We have all seen gaudy displays of wealth. The guy driving around his convertible Bentley flashing his Richard Mille watch and Louis Vuitton sunglasses. The woman walking around with her Hermes Birkin handbag and red-soled Louboutin shoes.
But not all wealthy people flaunt their wealth in this way. In fact, most who have become comfortable and well-settled in their wealth don’t feel the need to show it off.
In this article, I am going to discuss 11 surefire signs of true wealth that are non-obvious. People often refer to this as “stealth wealth” and you can easily spot it if you know what to look for. Let’s get into it!
If you would like to see a condensed version of this article in video format, check out my YouTube video on the topic below.
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1. They Are Supremely Confident
Have you ever met someone who oozes confidence?
In many cases, that confidence comes from being financially secure. Now I am not talking about someone who has inherited their money and is living off it. In many cases, those types of people may be plagued with a lack of motivation and self-doubt.
But if a person is a self-made multi-millionaire, they will display (often unconsciously) the confidence that comes with that. They know what it took to get there, they are proud of their accomplishments, and they know that if someone took it all away, they could rebuild their empire because no one can take away the intelligence, drive, knowledge, and skills that enabled them to achieve their wealth in the first place.
2. They Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Most truly wealthy people won’t worry about many of the problems that most normal people worry about like a busted transmission, a broken furnace, or a leaky roof. Any of these things can derail the average person’s budget and cause some serious stress in the process.
But for the secretly wealth, these things just don’t register on their radar. They understand that these things happen from time to time and they have more than enough money to take them in stride.
3. They Almost Never Complain About Money
Most people will complain about money at some point.
Even when engaging in small talk, a normal person might complain about the cost of gas or the unfathomable fees on their cable bill. But the uber-rich won’t. In fact, they may not even be aware of how much these things cost because they just pay it without focusing on how much it is.
When you have millions of dollars in expendable cash, $80 to fill-up your SUV is not going to raise any eyebrows.
However, there is one exception to this rule. Rich people might (and often will) complain about taxes – it’s something that seriously impacts their wealth, no matter how much they have, so it is always an area of focus.
4. Their Clothes Fit Well and Are High Quality
Let’s look at a more external indicator of stealth wealth. Clothes. As mentioned earlier, there are certainly rich people who will wear designer brands and flaunt their wealth. But for those who don’t, their clothes are going to be high quality and (this is the key) usually very well fitted.
Comfort is paramount for the wealthy.
They don’t need to put up with discomfort, so they won’t. That means their clothes will consist of materials that feel amazing on the skin like cashmere sweaters, high quality cotton shirts and pants, and for more formal occasions, suits that are custom tailored and made with the finest silk or wool.
Of course, there are rich people who really don’t care about clothes at all, but even then, they will usually find something they really like and have multiple sets of the same outfit (e.g., Mark Zuckerberg). So you will rarely see a really rich person wearing clothes that are dirty and falling apart.
5. Their Home and Cars Are Never in Disrepair
In a similar vein, the rich will not have cars that are broken down or homes that are falling apart.
People spend a lot of time in their homes and cars. The rich (just like anyone else) will not want to live in an uncomfortable environment. While the poor may need to put off repairing their cars or homes because of financial limits, the rich won’t.
So that means that while the rich may not feel the need to drive really expensive cars, their cars are going to be in great condition. You won’t usually see a rich person driving around a rust bucket with a taped up garbage bag to cover a broken window.
The same holds true with their house. It may not be gigantic and luxurious, but you won’t usually see them living in a home with a poorly maintained lawn, siding that is falling off, and a roof with holes.
6. They Are Highly Focused
The rich tend to be extremely focused on their goals. That’s because you need dedication and persistence if you want to achieve true wealth (unless you have inherited your wealth).
But for people who have built their wealth, you will likely observe their ability to concentrate and not lose focus on their goals. They are usually not swayed by what is popular at the moment (they understand that following the crowd will only get them as far as the crowd).
Once they have found a winning idea (typically after a lot of hard work researching options), they will not veer from it and follow it through to completion, even if there are obstacles along the way and even if they suffer ridicule from others.
7. When the Topic Turns to Money, They Lean In
Rich people are diverse in their interests (just like everyone else). Some may love sports, others may love reading, while still others may be obsessed with music or movies. But when the topic turns to money, regardless of their other interests, the rich will perk up their ears.
That’s because nearly all wealthy people care about money and want to be able to grow their wealth. They recognize that knowledge may come from an unexpected source and are willing (and eager) to soak up knowledge about money when the opportunity presents itself.
8. They Tend to Be Loners
Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s lonely at the top”? When you are really rich, this is often the case. You just don’t socialize as much. Source
Now I am not talking about growing and maintaining a business network. In most cases, the rich focus a lot on this and have tons of business connections. It’s part of what helps them become wealthy.
What I am talking about is hanging out a lot with a big close group of friends that you can lean on. The rich tend to do this far less than other people. There are several reasons for this.
First, their singular focus on their goals often leaves them with little time for socializing just for fun. Second, as they rise in wealth and success, many of their old friends and acquaintances become jealous or simply don’t relate. Lastly, they just don’t need a large social support system as they become more and more wealthy because their money is able to solve most of their problems.
9. They Rarely Feel the Need to Brag
People who have attained a serious amount of wealth are comfortable with their accomplishments and rarely feel the need to brag about their money.
They’ve already won, and when that’s the case, you don’t need to broadcast it to the world. It goes back to the confidence thing I talked about earlier. Warren Buffet doesn’t brag about how rich he is – others do it for him. In fact, people like him start to give away their wealth because leaving behind a powerful legacy becomes more important than keeping score about how rich you are. Source
10. They Value and Protect Their Time
When you have wealth, you value time more than money. This is pretty obvious, right?
You don’t see rich people wasting their time mowing their own lawns, pulling their own weeds, shoveling their own driveways or fixing their own toilets. They use people for that.
Poor people on the other hand, routinely trade time for money because money is in short supply.
So if you run across someone who jealously covets and protects their time (often at the expense of money), that’s a pretty solid indicator that the person is secretly rich.
11. They Play the Long Game
The final sign that someone is secretly rich is that they always play the long game.
As you get to know someone, you start to see how they think and how they solve problems. For most poor people, they are stuck making decisions that will solve a short term problem. Now that makes complete sense because when you are struggling to make ends meet, you need to make sure there is food on the table and a roof over your head.
Immediate needs drive everything.
But when you are rich, you have the luxury of planning for the future and making decisions that position you for success over the long term. That includes delaying immediate gain for the chance to make huge gains later on.
For example, I know of one executive who deliberately chose to take a lesser paying position because the knowledge and experience he would gain in that specific role would fill a gap that he needed to ultimately become CFO. By sacrificing in the short term (and he had the money to do this without much impact to his life), he was dramatically increasing his chances for massive success later on.
So there you have it – 11 telltale signs of the secretly rich. If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, check out my related articles below.