You should never reveal your Income and Net Worth, not even to your friends and family! StealthWealth is about protecting your personal life and privacy – because class warfare is never fun.
People typically don’t understand Financial Independence, and will confuse your lifestyle with being Rich and Lazy. They will completely overlook your years of hard work and sacrifice, the positive benefits your investments bring to the economy, and of course your continued paying of income tax on your passive investments.
You’ll probably even be thought of as a leech on the economy, as if you were ‘probably sucking welfare!’. You will certainly be thought of as greedy, and a cheapskate for not sharing more of your wealth. Even if you do succeed in explaining it well, people may just resent your success simply due to their own failings – so don’t even bother and just keep it all to yourself!
Introduction to Stealth Wealth
We have all had it happen sometime or another – had to listen to someone prattle on about how much they earn, how successful they are or about their latest and most profitable investment.
Whether it’s some hot stock tip you get from that family friend at a BBQ, coworkers bragging about their seniority and pay in the company, or maybe someone trying to sell you an overpriced property investment by bragging about profits on their last development, it gets old pretty quickly. These conversations can seem like ‘big noting’ ones self, and can quickly land the ‘big noter’ with the label of arrogant, make them disliked and place them in square in the spotlight and peoples cross-hairs!
StealthWealth is all about silencing that, at least from your end. It means staying humble, not bragging and keeping tight lipped about your financial state of affairs. This lets you be the grey man, keeping out of the spotlight and not ending up in anyone’s cross hairs. StealthWealth lets you join the vast majority of millionaires that quietly go about their daily lives in privacy and peace and quiet. Mums the word!
Why Stealth Wealth is something you should be doing
StealthWealth is something that you should be doing to make sure you are as safe and financially secure as you can be. It helps you accelerate on the path to Financial Independence quicker, maintain healthy and truer relationships, stay out of the spotlight and keeps you safer from anyone who might try and separate you from your wealth.
Stealth Wealth helps you stay Humble;
“Humility will open more doors than arrogance ever will“Zig Ziglar
You should never rest on your laurels; life is about constantly learning, changing, adapting and becoming better. It is important to stay humble and stay hungry for success, in whatever you are chasing
Humility is an important trait to have, and it will help you become better liked and fit in more easily in society. Humility is one of the key tenets of being a gentleman – often summarised in the well known Proverb ‘Discretion is the better part of Valour’
Stealth Wealth is about being financially humble, quietly confident and happy in yourself for your achievements, but not bragging about your success and looking down on others who haven’t done as well as you. This can make other people feel sad or unhappy.
Stealth Wealth lets you be the ‘grey man’
There are benefits to being the grey man. Staying out of sight, and out any cross hairs keeps you safer.
It makes you less of a target which helps you to preserve your wealth from those who want a piece of it (Potential scammers or those just asking for handouts).
Most importantly of all though, Stealth Wealth helps you to protect you and your families own personal safety! For example (although extreme), Kidnap and Ransom gangs almost exclusively target the wealthy – you should have a watch of the movie ‘All the Money in the World’
Stealth Wealth means no one knows your next move
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. We must appear weak when we are strong, and appear strong when we are weak.”Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Practicing Stealth Wealth usually keeps people guessing about your next move, and maximises your potential options. Life is kind of like a game of Chess, and you usually want to think a few steps ahead about potential options or pathways you can take – backups for your own peace of mind.
For example; having an awesome investment portfolio, ‘FU money’, a diversified skill set and higher education or industry qualifications means you generally have the option to walk away from your current employment, or at least to negotiate better terms and conditions of employment should the opportunity arise.
But if you’ve been bragging about these ‘secret bargaining chips’, your negotiation advantage may be gone! Your Employer might even make steps to proactively counter this such as passing you over for promotion, educational grants or professional development, because they know you might leave and thus don’t want to risk losing the ‘investment’ in you.
Stealth Wealth lets you avoid ‘Tall Poppy syndrome’
“The tall poppy syndrome describes the cultural phenomenon of mocking people who think highly of themselves, “cutting down the tall poppy”. Common in Australia and New Zealand, it is seen by many as self-deprecating and by others as promoting modesty”Wikpedia, Tall Poppy Syndrome
It sucks, but tall poppy syndrome is real. People love playing the equaliser; that is, to cut you down to size should you seem to grow faster than everyone else or be tooting your own horn.
Ever heard of the saying ‘Misery loves company‘? Well it is true! For the majority of people, secretly no one likes hearing about someone more successful then them – it hurts us deep down in our psyche and brings out our own insecurities and feelings of failure and inadequacy. Whilst people might celebrate and congratulate to your face, they can begin to secretly resent you behind your back.
I have experienced this, which is why I blog anonymously and now do not share any of my financial details with almost any of my friends, family or coworkers. Trust me on this one, your boss does not want to find out you have a larger Net Worth or earn more Income than them due to your investments.
Trust me, IT WILL negatively affect your career and professional life, potentially limiting your career progression and the amount you could earn and thus save and invest – meaning bragging about financial independence will take you longer to actually become Financially Independent.
Stealth Wealth stops people from undermining your path to Financial Independence
If your friends, family and coworkers don’t understand your journey to Financial Independence and why you are doing it, they will likely seek to undermine you – usually this is a subconscious thing (linking back to the tall poppy syndrome) but sometimes this can even lead to deliberate acts.
You might find yourself expected to cover an increasingly high share of the financial burden, or be shamed for not spending or sharing your wealth. You might be thought of as a cheapskate for not buying extravagant gifts or picking up the tab at restaurants or bars more often than everyone else. “Why can’t you come out with us to [the most expensive restaurant in town], we all know you can afford it – You’re just being a tight-arse!”
Stealth Wealth is not about being selfish, greedy or hoarding your wealth from other people, but rather about being humble and reaching your own personal financial goals. Stealth Wealth helps to keep a reasonable expectation of you and lets you only pay your fair share.
Stealth Wealth helps you to have truer relationships
We have all heard about gold diggers, or fake friends who just hang around because they want to have a great time and benefit from your wealth. Whilst I think this is more of a problem for the INSANELY rich, StealthWealth is going to help you avoid these people too.
If you stay humble and keep your financial affairs personal, then you know the real reason people want to hang around you is because they like personality and not your Visa card.
How can you practice Stealth Wealth
To practice StealthWealth, you should simply continue living below your means just as you learned on the path to Financial Independence. Don’t flash your cash, flaunt your luxury items or brag about your income, emergency fund or investments – NOBODY wants to hear about them unless your giving it to them (trust me!)
By following these simple StealthWealth rules you can keep your wealth private and continue to live your best life in the background without interference from anyone.
Stealth Wealth Rule 1: Mums the word!
Keep your lips shut. It is as simple as that! Resist the urge to talk about finances, because odds are in the discussion people will ask questions or you might accidentally let slip about your income investments.
Never ever ever ever ever EVER reveal your true income, investments or Net Worth to anyone (well, except to your husband or wife, that would probably be a bad thing to hide since you have joint finances).
Even having a thorough understanding of finance and economics can be enough to place you in the spotlight. Stay quiet, stay humble! Sure, if a close friend or family member asks you for personal advice to help unfuck their absolute cluster of a life, feel free to direct them to some resources they can use to learn and do a bit of self-improvement. But certainly don’t give them financial advice or let them know what investments you have.
This also means not bragging about your lifestyle – stay off of, or at least inactive on, social media. Don’t post photos of your toys, lavish lifestyles or expensive tropical holidays to Facebook and Instagram. Keep your account locked down with tough security and privacy settings and keep your friends list or followership small.
Stealth Wealth Rule 2: Live below your means
If you are on the path to Financial Independence, its likely you are living well below your means already. Now that you are beginning to amass some decent wealth, and your potentially focusing on earning a higher income with promotions, overtime, side hustles and investment returns, its really important that you don’t lifestyle inflate with all this added cash flow.
Living below your means is one of, if not the best way to practice StealthWealth. This means being efficient and mindful with your spending, living in reasonable accommodation, not partaking in luxury items and taking local holidays.
Although, if you do really love that Armani suit, Louis Vuitton handbag or Rolex wristwatch then first of all, give yourself a slap in the face and sell them immediately and buy index fund ETFs, If you ever buy a product just for the label and not the actual quality of the product then your a Schmuck and probably need to address your deep seated insecurities of why you need to throw your money away on ‘social validation’. If you still have luxury products, don’t flaunt them. You’ll just give the game away!
Stealth Wealth Rule 3: Don’t drive a luxury car
Driving an expensive or luxury car is the most obvious way people like to flash their cash and flaunt their wealthy social status. So don’t do it! If you drive a luxury car, people will immediately think you have too much money (or increasingly, that you’ve financed it like a complete idiot). Either way, stay under the radar by driving driving a nice, safe, reasonable and economical car that is well below your means.
By the way, luxury cars are one of the biggest money drains and things that stop people from reaching Financial Independence. My rule of thumb is drive a car worth no more than 5% of your annual take-home (after tax) salary – For example if you clear $100K, drive a car worth under $5000. $5000 actually gets you a pretty bloody amazing second or third hand car anyway. Focus on the mechanical condition and safety features rather than a flashy appearance.
Keep your home life private. Don’t be so easy to invite people into your home, or even to let them know where you live. Your home should be your inner sanctum, the utmost private thing in your life.
By letting people know where you live, or into your home, you reveal a lot about your personal finances and Net Worth. Its much better to keep your assets, belongings and lifestyle hidden away from any prying eyes.
Stealth Wealth Rule 5: Act dumb
Acting dumb is no longer just something intelligent women do to not intimidate men with fragile egos anymore. It’s now fully available for all genders to use!
Acting dumb, or at least pretending you don’t understand, can be a very useful tool to practice Stealth Wealth. People like to feel smart, and letting them explain things to you can be a way to get along better without revealing you actually know more than them which might intimidate them.
Ask lots of questions, and make it seem like you have no idea about finance and investing. Of course, this won’t work in every situation and be careful lest people actually believe you to be an idiot which might work against you in the long run. It is a fine line, I would say don’t be dishonest about it, but don’t reveal what you actually know.
StealthWealth Rule 6: Celebrate others success
You should always celebrate other peoples success! Encouraging others and celebrating events such as promotions, graduations or house purchases are important social milestones.
Celebrating others success is fun, you should be happy for their success and not try to belittle their accomplishments. Giving them the spotlight is also perfect, because it keeps you out of it! You should resist the urge to try and jump in and toot your own horn, keep that ego in check and stay the grey man!
Tut tutting someones new luxury car purchase that they have uploaded to Facebook might easily label you as jealous or pious – even if they did finance it on a 10% loan with no money down because they are absolute morons! Keep this negative feedback to yourself, use it as ammunition for your own personal resolve not to make the same mistake, and just smile and wave.
Stealth Wealth summary
Stealth Wealth the term given to the practice of keeping your Wealth private, just like what the overwhelming majority of wealthy people do. With the exception of the Glittering Rich and Hip-Hop artists in music videos (which is just clever marketing), smart people know they should keep their private life private, and their finances are part of their private life.
Practicing StealthWealth will make you check your ego, fit in better with your community, be more well liked, blend in and stay out of the spotlight, help you save money and reach Financial Independence quicker (and then STAY financially independent), maximise your options and keep you safer! Whats not to like?!