Wealth may be associated with flashy luxury brands, but the world’s wealthiest people prefer to keep their success a little less noticeable.
- Luxury brands often come with flashy logos and noticeable designs, but the ultra-wealthy prefer to buy premium products without obvious brand names and logos.
- Many associate brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, or Gucci with the rich, but these brands draw attention that the ultra-wealthy prefer to avoid, Fortune reports.
- High-net-worth individuals may prefer to keep their wealth somewhat hidden for security and privacy reasons or out of mindfulness for those around them.
Why it’s news
The saying “money talks but wealth whispers” appears true among some of the world’s affluent individuals. Many of these people may prefer to keep a low profile to avoid awkward situations with family members and friends.
“I think this lesson applies for everyone with money,” Bel Air Investment Advisors president David Sadkin tells Fortune. “Theodore Roosevelt said: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ The ultra-high-net-worth corollary to this would be ‘Don’t be flashy, and keep your wealth out of view.’”
Global head of JP Morgan Private Bank’s Advice Lab Carrie Galloway agrees with Sadkin’s assessments, explaining that for the wealthy, being understated and discreet is tactful.
“They avoid flaunting their wealth in consideration of others who don’t have a similar level of financial freedom,” she says.
While keeping the extent of their wealth under wraps may be, in part, a tactful decision, it also makes sure false friends and family do not take advantage. With great success and wealth also comes the likelihood that others will begin to treat them differently.
In addition to keeping a low profile out of respect for peers, many high-net-worth individuals lie low out of security concerns. High profiles and overtly public life attract attention from both fans and potential dangers. Galloway explains that some might choose to stay away from social media to keep another level of privacy and to provide as little information as possible to hackers or other potential threats, Fortune reports.
The ultra-wealthy may also not view their riches as their own. Many instead see themselves as custodians of their fortune. Y TREE’s head of portfolio Eliana Sides says these clients consider stewardship of their wealth to be a “role” they play.
“Their role is not to run around saying to everybody: ‘Hey, I’m cleverer or luckier than you,’ it is very much: ‘I have a role in society. I think consciously about my role and my presence,’” Sides told Fortune.
These same individuals often are aware that wealth can change a person, and they try to stay “grounded and modest,” Galloway says.