The concept of „stealth wealth“ has become increasingly fashionable in recent years and describes a lifestyle in which individual wealth is not flaunted. Rather, according to the „stealth wealth“ mindset, wealthy people tend to live in secret. The reasons for this can be quite complex. On the one hand, people strive for less financial pressure, which can be fathomed through a sprawling lifestyle. On the other hand, the more freedom thus gained is used for realisation in other areas, such as a project or a hobby.
In practice, „stealth wealth“ has some advantages, but many people also view it critically, or it is associated with some challenges. The following sections will therefore provide a detailed definition of the term „stealth wealth“ and how it can be put into practice.
What is „Stealth Wealth“? Meaning, definition, explanation
The term „stealth wealth“ is composed of the two English terms „stealth“ (adjective, which can be translated into German as „secret“ or „camouflaged“) and „wealth“ (noun, which can be translated into German as „prosperity“ or „wealth“). Followers of „stealth wealth“ are therefore usually wealthy or rich. However, they are secretly so and do not inform those around them about this fact.
The focus of stealth wealth is therefore more on fulfilment and using one’s wealth as a tool for a fulfilled life, rather than gaining external recognition through it. Stealth wealth is thus antithetical to the pursuit of recognition through wealth. The followers of stealth wealth can either already be very wealthy or rich people, or they can be people who are financially on their way to becoming so.
Why is „Stealth Wealth“ becoming more and more important?
The concept of „Stealth Wealth“ is becoming more and more important because many people feel overwhelmed by today’s consumerist society (reinforced by comparison via social networks). The constant display of wealth and luxury as well as the mutual arms race can lead to enormous personal pressure. This can also put one’s own financial freedom at risk (this is especially the case for people who are not rich but wealthy). „Stealth Wealth“ is therefore an increasingly popular concept that literally involves „taking your foot off the gas“.
How can one practice „Stealth Wealth“?
„Stealth wealth can be practised in different ways and by different types of people. This can be done either by already rich or very wealthy people, but also by people who are financially well off. These can be high-income or extremely frugal individuals who, on balance, require significantly less capital for their immediate lifestyle than their income provides. Furthermore, „stealth wealth“ can also be realised by focusing on areas of life other than consumption. So there are the following ways to implement the concept of „Stealth Wealth“ for oneself personally:
- save and invest
- making conscious purchasing decisions
- social interactions
In the following subsections, the above-mentioned possibilities for practice will be discussed in more detail.
Saving and investing
With regard to the concept of „stealth wealth“, saving and investing is particularly suitable for people who are not yet immediately rich or wealthy, but who are financially well off or have a high income. With this high income, a large fortune can be built up in perspective. This can then be used for one’s own financial freedom. Saving initially creates a financial buffer. Through wise investments, the saved capital can then be increased or income can be generated that can serve as a basis for earning a living in the future. It makes no difference whether this is based on a small or larger income. What is more important is that less money is spent than is earned.
Make conscious purchasing decisions
Money can also be saved by making conscious purchasing decisions. The following questions should be asked:
- Do I really need this product or service?
- Would a purchase really make me happier in the long term?
- What are the intentions of my purchase intention (the pursuit of recognition?)?
- How could I buy the product or service in question more cheaply (for example, through a substitute)?
- Social interactions
By carefully selecting one’s social environment and engaging in social activities based on experience rather than consumption, the implementation of stealth wealth can be greatly facilitated. It is important to build a social network with people who have similar values. Positive influence and satisfaction with oneself and one’s environment are further important cornerstones for the implementation of „Stealth Wealth“ in social terms.
All the advantages of „Stealth Wealth“ at a glance
Overall, the concept of „Stealth Wealth“ offers a multitude of advantages:
- financial freedom as well as independence
- less stress and pressure due to reduced consumerism
- simpler, but happier life
- less material focus
- increased security through the creation of financial buffers
- more time and leisure for individual projects and experiences
- Criticism and challenges of stealth wealth
Although the concept of „stealth wealth“ offers a variety of benefits, people often criticise it as well. The main criticisms are the potential loss of opportunities and experiences associated with higher income or wealth. Similarly, there is a popular view that our society tends to promote status and self-expression.
Ultimately, it can also be difficult to find a balanced approach to stealth wealth that neither degenerates into avarice, nor into over-consumption. Individual satisfaction and personal growth are further, important points that should definitely be taken into account when living out one’s individual concept of „Stealth Wealth“.
Conclusion: „Stealth Wealth
In summary, it can be said that „Stealth Wealth“ aims at the conscious avoidance of financial waste as well as the acquisition of status symbols in order to keep one’s prosperity or wealth rather hidden. This conscious avoidance of consumption is intended to make life simpler, but more beautiful and at the same time more financially secure.
The concepts of „frugalism“, „minimalism“ and „financial freedom“ follow an approach very similar to that of „stealth wealth“. All of these concepts aim to live far below one’s individual means in order to secretly and sustainably increase them.