Have you ever been around someone who seems like an ordinary, everyday Joe or June?
And then somehow you found out they are super wealthy? Maybe that person passed away and left a huge amount to a charity or a local community institution.
This kind of person has stealth wealth.
In this post, Financial Imagineer explores the concept of stealth wealth and discusses why it is something that everyone should be interested in.
How many people do you know who have stealth wealth? Chances are, not many. That’s because stealth wealth is something that people living it don’t talk about. It’s a secret that they keep to themselves. But why? Why go to all the trouble of keeping your wealth a secret? In this article, I shall try to answer that question and more. We will also provide tips on how to live a life of stealth wealth and how to recognize if others are doing the same. Lastly, we will explain what it takes for you to start living a stealthy wealthy life and why doing so can be so beneficial.
Stealth wealth is essentially all about having more control over your life and your finances and being able to do what you want when you want.
Contrary to popular belief, stealth wealth is not just for millionaires. Anyone can live a stealth wealth lifestyle if they know how. In this article, we will discuss the secrets of stealth wealth and how you can start living a richer life today!
What is Stealth Wealth?
In short, stealth wealth is living beneath your means.
It’s about keeping your wealth hidden from others, even from family, friends, and co-workers. It allows you to live the lifestyle you chose without having the outward appearance of being wealthy.
It’s about being content with what you have and not worrying about what other people think of you.
It’s about living a simple lifestyle and not constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses.
It’s about enjoying life without having to impress others with material possessions.
I’m most certain you’ve been curious about the financial status of people you know.
Now imagine if you’re filthy rich but don’t want anyone to know. That’s why some people lead seemingly ordinary lives while driving average cars and seem to be middle-class, while secretly being wealthy.
This is called stealth wealth, and it might just be the wisest decision anyone can make with money and wealth.
Contrary to your average “Nouveau-riche-Lambo-now Crypto Gazillionaire”, stealth wealth is about being wealthy without people knowing about it. Let’s be clear: this isn’t about hiding money away from the authorities; it’s about being aware of your surroundings’ possible responses to money and riches.
Stealth wealth is a mindset, a way of life, focusing less on bling-bling, status symbols, luxury cars, big houses, and all that stuff.
Stealth wealth is the opposite of conspicuous consumption, it’s about finding true wealth and quality of life which financial freedom helps to unlock. It’s all about having the ability to do what you want, when and where you want with whomever you like to.
It’s all about having to focus less on money and having more time, freedom, and peace.
Once you understand this, your world will change for the better.
Most people tend to forget financial success is not just about amassing a lot of money, having expensive homes, and other luxury items. What truly counts in life is to learn how to use that wealth, that money in a way that benefits you and your loved ones. What truly counts is the freedom and quality of life you manage to derive from your “wealth”.
Hold on, now you might say, what’s the point of building wealth and having all this money if you got to hide it?
Well, being rich and living rich are two different kinds of shoes.
There’s no black-or-white solution here, there are “50 shades of personal finance”!
Experiment with this concept and find out which approach you prefer!
The Benefits of Stealth Wealth
So, why should I care about this?
You may ask yourself: Why should I live a stealthy wealth life – I’m not wealthy yet myself.
Well, this is now where this gets truly exciting and relevant for everyone here:
Of course, many more benefits come with stealth wealth.
Why Stealth Wealth?
The goal is to be rich, not to look rich.
Here are nine of the most beneficial reasons why you should pursue a life of stealth wealth:
#1: Less Unnecessary Bullshit
Living below your means gives you freedom from a lot of unnecessary bullshit that living a bit “richer” might be attracting to your life.
For example, you don’t need to spend $100 on a haircut when $20 or cutting your hair yourself will do just fine. You don’t need to have the latest iPhone or go on fancy vacations. You can live a very comfortable life without all of that extra stuff and you can keep lifestyle inflation and future expectations in check.
Having a stealthy-wealthy mindset allows you to focus on what’s truly important in life.
#2: You’ll Be Less of a Target
Money – if used wrongly – is not necessarily a magnet but can become a detractor from what truly counts in life. It can invite many unwanted people and situations into your life.
It’s beneficial to have stealth wealth because criminals target those who they perceive as having money. If you don’t show off your stuff or act like you have oodles of cash, robbers, and scammers are less likely to target you.
When you don’t have to show off your stuff, you begin to appreciate it more. You’re less likely to take your possessions for granted when you’re not constantly flaunting them in front of other people.
This goes hand-in-hand with potentially being a target:
If you have fewer material possessions, there’s less that can be taken from you if someone were to break into your home or mug you on the street. Stay away from potential traps, lower your chances of having to deal with lawsuits, and so forth.
Less bling-bling, less maintenance, less stress!
#3: Increased Opportunities and Options
You can negotiate better deals if you appear less wealthy: Avoid markups and rip-offs, get better car insurance rates, and so on. Instead, you can use your stealth-wealth mode to buy assets and create more passive income streams which eventually will lead you as far as to financial freedom!
Some people might see this as “being cheap” but it’s not. It’s about being resourceful and using your stealth wealth mindset to create more opportunities for yourself and your loved ones by getting good deals. Nobody would give wealthy people discounts but they will to those who seem to be more frugal with their money.
You can also use your stealth wealth powers for good and help out family members or friends in need without broadcasting it to the world.
#4: Sincere Relationships and Friends
People will respect and love you more for being a down-to-earth person. You can still be generous without flaunting your wealth around and people will appreciate you more because of it.
When stealth wealth is your game, people are drawn to you because they feel they can relate to you on a human level – not just a materialistic one. This allows for deeper and longer-lasting relationships with the people in your life. You’ll be able to keep a circle of true friends.
Imagine all the gold diggers and salespeople wanting to get to know you simply because you are wealthy otherwise! Stealth wealth allows you to live a richer life without having to worry about people constantly asking you for money or favors.
#5: Less Stress, Worry and Pressure
When your wealth is stealthy, you’re not constantly thinking about how to maintain an artificial or even superficial image or worrying about people wanting stuff from you. You can live a worry-free life and focus on what’s truly important.
It allows you to be happy with what you have and not compare yourself to others who might have more than you – materialistically speaking.
This way of living also takes away the pressure of having to keep up with the Joneses. It helps you live below your means which will lead to a much less stressful life!
A stealth wealth lifestyle gives you the freedom to do what YOU want with YOUR money instead of feeling like you need to spend it on certain things just because society tells us we should.
How about living a less judgemental life with no third-party expectations, no negative energy from haters, and rather solid protection from envy?
#6: Better Quality of Life
Pursuing a stealth wealth lifestyle will lead you to a more contented life because your focus is not on impressing others with what you have but rather on living a good life yourself.
Countless studies show how having less stuff leads to increased levels of happiness.
When you live below your means, you tend to worry less about money and “things” in general. This gives you more time and energy to focus on the things that truly matter in life: your health, relationships, personal growth, contribution, etc.
More time and freedom to enjoy life equals more happiness and a better quality of life!
Staying below the radar wealth gives you a strong sense of control over your life as you have fewer external inputs to deal with.
This is very empowering and provides this unique and seemingly hard-to-achieve sense of freedom and flexibility that other people simply do not have.
#7: Greater Chance of Achieving Financial Independence
When you’re not wasting your money on unnecessary things, you’ll have more money to save and invest. This is one of the most important keys to building wealth over time.
If you live a stealth wealth lifestyle, you’re less likely to make impulsive decisions with your money.
You’re also more likely to save regularly because you’re not blowing all your cash on unnecessary things.
#8: Generational Wealth
Wealth doesn’t survive three generations. The first one builds it, the second one maintains it and usually, the third generation loses it.
If you want your kids to have a chance at true and lasting wealth, it all starts with stealth wealth.
Kids don’t listen to what you tell them, they observe what you as a parent do and mirror it later on.
Living a stealthy wealthy life yourself lets you “walk the talk”. It helps teach your offspring the value of money and how to be responsible for it. They’ll learn how to live below their means, save regularly, and make wise financial decisions – all of which will set them up for a better future.
It helps to pass “the frugal gene” to the next generation and build generational wealth.
Teaching your kids how to live below their means and instilling the importance of financial literacy at an early age will put them ahead of most people.
Read more here about how to raise [financially] independent children.
#9: It Helps Keep You Grounded
The higher you climb, the lower you may fall.
Stealth wealth keeps you grounded.
It makes you more humble which is one common trait among many wealthy people: Humility.
Humble people are teachable. They realize that they don’t know everything and are always looking to improve. This mindset helps them stay open-minded, grow, and become even more successful over time.
In contrast, people who display their wealth tend to be more close-minded.
They’re often arrogant and think they know it all which limits their ability to learn and grow.
Stealth wealth also makes it easier for you to relate to other people: When you’re not showing off your wealth, you come across as more relatable, down-to-earth, and likable.
People will be more drawn to you and will want to help you succeed.
How to Live a Stealth Wealth Life
The answer is pretty simple:
Don’t flaunt your riches.
There’s more to explore in how we can start living a stealth wealth lifestyle:
- Live below your means. You don’t have to live like a beggar but you shouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck either. Make sure you’re not spending more than you’re earning and that you have enough left over to save and invest regularly. Whenever possible, delay lifestyle inflation.
- Instead of spending, save and invest. This is the most basic and important rule of stealth wealth. You have to save and invest your money instead of spending it all. I know it’s not easy, especially when you see all your friends blowing their cash on unnecessary things. But trust me, it’s worth it in the long run. You got to do stuff different from your peers if you want to achieve different results: Learn “money skills”!
- Don’t engage in consumerism. Consumerism is the root of all evil when it comes to stealth wealth. It’s what tells us that we need the latest and greatest gadgets, clothes, shoes, etc. The truth is, you don’t need most of that stuff. You’re just being tricked into thinking that you do. Minimalism is the key to this. Buy what you need, and manage your “wants.” Don’t buy stuff you don’t need to impress people you don’t know.
- Live an average life. Avoid lifestyle inflation, don’t flash your bling-bling, live in a moderate home, drive an average car, and don’t brag or talk too openly about your wealth, money, or investments. How much land does a man need?
- Be discreet with your money. Don’t go around telling everyone how much money you have or how much you make. That’s a surefire way to attract unwanted attention and even envy.
- Diversify your investments. Once you’ve reached a critical mass of wealth at one village, investment or bank, diversify further and move some of your assets to other locations.
- Control how you derive happiness. Learn to derive happiness from things and activities that are not related to spending money. This can be quite challenging for some but will be oh-so-rewarding even more once you conquer this: Find your Ikigai!
- Optimize your work. Most low-key wealthy people keep their day jobs, and some switch to work lower-stress jobs or jobs they are more passionate about. Early retirement done right could also be an option, but the best practice is to try to stay “below the radar” if you plan to live stealthy wealthy.
- Stay humble. Don’t define yourself through your wealth. Understand that you’re more than just your bank balance and net worth. Agree that you “got lucky” in certain ways as to where you ended up. Stay humble, nice, and stay yourself.
- Invest in yourself. Investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do with your money. It’s enriching in many ways and will pay off tenfold in the long run. Invest in courses, attend seminars, read books, and hire a coach or mentor!
What It Takes to Start Living Stealth Wealth
You will have to live life differently than the vast majority of people around you!
Simple. But not easy. This is the price you have to pay for this.
Some people may not understand why someone would want to keep their wealth “a secret.” After all, isn’t the whole point of having money to be able to spend it and show it off?
Stealthy wealthy people like keeping their finances quiet. If you’re willing to take the path less traveled, then stealth wealth is definitely for you. It’s a lifestyle that will allow you to live a bigger, better life on your own terms!
The remedy is to find new friends and people who align with your new goals and plans.
Do you have what it takes to be stealth wealthy? If you’ve read this blog post all the way down here, then the answer is YES!
The Last Word
Now that you know all about stealth wealth and its many benefits, it’s time to start living your life in a more stealthy way! It’s not easy to achieve but with the right tips, anyone can start living a stealthy wealthy lifestyle.
In this post, we covered everything you need to know about stealth wealth and how to recognize if someone else is living a stealthy wealthy life. We also outlined what it takes for you to start stealthily wealthy and why doing so is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
While stealth wealth may not be the “coolest” thing to talk about, it is a powerful tool that can help you achieve financial success and live a bigger, better, happier life.
Are you ready to start living your new stealth wealth life? If so, then I wish you the very best of luck on your journey! Remember, the choice is yours and only YOU can make it happen! Stealth wealth is something that can help ANYONE looking to improve their financial situation.
7 thoughts on “The Secrets of Stealth Wealth”
Love this article. I live in an extremely affluent community and happily live below my/our means. We live in a modest house and I drive a 13 year old car. Feeling confident that we have reserves for unexpected surprises (like needing to replace our septic system!) is a blessing. Also being content with what we have makes “stealth wealth” easier – not a conscious decision, but just a way of life.
Stealth wealth, I think goes along with aligning priorities, realizing that the best things in life aren’t things. There’s a place for restrained lifestyle creep creep to a sustainable stealthy level.
One of my motivations for stealth wealth is to avoid standing out. I don’t want my possessions to advertise that I may have considerable resources, either for theft or solicitation.
Great post! I completely agree, better to go under the radar if you are fortunate.
Since there is so much consumerism and people living above their means, you can actually live quite comfortably without standing out so it shouldn’t be too difficult to practice stealth wealth.
I’m always torn when I read articles like this. I agree that you shouldn’t spend more money than you have, and you certainly shouldn’t over emphasize having a lot of fancy physical things. There’s a lot of peace of mind in enjoying things for their own sake, rather than to impress someone else, or to simply “keep up with” others.
But I guess I don’t understand why people would scrimp and save for an entire lifetime to accumulate $3 million+ in net worth and then live on $60,000. What’s the point? What’s the point of having several, or even many million dollars, and then live like a lower middle-class person? I guess I just don’t get it.
I think many people are confused on this topic. In order to achieve financial independence, you need to live below your means. You certainly need to spend less than you make. That makes total sense. That’s how you get out of debt, and then accumulate wealth.
But what’s the point of accumulating wealth, and achieving FI, if you’re not going to enjoy some of it? I think the problem for many people who seek FI, is that they get addicted to the scrimping and saving, and can’t bring themselves to adjust to their new reality. Once they become wealthy, they stay stuck in their old ways, and do crazy cheapskate things like cutting their own hair, as this author suggests. Or brag about driving really old cars, or wearing the same clothes for 40+ years.
In my view, being careful with money is a means to an end. Once you’ve achieved significant wealth and are financially independent, it’s time to adjust and adapt. Most importantly, it’s time to enjoy some of your hard earned wealth.
Some very valid advice right here. One more thing I’d add to the advantage of stealth wealth is an increased sense of gratitude and mindfulness about the intangible things that money can buy and just having the time to enjoy sitting on a park bench on a Wednesday afternoon. Probably can tie into the consumerism points you made above.
That being said, I think some people take it too seriously when you say save and invest instead of spend. I’ve seen so many people work hard and sacrifice, driving old cars and practicing stealth wealth, and then their kids end up draining it.
One should be able to buy an electric car or put in a resort style backyard if they can afford it, without friends and neighbors gawking. And if they do, don’t mind them. Find better friends!
Great post. Love the term “stealth wealth”! Reminds me of a quote from Shakespeare that I live by – “have more than thou showest, say less than thow knowest”.
I think this is your best post yet. I truly enjoyed it. I have been living this lifestyle for years and had no idea it had a name. I shop for clothes in my closet. I have 45 years worth of things to choose from. Clothes have been in style, out of style, and come back in style again. and thankfully, I weigh the same as I did 50 years ago. My car is 27 years old. Problem is, it has become a classic and has actually increase in value. So I mostly drive the old truck, which is not quite yet at classic stage. It’s only 20 years old.