Do you know someone who takes the bus to work, makes their own lunches, and never takes luxurious vacations? Or perhaps you have a neighbor who lives in a modest house, drives an old car, and cuts their own grass? All of us know people like this, and we might even be people like this who've achieved stealth wealth!
Most of us probably also make assumptions about people based on their spending habits and what they seemingly have or do not have. That’s a mistake, though, because it doesn’t account for those around us who have stealth wealth.
What is stealth wealth? Is it something you should aspire to?
That’s just what we’re going to talk about here! Read on for the benefits, signs, and secrets of stealth wealth that you can adopt in your own financial life.
Stealth wealth meaning
People that do this don’t necessarily hide their wealth to be deceitful, they just don’t show it off, and they don’t feel the need to talk about it. That’s why it’s difficult to tell the “stealthy wealthy” apart from everyone else.
The benefits of stealth wealth
Why would you want to practice stealth wealth? There are some real benefits to hiding your true net worth from the rest of the world, including:
Can improve your friendships
There are many reasons why stealth wealth can benefit your relationships. First, as much as you might try, it can be difficult to maintain a friendship when one person has quite a bit more wealth than the other. By concealing their true wealth, those with stealth wealth essentially close the (perceived) wealth gap.
Second, money can get in the way of genuine relationships. You might start to wonder if someone is friends with you because of your money and what they can get from you.
By taking your wealth off the table, you’ll be more certain that whoever you surround yourself with is there for you, not your money.
Help you live a happier life
Many wealthy people get caught up in spending lavishly to show off how much they make. But spending money on material things doesn’t necessarily make a person happier.
Not only that but spending too much money can cause a lot of stress. By cutting back on luxuries you don’t even want, you can save more money and lower your stress.
Instead of trying to keep up with everyone else, those who practice stealth wealth spend their money on things they truly enjoy. Whether that’s experiences or material possessions they actually want, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that spending money on what you want, rather than what you think will make you look good in front of others, leads to a more relaxed and happy life.
Gives you financial security
Those who are financially secure no longer have to worry about money. Imagine the peace of mind you’d have, knowing that you have enough in your savings and retirement accounts to fund your lifestyle forever. Stealth wealth can give you just that.
One of the hallmarks of stealth wealth is living below your means, which can ultimately lead to financial security.
Stealth wealth signs
Those with stealth wealth usually live a traditional middle-class lifestyle, despite all of their money. There are, however, some stealth wealth signs that you can look out for if you are curious to know whether someone is living a stealth wealth lifestyle.
Even with these signs, though, it might still be impossible to tell the difference between stealth wealth and average wealth! Some possible stealth wealth signs include:
1. They don’t talk about money
Those with stealth wealth hardly ever talk about money. They don’t brag about how much they have, and, even more telling, they don’t talk about what they don’t have, either.
You’ll never hear someone with stealth wealth boasting about their income or their assets. Likewise, you’ll never hear them complaining about being in debt or not being able to afford something they want.
Why not? Because they are never in debt and they can afford whatever they want.
2. They don’t show off on social media
The stealthy wealthy don’t flaunt their things on social media, ever. Mostly, they don’t acquire things to show off.
But, even if they do decide to spend on a fancy dinner or lavish vacation, they don’t feel the need to tell the rest of the world about it. They leave that kind of posting to those seeking attention and trying to show off the wealth they might not even have.
3. They seem “average”
Another stealth wealth sign? Don’t look for a flashy sports car or giant mansion. Instead, those who understand the true stealth wealth meaning appear average.
They drive average cars, have regular jobs, and overall seem just like the rest of us. They understand that buying an expensive car or house doesn’t make you rich; it just makes you look it.
Secrets of the stealthy wealthy that you can use in your own life
You can’t just decide to have stealth wealth one day. Like accumulating any kind of wealth, it requires dedication and financial planning. But, you can take the secrets of the stealthy wealthy and incorporate them into your own life to improve your finances today.
Here are various ways to do that – and, who knows, you might decide along the way that you’d like to be “stealthy wealthy” one day, too!
1. Avoid lifestyle inflation
More money can appear in your bank account in so many ways. Perhaps you got a raise (congratulations!). Or, maybe you switched jobs and got a nice salary bump along with it. No matter how you come into it, the more money you have shouldn’t mean the more you spend.
Lifestyle inflation – increasing your spending as your income increases – is something that those with stealth wealth actively avoid. While you could be tempted to spend more as you make more, it’s not the way to become truly wealthy.
Those who know the secrets of wealth know that avoiding lifestyle inflation is one of the key ways to grow their assets and become financially secure.
2. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses
Just because a friend or neighbor got a shiny new toy (or car, or house, or gadget) doesn’t mean you need to get one, too. By trying to keep up with others’ spending, you’ll hurt your own finances. If you want to become wealthy, focus on yourself, not others.
Whenever you are tempted to buy something because someone else has it, take a moment to reflect on whether you truly want it. If you do, it’s ok to purchase it.
Those with stealth wealth don’t restrict themselves fully, but they do only purchase things they need and truly want. They aren’t influenced or pressured by others or by trying to keep up appearances.
3. Live below your means
Really wealthy people don’t spend every dollar they have. Instead, they live way below their means and save and invest the rest of their cash.
The good news is that living below your means doesn’t mean giving up everything you enjoy. You can actually improve your life and your finances by living on less!
4. Diversify your assets to achieve stealth wealth
Another secret of the wealthy? They don’t keep all of their money in one place. And they definitely don’t keep it all in a checking account!
Instead, they diversify their assets.
The wealthy invest in the stock market (in various asset classes), bonds, and real estate. On top of that, they might even have a business or two. If you want to steal this secret, one of the best ways is to create a plan for your future self through investing.
5. Build generational wealth
Those who are focused on stealth wealth are also focused on building wealth for their families for many years to come.
They know the importance of building generational wealth – wealth that is passed down from one generation to the next. This means they don’t spend money on material possessions or experiences that don’t last.
Instead, they focus on growing their wealth over time. They do things like invest in the stock market, build businesses to pass down, and create estate plans.
Everything they do with their money is with an eye toward security for themselves, their future, and future generations.
6. Be generous in private
Just because they don’t flaunt it doesn’t mean that those with stealth wealth hoard all of their money. Many wealthy people are extremely generous, but those who are stealthy do so in private.
Whether it’s paying for a family member’s education or donating to a cause they care deeply about, they do it all without making a public display of it.
If you want to practice stealth wealth, start by giving quietly when you can. You’ll still reap the same benefits and can avoid some of the drawbacks of giving, like having family or friends ask for money you aren’t comfortable with giving.
7. Build a classic wardrobe
Trends come and go, but a classic wardrobe can last forever. That’s what stealth wealth fashion is all about – a timeless, forever wardrobe.
Practicing stealth wealth doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything nice or splurge once in a while. But it does mean you spend intentionally.
You won’t find those with this kind of wealth sporting clothes with flashy designer logos. Instead, they’ll opt for quality pieces that never go out of style. If you want to take a page from their book, stick to timeless pieces that will last a lifetime.
8. Stealth wealth = truly believing that fancy things don’t make life worth living
Lastly, those who are truly wealthy understand that material things and fancy vacations aren’t what makes life worth living.
They may have started their wealth journey by not buying things they wanted in order to save or by passing up opportunities to spend on things they really wanted. But, by the time they have fully embraced stealth wealth, they don’t feel the need to buy these things anymore.
They have found other ways for fulfillment. That’s one of the biggest blessings stealth wealth can give a person. Not only do you have financial security, but you’ve also learned to want less, appreciate what you have, and be happy with who you are.
Leverage the secrets of stealth wealth to improve your financial future!
Stealth wealth meaning is defined more by what someone doesn’t have than what they do have. It’s an entire way of living that starts with incorporating some of the practices above into your own life.
Now that you've discovered the answer to, "what is stealth wealth", are you ready to take some of these secrets and use them to boost your own finances? See our articles about wealth accumulation and more wealth secrets!