Do you keep your wealth a secret from family and friends? 1

Do you keep your wealth a secret from family and friends?

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Apr 24 2023 05:04 PM

I’ve heard of people flaunting their wealth, even when they don’t really have it, but I don’t know of many who hide their riches. Especially in this day and age of social media where with just a click, one can share their new luxury bag, new limited edition pair of shoes, OOTD (outfit of the day), latest vacation getaway and more.

Turns out there is such a thing as stealth wealth, a term for keeping your net worth all to yourself. This means you don’t let others know how much money you make or have, and by others that includes family and friends. 

One Reddit post blew up recently because someone who chose not to identify himself/herself claimed he/she is a millionaire but keeps this a secret from family. That person even admitted going as far as to rent a small apartment and pretend to live in it when relatives come to visit.

Now, people clearly have different reasons for hiding their wealth, and we are not here to examine if these are justified or not. But having come across stealth wealth, I cannot help but see that there are clear benefits for not openly sharing how much money you have for all the world to know and see.

#1 No one will come asking for money

When people are known to have money, they find themselves the usual first port of call when relatives and friends need to borrow, or simply want a handout. Going back to that Reddit millionaire poster, he/she got tired of how relatives felt entitled and expected that he/she should lend and/or give them money whenever they come knocking. 

#2 People won’t expect you to pay 

It can be tiring to always treat others when dining out, or pay for family vacations, or be expected to shower family and friends with gifts. When how much money you have is kept a secret, you can pay or not pay and be free from opinions and expectations. You can pick up the tab when you feel like it, to everyone’s happy surprise, or not and they won’t feel disappointed.

#3 People won’t expect you to spend either

After I got promoted to a senior post, a friend told me to ditch my freshwater pearl earrings for South Sea ones to celebrate my “higher” income and “higher” status. While I did go one level higher in rank, it was sadly a dry promotion, meaning it did not come with an increase in pay. When I confessed that, my friend immediately dropped all discussions about spending money (which had gone from pearls to a designer bag to a new car). 

#4 Get better bargains and more value for your money

Yes, it’s as simple as not looking wealthy. If you decide to buy fresh fruits from a seller by the road, and park your million-peso European car in front of her stall, do you think she will give you the lowest price possible? To negotiate for bargains and the best deals, you also need to dress and look the part, and that part calls for looking like the average Joe. 

#5 Treasure relationships that are priceless

People who won lotteries know this all too well – the minute they won, they are surrounded by family and friends, and the minute they lose it all, they are by their lonesome. Wealth can be very attractive, and it makes it hard to know which of the people around you are there for you, and not for your money. Stealth wealth can help you discover which relationships to treasure because they are simply priceless.

There are likely to be more benefits than just these five, but one good thing about stealth wealth is it keeps you living not just within but even under your means, which is one sure way to keep you wealthy.


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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.