Have you heard the term “Stealth Wealth?” I tell my colleagues at conferences about it all the time, because in Central Wisconsin, it’s oftentimes who we are, and I just love it.
When we travel to big cities for conferences and engage in conversation with advisors from metropolises in which they have a greater population in their office building than my entire hometown of Custer, WI, it’s mind blowing on both sides of the discussion to compare lifestyles relative to net worth or income of our clients and even ourselves.
Stealth Wealth is just as it sounds: low levels of observable or obvious spending by people with standards of net worth who are considered wealthy. Those who are stealth with their wealth do not live flashy lifestyles, because it is just not in their DNA. My clients with seven and eight figure net worths drive pick-up trucks or mid-range SUVs, are not dripping with carats of diamonds and do not wear custom-tailored clothing. They enjoy their wealth but do not flash it and, in most instances, are just as down to earth as they were when they were in the thick of building their fortune. They value the long-term security that money provides and even though they have a sizeable nest egg, would not spend their hard-earned and managed with discipline money, frivolously.
Conversely, I’ve talked to advisors who have clients that make high six and even seven-figure incomes who have a hard time saving or building a measurable net worth. Their culture of status is to look-the-part, regardless of expense. Clothes. Jewelry. Cars. Rent. Manicures. Hairstyles. Social life. Whatever it takes for recognition. It’s a glossy lifestyle often with little substance under the clear-coat.
I’ve always said there are different kinds of wealth: the prosperity of high-income as a form of wealth, and true net-worth wealth. Strive for both, as each provides it’s own level of gratification. The most content of the high net worth population in my observations, are those who practice stealth wealth.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.