Beyond Stealth Wealth

Beyond Stealth Wealth

I’ve never been one to care what others think of me. I have to learn to care a little bit at work once a year for self reviews though.

Otherwise to me the only opinions that matter are my son’s and wife’s.

Beyond Stealth Wealth

Sibling Outing

This creates interesting situations for me. Back in college my oldest sister invited me grocery shopping. She wanted to help me out with food and have some sibling bonding time.

A little back story, I am the baby of three kids. My sisters are 6 and 8 years older than me (Yes, I was very much an “oops”). This means my sisters are in a different stage in life than I am at any given time. While I was in college, my oldest sister was married and had a kid.

While we were walking through the grocery store I was picking up frozen pizza, Mac and cheese, and Pepsi… like one does. She was picking up foreign objects like fruits, vegetables, and spices.

As we were walking around I started to realize people kept looking at us. Being a college student my first reaction was, “did I put on a clean shirt today?” …not the problem.

These people assumed that I was in a relationship with an older woman and had a baby…

To me that was funny but mainly I couldn’t help but think that it was none of their business.

Dressed Up

Fast forward to my first job where I had to dress up a little. Business casual isn’t a comfortable dress code for me but I can’t deny that I look sharp in it. When I would go to the grocery store (or any where for that matter) after work people would be helpful, friendly, and kind.

Sometimes I would have a lot of errands to run before meeting friends so I would pop home and change before going shopping. Dressed in a graphic T and jeans I was treated like crap. People were annoyed and would make sure I wasn’t stealing.


A lot of bloggers will tell you to practice stealth wealth. The art of not keeping up with the Joneses and trying to impress others with expensive stuff. That is a very important mindset to have to keep yourself from buying crap to impress people you don’t like.

That only gets you so far because people will judge you regardless.

I want you to practice the art of not giving a crap.

People are going to make an assumption about you regardless of what you do.

If you have expensive stuff people will judge you for the purchase. Whether they think you are rich or wasting money.

Stop caring about what others think about you but more importantly, stop being rude to those that aren’t dressed up because the one in the suit may be broke and the one in jeans could be a millionaire.


Have you noticed people judging you? How is your stealth wealth going? Have you learned to stop caring what people think?

21 thoughts on “Beyond Stealth Wealth

  1. Interesting. The dangers of Stealth Wealth. Reminds me of the commercial where the DJ cuts his hair and dresses up in a suit, posing as a financial advisor.

    You may get better treatment in a retail store with your business casual attire, but that’s because it’s assumed you have money. Better treatment doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a better deal. Often, it’s the opposite.


  2. Interesting take on the stealth wealth way. I think I am “naturally” a stealth wealth person… I much prefer a tshirt paired with jeans or shorts. I’m comfortable and I like it… but that does mean that as late 20s business professional, I get mistaken for a college student ALL THE TIME when I’m working from a coffee shop or doing errands. It always strikes me more as funny and less as annoying or something I feel judged on.

  3. “Better treatment doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a better deal. Often, it’s the opposite.”

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as PoF.

    I’m not ashamed of my wealth, but I also don’t flaunt it. Since I’m not much into “things”, it isn’t obvious to those who don’t know me well just how well-off we are.

  4. Oh yeah, I mean, as humans it’s like we’re naturally built to compare ourselves to other people. And naturally we’re more inclined to think other people are all morons and we’re a precious gift to the world. But it’s still hard to not give a crap when it does occasionally matter what people think. At the end of the day, though, other people shouldn’t affect what you’re doing with your life.

  5. I once wore (torn) jeans and a tank top to work and was asked what was happening after the show that I was dressing up ‘fancy’ for 😛

    A good customer service representative knows that it’s not how you look. It’s hard not to snap-judge people and I think everyone’s guilty of it at some point – but it’s keeping an open mind, that’s key. Admitting you were wrong and owning up to that, so hopefully you can avoid the mistake in the future.

  6. I tend to just with whatever is comfortable but definitely see different signs of being judged.

    My wife carries a nice handbag and has a nice wedding ring. I can see the look on salespeople’s faces when they immediately assume we will spend more money in a store. We get treated nicer all of the sudden no matter what we are wearing.

    I am usually underdressed compared to my wife and seemed to get judged all the time. Kind of a look of how in the heck did you get that woman. All in all I don’t really care how people feel about me.

  7. I almost got kicked out of Tiffany’s for not looking my part…I know the associates wouldn’t think someone my age range could afford one but did they have to stare daggers at me. One associate was nice though but the others hated me. I was just in there because my friend wanted to see rings. I did need a ring (since Jared and I have been married 2 years now without one…) but then I changed my mind. Hehe. It’s all a smoke show.

    1. Ha that reminds me of when I was in high school and went to a commission based audio store. The sales people blew past me to help my parents… they were only there because I asked to go while we were in the area shopping together.

      Needless to say I walked out and bought the car stereo somewhere else.

  8. I always despised dressing for my corporate job. Those clothes are all packed away now. I always shopped at Brooks Brother’s. Not to look a certain way. I shopped there because the clothes aren’t trendy and are extremely durable. They last years of regular wear.

    Now I am flip flops and t shirts. Its always entertaining getting the awkward looks if I pop into Whole Foods for lunch.

  9. I guess I don’t really pay enough attention to others to really notice. I just dress in whatever is most comfortable and accessible and clean LOL! I agree though, that we should be focusing more on walking our own path than worrying so much about others’ paths.

  10. My sister is adopted and doesn’t look like me or my parents. I remember the looks we would get ask kids if they saw me, mom & sister, where it either didn’t process in their brain, or people assumed my mom ‘stepped out’ on my dad. I don’t think I ever saw a look that was, ‘oh maybe she’s baby sitting for a neighbor.’ If however we were all out as a family, it was looks of ‘oh how sweet they adopted’.
    I later got into medieval reenactment in college. Coming back from an event, walking through a rest area all dressed up, plenty of looks but I’d been wearing the clothes all weekend, so I didn’t notice. With those experiences in my background I’ve learned to shrug off the strangers judgment, but I still try to be put together for work, and not mix plaids or anything to embarrass friends.

    1. Our son has bright red hair while I have blonde and the wife is dark brown. We get to explain how genetics work every time someone asks about his red hair.
      We sometimes wonder how many think he is adopted.

  11. I have definitely noticed this and my wife makes me “dress up” if we’re going somewhere where we need to receive decent service. It’s not my favorite thing to do but it definitely pays off 🙂

  12. Amen to “practicing the art of not giving a crap”. The older I get, the less I just don’t care. I value the opinion of my family and close friends. Beyond that, people can think what they want. Meanwhile I’ll just be enjoying all the spoils knowing personal finance provides!

  13. I’d say you quite a few good points here! Nice post. Lots of things that actually apply in the real world.

    I would say after some personal experiences, it’s often “it depends” as a good way of using these principles.

    For example, there are times and places where we need to give a certain impression to others as they’re judging by appearances, just as you said. I don’t think it’s wise to completely have an “I don’t care” approach when it can potentially cost a person opportunities and/or friendships, relationships, etc.

    I try to use good judgement for when I do one or the other.

    I’m originally from a small town so I’m accustomed to being friendly to pretty much everybody whether they’re looking rough or are dressed to the 9’s. Doing so means I’m made more friends and had smoother social situations because there wasn’t any tension there.

    People usually respond really well if you treat them like they matter, regardless of their background. 🙂

    My $.02. Thanks!
    Marty M. recently posted…Rockford Fosgate P300-12 & P300-10 Full Review: A Powered Car Subwoofer Done Right

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.