Stealth wealth, as explained by Experian, is all about financial privacy. In today’s society, broadcasting wealth on social media or even just among coworkers and friends can make you a target for exploitation. Whether bad actors attempt to hack your accounts or loved ones come with their hands out, showcasing your earnings may have unfortunate consequences.
Keeping information about your income and assets private can help protect you from a wide range of uncomfortable and potentially unsettling situations. Individuals who practice stealth wealth often have significant amounts of money, but few people know about it. They keep it under wraps in order to safeguard their assets.
For many people, stealth wealth may be one of the best ways to handle your money and create a stable financial future. Here’s what you need to know about the money trend.
What Is Stealth Wealth?
It’s unclear when the trend started, but in 2008 at the height of the Global Financial Crisis, the Tampa Bay Times reported on the effect that the downward economy had on recently minted millionaires.
As it noted, millionaires weren’t as ready to flaunt their riches as their predecessors. Many of them were living more reserved lifestyles, patiently waiting for the economy to turn around. They held onto their wealth instead of spending it on material things and those that did were greatly rewarded.
Fast forward 15 years and many of the OG stealth wealthers have kids who are coming of age or entering adulthood. They have likely learned from their parents’ financial practicality and played coy with their net worth. Whether they have established a name for themselves in business or simply live off of family money, they aren’t as willing to showcase their wealth to the world.
Why More People Are Choosing Stealth Wealth
As during the Global Financial Crisis, we currently find ourselves in a period of economic instability and uncertainty. To avoid financial hardship, people must take a long look at their lifestyles and how they spend money. By living a more fiscally responsible life, they can ensure stability in the future when the economy begins to turn around.
Practicing stealth wealth now can help you withstand any market fluctuations. It can help you provide for your family and allow you to live comfortably without the worry that people will come to you when they need money. Stealth wealth takes a different mindset, but it is not impossible to achieve.
If you are unsure of where to begin, one of the best places to start is with a financial advisor. Someone with extensive experience in investments can help you understand the best place to put your money while avoiding a public display of your riches.
What Are the Benefits of Stealth Wealth?
There are a multitude of benefits to practicing stealth wealth. One of the most important is that keeping quiet about your assets can deter bad actors. With the majority of financial information being kept online, hackers have developed innovative ways to infiltrate accounts.
Whether through SIM card swaps or through phishing, bad actors may be drawn to people they know have a large amount of wealth. Cryptocurrency holders are particularly susceptible to this kind of hacking.
Remaining quiet about your wealth can also stop unwanted money requests from friends or extended family. If people aren’t aware of your wealth because you choose not to flaunt it, then they may be less likely to ask you for money.
“Stealth wealth doesn’t mean living like a pauper,” says Shaun Connell, owner of Credit Building Tips. “On the contrary, you will prefer to purchase high-quality but not flashy items that last much longer than the latest fad.”
“Using hidden wealth fosters sincerity and modesty,” says Carl Jensen, co-founder of Compare Banks. “It assists you in keeping your feet on the floor and maintaining your viewpoint on the things that are genuinely important in life as a whole, such as acquaintances, personal development, and life-changing experiences. It enables you to put less emphasis on material possessions and more emphasis on the intangible aspects of life.”
How To Achieve Stealth Wealth
As explained by Financial Freedom Countdown, there are several steps that you can take to achieve stealth wealth. Being stealthily wealthy is all about keeping the amount of money you have private.
This begins by not discussing your net worth with others. It may be tempting to engage in conversations about money or compare yourself to others, but your finances are a personal matter, and choosing to keep them private allows you to maintain discretion and autonomy.
Next, you’ll want to avoid posting about how you spend 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 vacations or extravagant experiences that may hint at your status. Instead, focus on sharing meaningful content that highlights your connections with family and friends, your interests, and your achievements.
Make a habit of charitable giving. This can be a powerful way to make a positive impact on society while maintaining a low-profile appearance. “Stealth wealth allows individuals to contribute more to causes they care about,” says Cody Beecham, financial expert and founder of Personal Finance Guru. “By accumulating wealth silently, individuals have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities, support charitable organizations, and help others in meaningful ways without drawing unnecessary attention.”
Finally, you can set up a trust to protect your assets. A trust is one of the best ways to provide for your loved ones without the information being broadcasted. A trust creates a legal entity that holds and manages your assets, that is separate from your personal identity and can be designed to distribute wealth discreetly so that your assets are protected and managed according to your wishes.
Maintaining stealth wealth involves several key strategies:
- First, it’s important to keep a low profile and avoid attracting unnecessary attention by refraining from flashy displays of wealth.
- Maintaining privacy is crucial, 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 showcase excessive wealth.
- Living within your means helps to maintain a low profile and prevents suspicion.
- Diversifying your assets is wise, as it allows you to preserve wealth discreetly.
- When seeking financial advice, choose professionals who prioritize privacy.
- Engaging in philanthropy is a lovely idea, but do so discreetly.
- Stay grounded and humble, focusing on personal values and relationships rather than material possessions.
- Educate your children about humility and financial responsibility.
- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, consult with professionals experienced in wealth management and privacy to navigate these matters effectively.
More From GOBankingRates
- 10 Things Boomers Should Consider Selling in Retirement
- These 10 Cars Could Drain Your Savings Through Constant Repairs
- 3 Ways to Recession Proof Your Retirement
- This Is the One Type of Debt That 'Terrifies' Dave Ramsey
Laura Beck contributed to the reporting for this article.