wealthy. Stealth wealth practitioners also avoid being flashy or showing off their wealth in any way, and they don’t use their money to buy things that would make them stand out.
Made famous by The Millionaire Next Door
“The Millionaire Next Door” is a book by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, which was first published in 1996. The book explores the common characteristics and habits of America’s millionaires, based on extensive research and interviews with wealthy individuals.
The main thesis of the book is that most millionaires are not what many people imagine them to be – flashy, high-spending individuals who inherited their wealth or made it through high-risk investments. Instead, the authors argue that most millionaires are actually frugal, hard-working individuals who have accumulated wealth through careful saving and investing.
Here are some key takeaways from the book:
- Millionaires live below their means. The authors found that most millionaires are frugal and live below their means, which allows them to save and invest more money over time. They tend to avoid expensive status symbols like fancy cars and designer clothes.
- Millionaires prioritize financial independence. The authors found that most millionaires prioritize financial independence over social status or material possessions. They aim to accumulate enough wealth to be able to retire comfortably and live off their savings and investments.
- Millionaires are self-made. The authors found that most millionaires are self-made, meaning that they did not inherit their wealth or make it through high-risk investments. Instead, they accumulated wealth through hard work, savings, and wise investing.
- Millionaires invest wisely. The authors found that most millionaires are careful and strategic investors. They tend to favor low-risk investments like stocks and bonds, and they do not try to “time the market” or make high-risk bets.
- Millionaires are disciplined and focused. The authors found that most millionaires are disciplined and focused individuals who set goals and work hard to achieve them. They tend to be self-motivated and have a strong work ethic.
Overall, “The Millionaire Next Door” provides a compelling portrait of what it takes to accumulate wealth and achieve financial independence. By focusing on frugality, hard work, and wise investing, the authors suggest that anyone can become a millionaire over time.
The benefits of stealth wealth and being secretly rich
1. You keep more of what you make
If at first, this doesn’t make sense to you, hear me out.
If you flaunt your wealth, you’ve got a lot of pressure to live up to! And you’ll end up spending more because of it. Your expectations may all be in your head because no one cares as much about your wealth as you do.
You can achieve financial independence sooner if you keep more of what you earn. You’ll have greater freedom to cover unforeseen costs or invest when possibilities present themselves.
It’s always a good idea to live within your means so you have a safety net if things don’t go as planned.
If you run into someone you know while eating at a cheap restaurant, you won’t be ashamed. You don’t fly first class. Your friends don’t judge you if you stay at a 3-star hotel. It’s completely acceptable to drive an old automobile with a dent in the bumper.
2. Expectations are lower
Did you know that Tiger Woods is known for being a cheapskate?
There are rumors that he invited his non-millionaire pals out for dinner and divided the tab, especially earlier on in his career. It would be quite normal for you and me to go out to eat and share the tab, wouldn’t it?
When one of the world’s most renowned persons, who once made nine figures a year, goes out to dinner with a group of pals, there’s a societal expectation that he’ll pick up the check.
Also, it was apparently a tradition for players to tip the gentleman who held the entrance to the clubhouse open for them as they walked in at one of the golf courses where a tournament was being held. Tiger would never give that gentleman a tip.
Have you ever given someone a little something because he or she held the door open for you? In everyday life, a nice smile and a thank you will often suffice. I doubt you expected anything monetary in return if you’ve ever held a door open for someone.
Unfortunately, it’s a completely different expectation if someone holds the door open for Tiger Woods at an expensive country club, whether you agree with it or not.
Splitting the bill is normal if you practice covert wealth. Nobody anticipates you picking up the tab.
Are you wondering if you are cheap or frugal? See which one you are.
3. Fewer people ask for money, and you won’t be a jerk for saying no
People will ask you for money if they know you have money. That’s the sad but solemn truth.
You’ll be invited to all of the charity events. Friends, coworkers, and acquaintances will solicit your support for their causes. When your children’s school needs to raise funds, you’ll be contacted. The T-Ball squad will approach you or your company with a request to sponsor the team (ie, pay for all the uniforms). Come cookie season, all the Girl Scouts in the neighborhood will be looking for you.
Worse, if people know you have money and you refuse, you’ll come across as a stingy jerk. People don’t demand much from you if you live a secretly rich lifestyle, and therefore saying no is understandable.
You don’t have to purchase 30 boxes of Girl Scout cookies; two boxes or even zero will suffice. You have the option to decline fundraiser invitations. If people press you to donate even if you don’t want to, you might say something like, “It sounds like a terrific cause, but I already support a few too many groups. Perhaps next year.”
4. You know who your real friends are
Knowing who your actual friends are is one of the most difficult things for wealthy people to figure out. Do these folks genuinely care about you, or are they just hanging out with you because you have money and can afford to buy things? It’s difficult to say.
It’s easy to tell if your friends like you for who you are rather than how much money you have if you’ve never given off the illusion of affluence.
5. You’re less likely to get ripped off
Are you having work done on your home? Contractors are astute; they know how much houses in your community cost (you can look up what someone paid for a property online) and how much similar improvements cost in your neighborhood.
They were most likely recommended to you by a neighbor. They’ll charge residents in “rich communities” twice as much for the identical work they undertake in more middle-class neighborhoods.
High-end vehicle dealerships do not bargain. The cost has been determined. If you’ve ever tried to negotiate for a new Tesla, you know what I’m talking about. When you visit a used automobile lot, you can pay less.
Some people may prefer a fixed price that is not subject to negotiation. It makes buying a car a lot easier and more enjoyable. You do, however, pay a price for the ease.
6. You benefit mentally by avoiding the rat race
Going to an impoverished nation is the quickest way to feel wealthy. People gauge their happiness in comparison to people around them. It might be tiring attempting to keep up with the Jones’ all the time. There will always be someone who appears to be doing better than you. You’ll feel a lot better about your socioeconomic level if you prioritize living below your means and living a more middle-class lifestyle.
The majority of the folks in your area are overworked, yet you are relaxed. It’s reassuring to know that you can afford more than the folks around you. That may come out as snobbish, but it’s true. It’s human nature to compare yourself to the people around you. You’ll be happier if you believe you’re better off than the folks you spend the most time with.
It’s one thing to live in a less affluent area than you can afford. It’s a different story when you’re mixing with your coworkers and they’re bragging about all of their accomplishments — wonderful vacations, new cars, new homes, etc. Just consider that they’re spending their money on things while you’re building your savings. You’re succeeding in the game.
How to be part of the secretly rich
So, assuming you’ve been persuaded that the secretly rich lifestyle is the way to go, how do you go about keeping your cash hidden? It all comes down to one thing: keeping your mouth shut.
Unless you work for the government, your salary is likely undisclosed. No one can search up your address in the property tax records to see how much your home costs if you don’t reveal it. Of course, this may be a bit harder among friends.
Sure, people can get a general idea of how much your house costs, but if you are part of the secretly rich, you are not likely to buy a million-dollar mansion. But be humble about it. Say it hasn’t been paid off.
“All hat, no cattle,” as the phrase goes, refers to the people who brag the most frequently yet have little to show for it. There’s a lot of chatter but no substance. Be okay with staying under the radar. No one will try to outdo you if you drive a modest car, live in a modest house, and dress modestly.
Speaking of modest cars, let’s take it a step further. We’ll go over the perfect stealth wealth cars for you if you’re interested in being secretly rich.
Stealth wealth cars
Let’s take a look at the most popular cars driven by the secretly rich. You may be quite surprised.
Most popular stealth wealth cars
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- Ford F-150
Wealthy people tend to buy reliable cars and don’t generally buy them used. They know that since they’re buying a reliable model, they’ll get more mileage out of the car and thus can stretch their dollar further. Plus, they won’t have to deal with too many fixes and repairs compared to a used car.
It pays to be secretly rich. By practicing stealth wealth, you’ll have more control over your time and money. The majority of millionaires are already doing it, and perhaps that is the secret to staying wealthy over time.
What do you think? Does this lifestyle make sense for wealthy people? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!