Stealth wealth, as Experian explains, is all about financial privacy. In today’s society, broadcasting wealth on social media or even just among co-workers and friends can make you a target for exploitation. Whether it’s bad actors trying to hack your accounts or loved ones coming up with open arms, showing off your earnings can have unfortunate consequences.
Keeping information about your income and assets private can help protect you from awkward and potentially embarrassing situations. Individuals who engage in stealth wealth often have substantial sums of money, but few people know about it. They keep it closed to protect their property.
For many, secret wealth can be one of the best ways to manage your money and create a stable financial future. Here’s what you need to know about the money trend.
What is secret wealth?
It’s unclear when the trend began, but at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, the Tampa Bay Times reported on the impact the declining economy was having on newly minted millionaires.
As noted, millionaires were not as willing to flaunt their wealth as their predecessors. Many of them lived a more modest lifestyle, patiently waiting for the economy to turn around. They kept their wealth instead of spending it on material things, and those who did were greatly rewarded.
Fast forward 15 years, and many of the OG stealth rich have children who are growing up or into adulthood. They likely learned from their parents’ financial pragmatism and were leery of their possessions. Whether they’ve made a name for themselves in business or are just living off the family money, they’re not quite ready to flaunt their wealth to the world.
Why are more people choosing secret wealth?
As with the global financial crisis, we are currently in a period of economic instability and uncertainty. To avoid financial hardship, people need to take a long hard look at their lifestyle and how they spend money. By living a more fiscally responsible life, they can provide stability in the future when the economy starts to turn around.
Stealth wealth now can help you weather any market fluctuations. It can help you provide for your family and allow you to live comfortably without worrying about people coming to you when they need money. Stealth wealth requires a different mindset, but it’s not impossible to achieve.
If you’re not sure where to start, one of the best places to start is with a financial advisor. Someone with extensive investment experience can help you figure out the best place to put your money while avoiding a public display of your wealth.
What are the advantages of secret wealth?
There are many benefits to using stealth wealth. One of the most important is that keeping quiet about your assets can deter bad actors. With so much financial information stored online, hackers have developed innovative ways to infiltrate accounts.
Whether through SIM card swapping or phishing, bad actors can be attracted to people they know to have great wealth. Cryptocurrency holders are particularly susceptible to this type of hack.
Keeping quiet about your wealth can also stop unwanted monetary demands from friends or extended family. If people are unaware of your wealth because you choose not to display it, they may be less likely to ask you for money.
“Stealing wealth doesn’t mean living like a pauper,” says Sean Connell, owner of Credit Building Tips. “On the contrary, you’ll prefer to buy high-quality, but not flashy items that last much longer than the latest fads.”
“Using hidden wealth promotes honesty and modesty,” says Carl Jensen, co-founder of Compare Banks. “It helps you keep your feet on the ground and keep your perspective on the things that really matter throughout life, like dating, personal development, and life-changing experiences. It allows you to focus less on material possessions and more on the intangible aspects of life.”
How to achieve secret wealth
As explained by Financial Freedom Countdown, there are several steps you can take to achieve secret wealth. Being stealth rich is all about keeping the money you have private.
This starts with not discussing your net worth with others. It can be tempting to engage in money conversations or compare yourself to others, but your finances are a personal matter, and choosing to keep them private allows you to retain discretion and autonomy.
Next, you’ll want to avoid posting about spending money. Set your social media accounts to private so that only the people you want to know about your life can see your pictures. Avoid posting pictures of your vacation or extravagant experiences that might hint at your status. Instead, focus on sharing meaningful content that highlights your connections with family and friends, your interests, and your accomplishments.
Make charitable giving a habit. This can be a powerful way to make a positive impact on society while maintaining a low-profile appearance. “Secret wealth allows individuals to contribute more to causes they care about,” says Cody Beecham, financial expert and founder of Personal Finance Guru. “By accumulating silent wealth, individuals have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities, support charities and help others in meaningful ways without drawing undue attention.”
Finally, you can create a trust to protect your assets. Trust is one of the best ways to ensure your loved ones don’t broadcast information. A trust creates a legal entity that owns and manages your assets, separate from your personal identity, and can be designed to distribute wealth discreetly so that your assets are protected and managed in accordance with your wishes.
Keeping secret wealth involves several key strategies.
- First, it’s important to keep a low profile and avoid attracting too much attention by refraining from flashy displays of wealth.
- Privacy is very important, so limit access to your financial information and keep personal and business matters separate.
- Be mindful of what you share on social media, avoiding posts that display excessive wealth.
- Living within your means helps keep a low profile and ward off suspicion.
- Diversifying your assets makes sense because it allows you to preserve wealth discreetly.
- When seeking financial advice, choose professionals who prioritize privacy.
- Giving to charity is a great idea, but do it discreetly.
- Stay grounded and humble, focusing on personal values and relationships rather than material possessions.
- Teach your children about humility and financial responsibility.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, consult with experienced wealth management and privacy professionals to effectively navigate these issues.
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Laura Beck contributed reporting for this article.