HONOLULU (KHON2) — “Stealth wealth” refers to the practice of maintaining a high net worth or substantial financial success while avoiding conspicuous displays of wealth.
Those who adopt a stealth wealth lifestyle may have significant assets, income or financial success; but they intentionally choose not to flaunt their wealth through visible signs such as expensive clothing, luxury cars or extravagant homes.
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Rather than wearing Gucci to that meeting, they’re in jeans and a t-shirt.
The concept is rooted in the idea that some people prefer to lead a more understated and low-key lifestyle, even if they have substantial financial resources. Instead of drawing attention to their wealth, they may focus on personal fulfillment, experiences and financial security without the need for outward displays of affluence.
This approach contrasts with more ostentatious displays of wealth in which some people might engage as a means of showcasing their success. This is especially contrasted with the post-WWII narrative of wealth displays to demonstrate prosperity.
Stealth wealth can be seen as a way to maintain privacy, security, and a sense of normalcy without attracting unwanted attention. It’s a personal choice and lifestyle approach that reflects a desire to keep financial matters private and maintain a sense of humility.
So, who’s embraced the stealth wealth way of life? Let’s take a look.
- High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs): Many wealthy individuals, including entrepreneurs, executives and investors, choose to maintain a low profile to protect their privacy and security. They may prefer to avoid the attention that often comes with visible wealth.
- Entrepreneurs: Some successful entrepreneurs who have experienced ups and downs in business may prefer not to draw attention to their financial status. This can be especially true for those who have experienced failures in the past and want to avoid being targeted or judged.
- Frugal Millionaires: Individuals with significant wealth may adopt a frugal lifestyle, choosing to save and invest their money rather than spending it on conspicuous consumption. They may prioritize financial security and long-term wealth accumulation over material displays of affluence.
- Celebrities Seeking Privacy: Certain celebrities may also adopt stealth wealth practices to maintain a level of privacy. While their fame often makes it challenging to stay completely under the radar, some celebrities choose to live relatively modestly compared to their income.
- Philanthropists: Wealthy individuals who are actively involved in philanthropy may choose to keep a low profile to avoid appearing ostentatious. They may prefer to focus on their charitable work rather than drawing attention to their personal wealth.
- Financial Independence and Early Retirement (FIRE) Movement Followers: Individuals who embrace the FIRE movement seek financial independence and early retirement. They prioritize saving and investing aggressively to achieve financial freedom rather than spending on unnecessary luxuries.
- Downshifting and Simple Living Advocates: Some people, regardless of their wealth, adopt a minimalist and simple living philosophy. They may choose to downsize their lifestyles, live within their means, and avoid the trappings of excessive consumption.
Leading a stealth wealth lifestyle and philosophy is choice. It is made for reasons such as privacy, security, personal values or a desire to live a more modest and intentional lifestyle.
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However, it’s important to note that the decision to adopt a stealth wealth approach is highly personal and varies from individual to individual.