How Can You Tell If A Guy Is Rich If He Displays Little Material Wealth?

Sailing At Sunset In Mallorca - How Can You Tell If A Guy Is Rich If He Displays Little Material Wealth?

Ever wonder how you can tell if a guy is rich if he displays little material wealth? This post will help you figure out whether a man is wealthy or not through some subtleties.

If you shack up in a house full of men and women as I did in Mallorca, there will inevitably be conversations about the other side. Men want to learn more about how women really think in order to get more women or at least find one perfect woman to treat right.

I imagine it's the same for women, although men are much easier to figure out. All we want to do is cuddle, give you foot massages, and make pancakes while you're still in bed every morning. Is that really too much to ask?

One woman, let's call her Chica Bonita, recently went through a divorce. Money, the number one reason for marital breakups was unfortunately one of their main reasons as well. Perhaps they had spending differences or perhaps the economy was unkind to two budding successes in their respective fields. I didn't want to dig.

When I asked her whether she'd go out with a not-so-rich fella again, she said, “Absolutely. But can he at least be attractive?” Fair enough. Who doesn't want to go out with a good looking beefcake?

But by the end of our enormous plate of paella con mariscos and bottle of rosé she changed her mind. “OK, I've decided I'm only going to be with a rich guy in the future because breaking up over money problems is terrible! I did the whole poor fella thing and never again.

Two Problems Rich Guys Face

I know a bunch of rich guys who are looking for someone but don't want women to explicitly know they are rich. Part of the reason is because women say they don't want to date “rich douchebags,” as if all men who are rich are automatically categorized as douchebags!

So long as you have more you will always be considered arrogant to others, even if you've done little to warrant such disdain. Miserable people can't help but discredit other people's achievements.

At the same time no man wants to feel used either, which is why some of the best relationships come out of college when both parties have hardly anything.

Men realize it's difficult to compete in the game of love if they don't display some type of status. That's why you see some guys spend a majority of their money on BMW car payments while living in a shack or worse yet, their mom's basement.

Rich guys aren't stupid. They know that wealth can help make up for any physical deficiencies or personality disorders up to a point.

Women constantly buttress this phenomena as we constantly see regular looking fellas date women way out of their league. The tie that binds is almost always money and both sides acknowledge.

There's a lot of nice guys in the world, but there isn't mathematically a preponderance of wealthy gentlemen walking around. Only around 12% of the American population make more than $100,000 a year and I would say only 1% of the population is truly considered financially rich. Women are more attracted to nice AND rich guys all else being equal.

Now do you see how difficult it is to be the sex who always has to make a move? It's all the woman's fault for sending mixed messages about secretly wanting a wealthy man but trashing them at the same time for their wealth.

How Can Rich Guys Come Across Better?

I asked Chica Bonita how she plans to find that rich guy if she can't really tell if he's rich in the first place. Remember, she's looking for that low key rich guy. I was sincerely curious to know since it sounds like a difficult mission for both men and women to pull off.

She responded simply, “Mannerisms. You can tell a guy is well off by the way he speaks and the way he acts. Women will pick up on subtleties along the way. The key for a guy is to show enough to pique our interest, but not enough so we know everything.

BAM! So for all you rich guys out there who know you're a great catch for any lady, work on your diction. After cutting out those “umms,” “likes,” and pauses from your speech, start hitting those vocabulary enhancing apps.

Instead of using the word “homeless” consider using the word “mendicant” before donating $10 in front of her while walking down the street. Instead of rambling on about a thesis, consider summarizing your thoughts in three succinct points. Maybe you can even learn a joke or two!

Can't Hide Sophisticated Speech

After you're done sounding like a sophisticated gentleman, make sure you've got great posture and perfect eye connection. Given that you're not allowed to wear outlandish designer clothing, you'll need to be fit to look good in your t-shirt and jeans. Don't be fooled by beauty. More than half the battle to looking good is just being in great shape.

Don't hog the conversation time either. Make the dialogue dance in a 50/50 split. If you can amaze her with your listening ability and show that you empathize with her various concerns you're well on your way to leveling up. She'll eventually find out you are big balling. By then, it'll be up to you decide whether you want to bust out the foot massages!

Guy rowing a boat in Central Park
Rent boat. Row boat. Avoid ducks. Hope it doesn't rain. Have your woman ignore everything you do. NYC 2013.

Other Hints To Tell If A Guy Is Rich

* Education: If he went to a good university or has a graduate degree from a reputable school, chances are high he makes more than the median income. Memorize the fact that the median income for 29 year old MBA graduates from the top 20 schools is around $120,000 a year to start.

Know that first year cardiologists, radiologists, and orthopedic surgeons make at least $250,000 a year in big cities and 30%+ more in smaller cities. Here's a chart of the median total pay package for graduates from the top 15 MBA schools.

* Occupation. The large majority of people who've worked for more than 10 years in the field of medicine, strategy consulting, investment banking, private equity, venture capital, successful internet startups and high tech all make six figures a year and have net worths of over $1 million dollars. If they don't, they will with enough time and financial competence.

Hence, if you want a wealthy man find a man who is in his mid 30s or older. It all depends on how old you want to go as you can find plenty of 65 year old fireman with enormous pensions as well! Check out who are the top 0.1% income earners who make over $1 million a year.

* Items of clothing or accessories. It's almost impossible not to wear anything nice if a man has money. Common things to look out for include watches, dress shirts, shoes, belts, and wallets. One good hint is to see whether his dress shirts are tailor made. Tailor made clothing isn't necessarily more expensive, but they do provide hints that the man cares about quality and potentially travels for work, which are both correlated to wealth.

Many wealthy men also can't help but drive a nice car or wear a nice watch. Memorize that entry level BMW 3 series, Audi A4s, Mercedes C series, and Lexus IS models cost about $40,000-$60,000 and go up in 35% increments for each successive line. If he's paid cash, you're golden. If he leases, you've got to figure out whether he put in on his company (good), or whether he's leasing because he can't really afford it (bad).

Women should also look out for watches like the Rolex Stainless Steel Daytona, IWC Big Pilot, Hublot Big Bang, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and Panerai Submersibles. They cost between $7,000 – $15,000 and are considered a wealthy man's “everyday” watch. Finally, look out for guys who rock $100 digital watches from Casio and Timex. Wealthy guys love to go the complete other way.

* Attitudes about wealth. For the mass affluent, there is an inverse relationship between how much wealth you display and how wealthy you are. The more men try to showboat their wealth, the more likely he is spending beyond his means with credit card debt. Women should question a man's thoughts on debt and consumption by asking about the state of the overall consumer.

Most wealthy men I know have a good understanding about finances in general. They take calculated risks with their money and have firm opinions about politics, social welfare, and foreign affairs. Wealthy men try to look for as much value as possible because there's a deeper appreciation for a dollar earned.

* Homeownership. In 2020, the average net worth of a homeowner was $250,000 vs. an average net worth of only $5,000 for a renter. A lot has happened since then, but the real estate market is clearly recovering. A 40X greater net worth difference is statistically significant. Canadians have enormous net worths due to a bull market in housing.  Women should figure out whether the man owns his primary residence and when the primary residence was purchased.

An innocuous way of finding out is by assuming a man does not own by asking, “How is your landlord and is s/he raising the rent this year?” If he is a homeowner, he can't help but admit his ownership and probably when he bought because he'll be so proud. Obviously there are very wealthy renters as well. If your man is a renter, then it's up to you to figure out whether he owns other assets like a large stake in a successful company.

Easy To Tell If A Guy Is Rich If You Pay Attention

The more observant a woman is the more she'll be able to figure out whether the guy is wealthy or just another over levered Joe Schmoe.

Wealthy men in the San Francisco Bay Area make it a sport to look poorer than reality because it's in our culture. We're the ones who pioneered Casual Fridays during the dotcom era and popularized billionaires who wear hoodies and flip flops at work.

Wealthy guys looking for love just need to figure out whether the woman is interested in him or his money. We'll leave that topic for another post!

Women, how do you tell if a guy is rich if he doesn't display any wealth? Why do women overtly criticize wealthy men for being douchebags but secretly want to snag one of their own? What's wrong with men being rich and successful? Would you rather date a rich average looking guy, or a poor really good looking guy all else being equal?

Men, what are some of your strategies to look more low key? Have you ever met a woman who turned out to like your wealth more than you? Are you as encouraged as I am that a latest study shows that 44% of women are the primary breadwinners in a household now?

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Related: How To Get A Rich Man To Be Your Boyfriend or Husband

Photo: Sailing at sunset from Port de Soller, Mallorca.

About The Author

127 thoughts on “How Can You Tell If A Guy Is Rich If He Displays Little Material Wealth?”

  1. Let's call me Bob and Sarah

    You wont know somone best unless you’ve stuck through with them at there worst. That goes for both genders. End…

  2. I am late 40s, I make about $250,000. each month. I don’t wear a watch. Right now, I am wearing inexpensive Columbia shorts, a simple fitted, inexpensive, American Apparel T-shirt, and classic Adidas footwear. I don’t wear logos if I can help it. I have a net worth much greater than Prince Harry, which I made independently of my immediate family, who are billionaires: we are in different industries. I don’t know how many vehicles I have, but three of them are Jeep Wranglers, two are Teslas, one is a Chevy pickup, there are others like Toyotas — I usually drive the Jeeps. I guess that I have a sufficient vocabulary. Nobody would ever know how much money I had, except for the very quiet donations I make to feed millions of people — I won’t use my real name in this reply. When I make donations, I do these donations discreetly. So, I guess, run a charity if you wish to find a wealthy guy, but many of us, in this category, go out of our way, to remain understated, and can’t stand being flashy. I’ve told my other wealthy buds, that charity organizations are a great way to meet great women that are compassionate, and helping others. I think we have been stalked too many times by women that are looking for money. Many of us understand that money does not buy happiness, but it is potential energy. We also don’t want to show off, or make others feel awkward. Extreme wealth can be a lonely club, and you want your friends included, so it is good to keep things toned down, and accessible, or relatable to others, or you get friends saying, “well, at-least you can afford that,” or “must be nice,” which is uncomfortable, and not something we want, and not empowering to others. When you can afford anything you want, you really don’t want much. I go fishing. I go camping. I have visited many countries, and at-least 45 states. There are occasions that I am expected to attend formal events, and I am very trained in etiquette and civility. I like inconspicuous consumption, but I am not cheap. I am not pushy, but I can be impatient, and I don’t take sh*t. I am very polite, and show the same respect to everyone from a janitor, to a ambassador. I like simplicity. If you are looking for a ultra high net worth individual, you have your work cut out. I only invite closer friends to my homes. A stranger would never, ever, know my financial situation. We pick up on the digging easily. I’ve had more than a few women ask what I drive, and I usually say, “a Jeep.” They usually end up with the guy that has a BMW, in a suit. Some of us don’t need to wear suits, because the suits work for us. Good luck. Life is short. Help folks, find happiness, and love, not dollars.

    1. Thanks for the comment John it was useful ! As someone who is looking to learn more about business and learning how I can become financially free. How would I go about getting a potentially wealthy mentor ?

    2. And let me guess you’re single and sweet and probably not on are you ? Lol. Well there went my shot ever being rich, lol, but I DID enjoy reading your comments . Thanks!

    3. “I don’t take sh*t”

      This choice of wording implies that you may not be being completely truthful, while there are exceptions most people with the qualities you describe would prefer to say something like “I am not a pushover”, “I project strength”, or “I don’t suffer fools”.

      Then again, most would also not post in the comments, and the only reason most would have even come across this article is to skim read and check the “habits” that gold diggers might use to identify them and make sure they aren’t accidentally projecting their wealth without realizing.

      1. I hate wealthy! I like straight my family! I’m born hearing and my brother was with me when I was 7 years old and accident. I was in coma for two month ago. I’m deaf can’t hear anything nothing but I can speak some not all. I had been married 3th . I’m doing ok notice my husband gone without me on his vacation. He didn’t took me out yet. I don’t understand why. I wish go out myself but I can’t because I already know not safe for me. I want you’re my good friend as good. I’m Anne . I’m 57 years old. Keep as good friends. ❤️ Please not for me . Good luck hope to find right women!

    4. So many I’s in your comment. Doesn’t seem very high society to me. Most upper class persons would try not to use so many I’s in their written posts as it looks too self-centered. But what do I know anyways, I am just a middle class bloke like you..

      1. Well, to be fair, he didn’t claim to be a part of high society, or even wealthy for that matter. The story doesn’t exactly add up to me either. Quite frankly, some weird garbage such as “I am very trained in etiquette and civility”. You’re either raised into these attributes or you’re not. By the time you’re an adult, they’re done naturally and autonomously without prior consideration of the act. The story just includes too many conspicuous details that sound like stereotypical perceptions portrayed by average people about the rich. The probability of someone in his acclaimed position to type as much as he did about his life’s circumstances would be strange. Instead, he’d probably write what points in the article that he considers to be wrong, and maybe give a few unlisted ideas.

  3. I am in my 50s and I make 12000-15000 a month, I do not even dare looking at any woman, needless to say it would be insulting her when I can barely support myself and my children with that income. One day my kids will probably hate me for being poor despite my good manners and excellent education. I can speak five languages and soon six but I could not manage to build enough wealth through my life despite I made many around me very rich whenever they asked me for financial advice… sad truth.

    So whenever a woman seems interested I just vanish to save her time and save myself shame… somehow they tend to think that I am secretely rich but I am obviously not, all the contrary. And the more I hide the more they insist till they finally give up.

    I wish everyone the best in your quest for love with a rich partner but be aware that most out there are not, most are deeply buied in debt.

  4. While this post is quite old, what I have learned about identifying wealthy men from those who appear to be, but are not is this: it is nearly impossible. Perhaps, solely within the state I live in. Stealth wealth is common and the wealthy go to great lengths to shield any kind of indicator of their net worth, at least here that is. Indicators of wealth tend to be within the nuances. Their etiquette, mannerisms, how to they communicate both via text message and in face-to-face conversation. The degree to which they expend respect for other individuals, and so on.

    In terms of shoes, watches and cars that is not always the greatest indicator of wealth. Subtle hints and drops of insight about their family life, homes and land owned, travels and experiences went on can indicate their wealth. Those of astronomical wealth have been trained to be discreet. We can say several wealthy men are intelligent and observant, they know there are opportunistic women who will pounce on their chance to marry into an inheritance. Given they are intelligent, from what I have learned, they learn the game women play before she even plays it with them.

    Some wealthy men choose the simple life. Modest cars and homes. Others, have an affinity for the arts. They choose luxury cars, carefully crafted homes and art pieces.

    When I first met my partner, the greatest indicator of his and his families wealth was his manners. He drove and still drives a very modest car, lives in a very modest home and yet is uber wealthy. When he shared with me his and his families wealth, I nearly choked on my tequila and died right there. And, to add, I never knew his true financial status until much later into the relationship.

    So, to the ladies looking for a wealthy man, learn that many are highly intelligent and many require you to be so also. Mannerism and etiquette matter, after all, you are now entering the upper echelon of society. But above all, learn how to value a man for who he is and not his financial status. Wealthy men are not a means to loan forgiveness, a lavish lifestyle or cars. They are simply: human wanting to be loved. Treat them as such, and maybe you will share in their wealth…one day.

    Said from a woman who is a millionaire (before he came along) alongside her partner who is one individually also.

    1. You make some good points and best comment by far. Just to add, when I met my millionaire husband to be, I had no idea of his status for a while. There were NO indicators at all. In fact he seemed very common, dressed down-no fancy labels
      shopped at the discount stores, rented his modest house, drove a modest car and swore a lot (we are still working on that one), and I was the well educated, well spoken and well mannered one, but in between all that, I noticed he was very intelligent, had a lot of unusual skills and is very confident and positive in his approach towards life. So you can imagine how shocked I was to discover he was a multi millionaire. Turns out he didnt feel the need to spend spend spend and just wanted a relationship where he genuinely felt loved. He has been my rock ever since and we genuinely take of each other. Yes we recently bought a house and cars for ourselves. So we are comfortable but not flash. I never bring up his wealth, we just get on with things as normal. Rich men are out there but you can’t always tell, there are no definite indicators to go by.

  5. Helena Harris

    Just because she turns you away or doesn’t give a second look when you’re about 3 scores away from looking like a hobo or guy who lost all his fortunes, doesn’t mean all girls are GDs.

    If you saw a girl with a beautiful face but holes in her shirt and old stains all ove her jeans, would you think you’d approach her?


    Instead think like this: You can’t expect to attract the best, if you don’t show off at least “some” of your best. After all, winners attract winners. Right?

    Guys give girls such a bad wrap about women, when guys are waaay worse and find all kinds of tactics to get women, whom they don’t know or have feelings for, but are simply overtly attracted to, into bed. lol.

    Don’t complain about the attraction not being as fever pitched on “normal guy” site, when you would never be as fever pitched to a beautiful girl, covering up as much as a nun.

  6. This is an old post, but I thought I’ve been thinking about this very topic of late having recently gotten into the dating scene myself. I keep hearing stories about women looking for men with money, but as a woman who men like to show their money to, I have to wonder what makes wealthy men attractive. For myself, it would be really nice to date someone for whom money is not an issue simply because it would allow us to focus on things other than money including learning from experiences, having intelligent conversations and bonding over shared values. I’m not speaking of finding someone who is careless with money as I don’t want to be a sugar mama any more than a man wants to be a sugar daddy. Instead I’m interested in a guy for whom the whole ‘am I a good provider’ question has been answered, even though I don’t need him to provide for me. It’s more about the attitude and self-assurance that someone at that level has since they no longer need to prove anything to anyone. Would I date someone with that attitude and self-assurance that makes $25K a year as a teacher? Absolutely! Just my 2 cents.

    1. Like most things, it’s really person to person. There are quite a number of women who want the finer things in life and want to be taken care of by a man. There are quite a number of women who find that mentality shallow and are quite the opposite. Quite right!

  7. Doesn’t sound like well off folks we meet here. Ppl are pretty open. I was told bad things, about how ppl here are so stuck up, and everything is so expensive. Rich ppl, yes, but such nice ppl, the area is very clean, and customer service is so great compared to a cheap area we lived at. It is more expensive, but more expensive makes sense. Food and other stuff is the same price. Movies the same price but the theaters are beautiful, seats are comfy leather and clean, smells nice, lobby is beautiful, and lobby always shows movies. Food is better quality. Fastfood places look more like restaurants or just way cleaner. Lots of well off kids and we got along well with them. They are very respectful, clean, and share. Our experience at the old place was an opposite. We lived in the area with ppl on benefits and those kids were usually mean, messy, and paranoid about sharing (cant blame them, though). I mean, it was cheap to live there and we were in the shopping area with a movie theater. We just didnt know that some places are better, we liked the price. I expected to move to an area with stuck up people but I am so happy we live here now. Rent is high but its worth it(very limited apartments and bigger homes, so you pay based on that.). We got everything here and its all beautiful, including the people. Makes me wanna be a better person and make more money(aka do more with my life). Rich kids here are so well behaved, school is ranked high and is very pretty).
    This reminded me of something.
    We have a membership to an amusement park. Due to having small kids, we dont need fast passes yet. Will next year. So if we go on big rides, have to stand in line with the rest of the regular folks. So we got stuck in one line on a ride we never did before. There was an African American (assumed) family right in front of us. They had lots of flashy stuff on them, like baby phat clothes (which kids in highschool used to love), LV glasses on the mother, and Gucci shoes and one had sliders. They were obnoxiously loud about the stuff they had on, including pointing out very loudly what the sunglasses were (it mightve been another “expensive” brand but cant remeber). 1. The stuff was fake, and Ive seem some well made fake stuff, but this wasn’t it. 2. We were stuck with them for almost 30 mins and they never stopped talking about their expensive stuff (never experienced it before). 3. If you are that rich, get a fast pass.But I know why they didnt…
    Poor people acting rich is not cute. Just act like a decent human being and respect others. For example, dont be obnoxiously loud in line, because no one is intrested in your business. Grown ppl acting pathetic. We, being annoyed, made fun of their fake stuff in another language. We know our stuff, you cant fake it. (Not rich myself but I hate fakers). I know rich ppl going ro that park, they all have an annual fast pass, and I have to buy a daily pass if I ever go with anyone without the kids. No one wears Gucci on a rollercoaster ride, thats such a brainless move. No one leaves designer sunglasses at the cubby for a ride, it will get stolen. Those things are left in your car or a safe box at the park is rented.

    Moral of the story, beware of fakers! There is a benefit of having well off friends, they often offer to buy your stuff( lile a toy your kid really wants, an icecream for your kid and theirs, a drink for you, or sometimes covering your whole meal), they are always positive, they are caring and will always try to help (unless they realize you are using them, tbey have good connections, and they are well behaved. Fakers will bot be any of those things or are just not rich enough to be that open spirited and versatile . Also, rich avoid people with less money for obvious reasons. Unless you go to the same places or your kids are friends, I dont see why youd be friends. If you were rich, youd understand. People like to use people. Better be safe than sorry. Im not rich but its okay. Just be you, and be with ppl from all backgrounds. Dont fake it and dont go around looking for someone with a big wallet. Also, being poor is nor an excuse to act like trash.

  8. Joanne Yoon

    Maybe I’m the odd one out as a Korean woman but I’ve always looked for men who made me feel happy and who had good integrity (that means a person that doesn’t lie, cheat, steal, hurt others). I never cared about the $ they made. Instead of looking for signs of wealth, I scanned for signs of integrity and how smart they are. Intelligent, well educated men are incredibly sexy to me as are their good moral qualities. That “chinese guy” I dated when I was 18 yrs old had both integrity and knowledge, and I am happy I went with the right choice because I am treated like a queen to this day and we live with above average 6 figure salary. $ you can earn, a person with integrity is nearly impossible to get.

    1. No clue why you made it about race but that doesn’t surprise me. It’s not because you are “Korean” or because he is “Chinese”. People are different all over the world. Grow up a bit.

  9. I like what Shaun and Michelle had to say in this thread.

    This article does not reflect anyone I know, male or female.

    In response to FS’s questions:

    Q: Women, how do you tell if a guy is rich if he doesn’t display any wealth?

    Not applicable. Rich is not something I’m scanning for. I look for professional, articulate and well-groomed. And in reality, I don’t want a partner who spends a lot more than I do, because that can cause conflicts over lifestyle choices I’m not comfortable paying my half on.

    Q: Why do women overtly criticize wealthy men for being douchebags but secretly want to snag one of their own?

    Not applicable. I don’t criticize people for being wealthy. And I don’t know anyone who would want a douchebag, even if s/he were rich. I wouldn’t.

    Q: What’s wrong with men being rich and successful?

    Nothing! I love seeing men & women create their own success. And I consider myself one of them.

    Q: Would you rather date a rich average looking guy, or a poor really good looking guy all else being equal?

    Of these two artificially binary options, I would choose rich/average. I would also choose some other combos. Essentially, he needs to be able to support himself (because I won’t), and we also need to be compatible in how we make spending decisions.

    FS – With the douchebag stuff, you might be confusing wealth and behaviour.

    Wealth + nice behaviour = Awesome
    Wealth + bad behaviour = Douchebag

    Or just remove the wealth variable and you’ll notice the same result. ;)

  10. On our first date, a guy constantly droped numbers to impress me, and braged about how other women threw themselves at him for money. I then asked him whether he knew Wendy Whitehead, he said ‘no’. So I told him how Wendy made herself a billionaire with the help of her husband, and I have been looking for my own “Mr. Whitehead”. He shut up.

  11. Wealthy guys looking for love just need to figure out whether the woman is interested in him or his money. We’ll leave that topic for another post!

    Still waiting for that post!

  12. Yeah… this article is for men stupid enough to get married in a one-way modern society with the state…

    I am a millionaire and I dress like a bum. I have long hair, full beard, flirt with anyone I want..

    The best part about this is I’m in psychological research… So I know what’s up. The only people that are having trouble are the girls at the coffee shop I visit, at least five times a day. They’re undeniably perplexed.

    It’s the best feeling in the world to know when someone has no fucking clue. The best part about this is I love my solitude and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  13. The good thing about being wealthy is I can flaunt it with my father’s Rolex(gift) and my Dodge Challenger(gift) and I get laid(I’m not very attractive.Then, telling women that i don’t own squat and I love to watch their reactions! p.s I don’t intend on getting married unless she was intelligent(uncommon).

  14. What about the rappers like Kendrick Lamar (at least those who dress like bums but have CEO money), hell what about those that own and actively co and operate Slaughter houses? If you know anything about slaughter houses, you know that they literally rake money off their lawn (after the feces is cleared up of course). ANd I can bet you they dress like blue collar bums but probably live in million dollar homes? Then how can you tell the difference between million dollar bums and $10 bums?

  15. Oh my, I accidentally came across this page. wtf. Gonna go to bed sad now. Disappointed with the human race.

  16. This drives me nuts: “Wealthy men in the San Francisco Bay Area make it a sport to look poorer than reality because it’s in our culture. We’re the ones who pioneered Casual Fridays during the dotcom era and popularized billionaires who wear hoodies and flip flops at work”. Absolutely correct but, unfortunate. I grew up in the sixties. Almost no one wore black clothing, t-shirts or sweatshirts. I’m in the company of foreigners all the time and occasionally I will hear about what “sloppy” and “slovenly” poor dressers men are in the US. My wife has pointed out how this type of heinous dressing comes from men today not wanting to appear to look gay. I have to agree, although while gay’s used to dress well they now dress just as badly as everyone else. Hearken back to the “Rat Pack” days. Guys in that era were proud of the way they dressed and knew how to do it. They could match clothes well. Yes, men have always had a tougher time coordinating than women but, compared to today, forget it. Men today know how to throw on a black t-shirt or anything black or grey and jeans and that’s about it. Oh, don’t forget sports clothing. My father never wore a t-shirt and always had on a collard shirt. While it may be hard to believe and yes, I’m proud of this, I don’t own a single item of black clothing, not one! I also don’t own any t-shirts except for white that I wear under my shirt. Also, my kids aren’t allowed to wear t-shirts out side the house and they never have. My three kids have been given many nice compliments about how they dress and they love it. When I get dirty around the house it’s always in an old polo. Perhaps it’s time to throw away the t-shirts and sweats. Just one wealthy man’s opinion.

    1. None of what you say is true. The modern dress down look comes from two things: 1) an attempt to revolt against the work society that we saw kill our parents despite very much being a part of it 2) simply wanting to be comfortable.

      Another wealthy man has an opinion too, Zuckerberg wears t-shirts and jeans. Are you that wealthy? Guess not.

  17. MAN, this entire article is pretty much how to turn yourself into a good golddigger without looking too susceptible. When I get rich, I’m just gonna take a day to walk around looking like a raggidty hobo and smell real bad just with a guy who’s dressed the part of a rich fella just to see how many hoes I find in one day. Because if your love life is based on a man with a 100k+ salary, then is the markings of a hoe and you can never be truly happy, don’t care what you say. Because after all, you liked him first because he was well off right?

    1. Me too man. Once I hit $100k, I am buying a big ass house (full payment, no mortgage), two cars, a fancy ass GMC and a crappy little honda. And I will be abusing that honda. And I will still dress like I came from the hood (not the designer version, the 80s no worth version). but smelling good. At least you can definetely tell who’s real about love and who’s real about money.

        1. thats relative, 100k a year is pretty huge salary, and makes you in top 1 or 3 percent of the world’s population. And for a single man who pays 300 a month in rent for example for 1 room, you can make many huge projects, and also use money to do some chameleon stuff. On the other hand, safe route, or social route, where you invest in real estate, get mortgages, pay for cars, that money can feel like 0. It depends on the area, your decisions and vision. Ofc its not much if you invest it via safe route, where it nets you 4 percent yearly, so to get 1 mil portfolio you need many years, even if you dont spend it. But if you go aggro and you are young with no kids or wife, you can pull offs some cool projects. the thing is, do you like it, because for someone who does not want to start businesses, work on certain projects, better don’t, in the end, doing what makes your brain fire up is important

  18. Wall Street Playboys

    Interesting article Sam.

    Some agree and some disagree here, this day and age if you’re hoping to date a young girl in the USA nice guys are certainly not rewarded, the mating culture is actually quite the opposite. In fact being a “douchebag” is practically a good thing.

    We even wrote about this in relative detail, basically all girls call their ex boyfriends… Wait for it…douchebags! (D-bags for short, proud to be d-bags for sure). So basically most douchebags actually end up having healthy sex lives (fulfilling we can leave up to debate).

    Will try to peruse the blog more, interesting observations nonetheless.

    Oh one final one, food for thought, if you have no interest in marriage/kids…it kind of kills the stealth wealth (avoiding gold digger problems) because simply put… who cares if she knows at that point.

    1. Spot on both accounts! Nailed it. Girls aren’t attracted to nice guys despite what they say. Girls have a tendency to say one thing but react to the opposite.

      And if you’re just trying to get laid, flaunt it baby!

  19. change the title to, “The Gold Digger’s Guide to digging deep into a man to find out if he’s made of Gold”

    Yes, that would be much more appropriate, also mention that you don’t mind using your wealth as leverage for power and domination in the relationship, but most guys like dominance.

  20. Financial Independence

    Watches can be a massive giveaway of wealth – working in the finance industry I have learnt to recognise and appreciate some of the more popular or iconic timepieces and researched enough to hold a short conversation about them (despite there being no way I can justify owning one myself).

    This actually comes in more handy with clients than co-workers…it’s amazing how many clients I see who will claim to be financially struggling, but are wearing watches worth more than my monthly salary. Complementing them on their watch and asking a relevant question lets them know that I know enough about their attire that they aren’t telling me the whole truth.

  21. I really like your post. It livens up what is usually a boring subject. Btw, I like boring too, and read a lot of boring personal finance articles.

    For women who want to follow this advice, though, a few caveats. Like everything, this is work. Identify a good watch? Takes work. There are so many watches out there, let alone brands. I’d add shoes as well. Many wealthy men have good shoes. But it is work to know enough to identify good shoe brands as well.

    And then there’s the limited chance to have the effort payoff. The number of men sporting nice shoes is low, and the number of false positives (men buying shoes with debt) is compounded by the number of wealthy men not wearing nice shoes. And many wealthy men don’t wear watches (or something stupid like a pebble). Plus, the chances of finding a five figure watch on a wrist of a single guy is pretty low. Btw, Rolex is typically a negative indicator (except Daytona in ss).

    Much better odds I think (and probably more fun for women) is Princeton mom. Find someone smart and motivated, and marry before he earns his money and earn it together. statistics say that married men make more money, and smart men know this. And smart rich men who happen to be unmarried also know that getting married is of limited financial upside (they already made their money).

    I have one friend who is wealthy and single and under 40 and looking to get married. There is a reason he is still unmarried!

    1. @Parlayjoe, that’s what I was thinking. I read ‘Made In America’, and Matt Hughes is a metaphor for America, right, wrong, good, bad, and all points in between.

  22. Sam, it’s true that there are women who are going out and looking for wealth. But I think that it’s more accurate to say that women prefer men who are in some sort of stable position, rather than needing an ultra-wealthy guy making a half million a year or with a 5 million dollar net worth. Those guys can be really cocky and it is off-putting.

    There are also multiple reasons for being “poor.” If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck while raking in $100,000 a year, then I probably don’t want to date you. If you are into yoga and don’t believe in material possessions, then it is ok for you to be completing your umpteenth unpaid internship while definitely not supporting yourself. Granted, a golddigger would not really differentiate between the two, but a normal woman would.

    I’ve dated rich guys and poor guys and normally the poor guys have better personalities and are kinder people. This is why there’s a stereotype that rich men are automatically douchebags. It has a tiny root in reality. It’s nice to date someone wealthy who wants to and is fully capable of paying for everything, but it’s not a requirement. Also, someone who has the idea that men are required to pay on dates tends to think in terms of rigidly defined gender roles, which means that he’s not open to being a stay at home parent while I keep my career. It’s all in what you want out of life or a relationship.

    1. You might be right. But imagine finding that humble, kinda, funny rich guy. What a catch for any woman whose family will be set for life!

      I always like to think of this situation from a parent’s point of view of a son or daughter looking.

    2. Violet Vixen

      You sound more on point out of all the guys nailed.

      Just because she turns you away or doesn’t give a second look when you’re about 3 scores away from looking like a hobo or guy who lost all his fortunes, doesn’t mean all girls are GDs.

      If you saw a girl with a beautiful face but holes in her shirt and old stains all ove her jeans, would you think you’d approach her?


      Instead think like this: You can’t expect to attract the best, if you don’t show off at least “some” of your best. After all, winners attract winners. Right?

      Guys give girls such a bad wrap about women, when guys are waaay worse and find all kinds of tactics to get women, whom they don’t know or have feelings for, but are simply overtly attracted to, into bed. lol.

      Don’t complain about the attraction not being as fever pitched on “normal guy” site, when you would never be as fever pitched to a beautiful girl, covering up as much as a nun.

      Fair enough?

  23. The bottom line for me is that looks can be incredibly deceiving. How many times have I been mistaken when trying to judge someone’s wealth by first looks!

  24. Hey Sam,

    I think there is a lot of room for discussion in your posting. For example, on what basis are you asserting that rich men are more likely to have expensive clothing or cars? Or that men in venture capital or investment banking are more likely to be rich.

    In fact if you look at IRS data the truth is more american millionaires are modest small business owners. Its the guy in the plaid shirt who runs a successful construction company, not the seemingly well heeled NY banker who makes up the bulk of American wealth.

    That said, I think you are correct that there is a class of women who spend time looking for rich guys to marry.

  25. Sweet – Enjoy. You’ve been to hard on yourself, could be hit by a bus tomorrow. YOLO, haha

  26. Everyone else glossed over the bash on people that lease cars?? Why buy a depreciating asset and incur maintenance costs? Same payment every month, no surprises, new car every 3 years. I know your rule on cars, but if you enjoy motor sports, are you allowed at least one vice? Have you ever seen the price of labor and replacement parts on a German sports sedan?

    1. Feel free to lease a car if you wish, so long as you make 10X the value of the car. Leasing is definitely better for those whose time is more valuable because they make more money, and who have businesses where they can partially write off the expense. The 1/10th rule for car buying is a guiding principle. You’re free to go crazy and break the rule if you love cars. I won’t tell!

      1. Thanks Sam – Not going crazy but if you can afford the payment you can afford the payment. Most “experts” say not more then 20% of your net should be car payments, which is crazy. I’d say about 5% of my take home is the payment, but man listen to that engine!! :-)

        1. Cool. It’s an individual choice. But btw, if you are worried about the cost of replacement parts down the road, maybe that’s a hint you are spending more on the car than you should!

          I’m waiting for the new 335i BMW coupe to come out this Fall. Should be a beauty. The new 911s look and sound sweet though!

  27. The First Million is the Hardest

    I’m not a woman, but I totally agree that you can generally tell who the well off men are by the subtle differences in the way they dress, speak and carry themselves. Watches are a great indicator because they allow a guy to show off his wealth without being too overt about it (generally).

    1. Way back in the 1980s, it was possible to LEASE a Rolex. Oh, yes!:-) I worked with a guy who did it, drove a leased BMW, and had a Palm Springs timeshare. We had the same job, salary, title, education, etc.

      Wish I could say that his profligate ways bore rotten fruit. But he was constantly with strikingly beautiful women, had amazing adventures (I once tagged along to a black-tie event, meeting Pierce Brosnan, Emma Samms, and Milli Vanilli…did I say it was the ’80s?!?!!), and wound up married to an heiress and lives an accordant lifestyle. But to me, he will always be ‘the dude who leased a Rolex’.

        1. Yes, he did! Not slightly envious, though, I am also married to a very attractive, fun, smart and kind multi-millionaire.:-)

  28. Funny story … a friend of mine and I used to be all about watches. We had always had at least 1 watch for every day of the week … and the watches cost $100 or more at the time. I still have one of those fancy watches. I literally paid like $300 for it at Macy’s!, but the battery has been dead for years.
    Since I’m not dressing to impress much anymore, I buy some of the cheapest junk out there (last watch I bought was for a mere $8). Would my DW have picked me as her hubby without a fancy watch and dress? I’ll never know, and don’t think she cares too much anymore since she stays at home with the kiddos like we both wanted.

    One note, the reason that I buy very inexpensive watches, is because I enjoy doing work around the house and I’m usually wearing the watch. So when I smash it into a 2×4 or slab of concrete because I need it to move and I’m not paying attention, I can easily replace it. :-) Yes, I know it’s easy enough to take off, but I don’t really care much about the watch. It serves me one purpose, that is to tell me the time of day and date. Although I used to own one that also had a remote controller for a TV and VCR. LOL

  29. A better question is, “how would she define rich?” Better yet, “how rich is rich?” I’d imagine that she wouldn’t be able to articulate her thoughts using the diction that she demands.

    More important than your stereotypes that are clearly anti-The Millionaire Next Door, how was Mallorca? :-)

    1. I think rich is either $500,000 a year income or $5 million+ net worth or both! At these levels, nobody can make an argument this person is not rich, even if they are living in Switzerland.

      Mallorca was fantastic. A summer to remember for sure!

  30. I actually did a little experiment recently to see how women react to the wealth factor. I went on two different dating sites. The first I didn’t display any hints of wealth, the second I did. I used the same pictures other than a couple where you could conclude a level of wealth from looking at them. Honestly I had good success on both, but the shear volume and ferocity that the women that saw wealth was very telling. Yes I 100% agree that women and men do not and should not marry for money, but it will get the attention of a higher level of women if they know you are not some slacker off the street. Women want somebody that they feel has their act together and can be proud of dating…being rich will not get you the girl, but it will get you that first date, the rest depends on your personality and skills in dating!

      1. Ha, thanks! I’m going to roll with that assumption! Seriously though…it’s 99% chemistry after initially meeting a woman, but I get hot chicks coming out of the woodwork to ask me out, it cannot just be a coincidence.

    1. So here is the scoop…first off all of the information provided in both profiles (on different dating sites) were 100% truthful and all the displays of wealth are really my paid for things. I’m reasonably attractive & fit btw. The descriptions of me and what I like to do, family, hobbies, what I’m looking for were identical. The difference was in the “wealthy” profile, I inserted a subtle picture where you can see my home in the background if you pay attention, a couple pictures of me at the race track with some of my different cars & a sunset picture from my backyard over looking the water. Also I gave a general income range as well. I did go on nice dates from both, but I would get emails from literally all over the country (& world). I would get pretty racy photos and suggestive emails from extremely attractive women. On the “normal guy” site, I still got numerous responses but no where near the fevered pitch as on the rich guy site. Long story short, my conclusion is there is a massive shortage of the type of men women are looking for compared to the amount of available attractive, articulate, successful women out there.

  31. One of my best friends is a multi millionaire. He lives in his modest home, drives a work truck with more than 300,000 miles on it, and routinely wears a dirty work uniform with his name on it. He usually looks like he just spent his last nickle. But he owns his company and has a fabulous car collection that includes many classic and newer luxury and sports cars. You have to talk to him for a while to figure out that you don’t need to hand him a $20.

  32. @B
    ??? “Wealthy men try to look for as much value as possible because there’s a deeper appreciation for a dollar earned.” How do wealthy men have a greater appreciation for a dollar earned than a poor man? I’m poor and I highly appreciate a dollar earned, precisely because it’s so hard for me to earn dollars – my highest lifetime wage to date is $8.50 per hour. One can easily imagine that a dollar might not be worth so much to a person who earns millions of them annually.

    ??? ” In 2007, the average net worth of a homeowner was $200,000 vs. a average net worth of only $5,000 for a renter.” How can you support a “renter’s tax” when you know just how regressive it would be?

    1. Or conversely, because you haven’t earned large amounts of money it’s harder for you to appreciate all the sacrifices, risks, and innovation it takes to make money?

      Is believe more about money from people who start from nothing and make a lot vs those who start with nothing and stay poor.

  33. If I were single now, I definitely wouldn’t date a guy who makes less money than me and I wouldn’t want to end up with someone with a lower net worth than me either. People tend to tell you how they are with money if you let them – there are subtle clues and you can gage a person’s financial literacy through conversation. I wouldn’t look at fancy watches or cars as a sign of wealth, per se. In fact, I would be turned off by men who drive too flashy of cars just because I’d think he is a player (using the car to get women) and not relationship material. Besides, what’s wrong with being a gold digger? Men largely choose women based on their looks – I think dating a man based on the size of his net worth would be less shallow than dating a woman based on the size of her breasts.

    Anyways, getting married young has some benefits, including that you can grow your net worth together and not have to wonder if you’re together for money. I’m glad for having picked an equal partner.

      1. Hahaha. Every time I see an attractive young girl from a distance I ask myself, “wow, I wonder how fun she’ll be…in a game of Cranium.”

        Seriously, though, I guess “B” is correct. I recently read an article (I believe in Psychology Today) that came to the same conclusion: Men look for beauty, Women look for money…in most cases.

    1. Women based on looks as much as guys but women also base on money. Women have more standards but offer less.

  34. I don’t know any women who will only date rich men. I know many who won’t date guys if they don’t have a job or live with their parents or maybe even wanting the guy to make more than they do but none who have “he needs to be making 100k+” in their dealbreaker category.

    I think the whole money thing with women is overblown. Its a correlational thing and not causation. Men who have a buttload of money probably tend to be more confident, not dumb, socially adept, have more free time to focus on dating, the funds to dress better etc compared to a guy working his butt off just to get by who’s one pinkslip away from a catastrophe. Also rich guys are probably older and just have more experience with women and a bigger dating pool. I’m sure there are maybe even a lot of gold diggers in existence but I don’t think that speaks to anywhere close to the majority of females.

    1. This topic is what so many women I’ve spoken to are secretly wondering.

      All you need to do is drink heavily, party hardy, and rent a villa in Mallorca to understand every woman’s thoughts and concerns. It’s tough research, but somebody’s got to do it.

    2. Unless the man’s riches were inherited, his personality is probably something to be that most women wouldn’t want to deal with. Young or old, women “just want to have fun.” A disciplined older man, I imagine, would soon grow old of spoiling his hyper-needy, gold digging, girlfriend, especially when he has many other options.

    3. This article is definitely written from the male perspective – it’s not 100% wrong, IMO, but ignores some of the drivers of (stereotypical) women’s behavior.

      Any woman with a solid income/net worth can attest to the number of (usually younger) men on a quest for well-off women as well. I wasn’t prepared for the number of MBAs who came out of the woodwork looking for dates as soon as I told them which law firm I worked for.

      I agree with Shaun’s comment that most women don’t have a “cut-off” amount. Most women have decided (or learned through experience) that they’re likely to face similar issues with any guy – be it a wandering eye or sneaky financial habits or sexist attitudes about housework or something as harmless as a disproportionate amount of time/energy/money devoted to sports – and she, very reasonably, doesn’t want to spend two-three decades working 40-80 hour weeks and having/raising kids and maintaining the house/finances/social life for the family … while tied to a man who has nothing substantial to contribute to the relationship…. only to find out in her 50s that he’s chronically unfaithful and/or leaving for another woman “who doesn’t nag” …. and most women know some poor soul who has gotten herself trapped in this kind of mess (or who stayed home and dedicated herself to her family and husband for twenty years only to get nothing in a surprise divorce and end up working two or three shifts waiting tables and stocking shelves in her 50s and 60s without health insurance). When I was working high school jobs, there was practically a silent army of older women around me who all had identical stories around that last scenario. It’s not uncommon.

      Since most men seem – in my experience, at least – more comfortable with the idea that they must contribute to a family in a financial way (instead of contributing hours of housework, career sacrifices to raise the kids well, meal planning, being room parent for the kids’ classrooms, setting up playdates, playing arm candy at the wife’s work events, decorating for holidays and buying presents and sending cards and generally keeping the family socially connected with their community, etc.) so the easiest relationship a woman can find is one where a guy actually *can* contribute in the way he feels he should … and he can’t do that without a solid income or net worth.

      Most women I’ve talked with over the decades – myself included – would also have been happy with a guy who wasn’t the biggest financial contributor, but makes up for that by taking over the housekeeping, social maintenance, child care, etc. which frees me up to go make the income. But finding guys like that is much harder than finding a guy who makes more than $100K, so I think most women settle for the guy with income instead. And even if you do find a guy like that, the blowback he’s likely to get from other men tends to be pretty brutal, and you never know if they’ll get to him, and suddenly, you’re neck deep in a VP-role and need to move across the country and your husband is suddenly viciously unsupportive. It’s just a less-predictable path for a woman.

      Of course, all of the above is brutally pragmatic and ignores the role of attraction, love, etc. that drives most of our relationship decisions (as it should).

  35. To be honest, I couldn’t tell whether this article was written sarcastically.

    I’ve never spent any time trying to figure out whether or not another person was rich, male or female, and the only luxury items I pay any attention to are Chanel purses–on women–but I would never buy one. There’s nothing wrong with being rich and successful, especially if one is humble about it. Waving money around in the face of others who are struggling is the mark of a bad, thoughtless person, and I don’t associate with them if I can help it.

    My husband and I are one of those college relationships you mentioned, and I would rather be dirt poor with him than financially comfortable with anyone else. Money makes life easier, but there’s plenty of money in the world and you can always get more. Other things are more important.

    If any of you like cheesy musicals, you may be interested in the movie “Thoroughly Modern Millie” with Julie Andrews. It touches on this very subject as a somewhat side-plot. The play is a bit different from the movie, but the idea remains.

    1. Allison, you speak from the view point of a seemingly happily married woman. To answer your uncertainty, pretend you were a single woman looking for a wealthy man in an environment where it’s hard to tell. Would this post help her?

      1. Yeah, I suppose the article could help a woman like that find a mate. If money is that important to a person and is necessary to their happiness, it may be better not to waste anyone’s time by looking for signs like these. I’ve just never even met women like this, though I’m sure they exist, so it’s hard for me to put myself in that place.

  36. I`m not a slave to fashion. I don`t wear jewelry. Not even a watch. There is no need to wear a watch since the cellphone has a clock. It keeps great time and you don`t need to make the twice yearly adjustments. I`m usually casual and frown upon sweat pants on guys or gals unless you are working out or lounging around the house. It`s like walking around in pj`s, geesh! :)

    1. “There is no need to wear a watch since the cellphone has a clock.”

      Excellent! LOL

      But, there is something to say about a man and his watch. Believe it or not, females notice. If anything, use it for bait. It doesn’t have to be expensive or upgraded often. I’ve been wearing the same Movado for the past 13 years. I don’t upgrade my watch, I upgrade the glass once it is scratched enough for me to care. :-)

  37. Wealthy guys “love to go the complete other way” because those of us who have to pony up our own investment capital don’t piddle it away on trinkets. The guys buying bling are just admitting they don’t know how to make their pile grow. Lots of extremely successful women here too, they’re also mostly hidden, and quite a few are stuck alone and middle-aged because even here most moderately successful guys won’t marry up. If you’re willing here’s a hint: low employee badge numbers from the back end of the IPO pipeline often good for an 8 figure pop.

      1. At the right “company” those double-O numbers are a licence to kill it. Further down it varies, some places serve crumbs above the teens while at others the single-Os all sit high table. Treat an associate at your favourite VC firm to a few pints and find out the capital structure, that’s a tell. Another hint: timing is everything in community property so know his or her milestone dates for grant/vest/exercise and schedule your wedding accordingly. And in the honeymoon suite expect to be shaken, not stirred.

      2. How can you tell a guy is rich with no signs? Their mental health, listen for their false premises and illogical rarionalizations. Data collected reveals rich people lack empathy, ignore others around them and suffer from fundamental attribution error… So you could look for signs of all those. You can actually assume within reason rich people are terrible by that, no one needs to wait for bad experience, if anything save yourself the hassle. But rich people have to rationalize they’re not the bad ones everybody hates. Keep telling yourself that. I’m stuck in Silicon Valley listening to rich morons daily who believe they’re more intellegent than they actually are. Delusion of meritocracy is the only thing they can cling to. And geez your article wreaks of sexism because why do rich people all need to worry about hiding their wealth from only shady women? Oh are they just ashamed? You know I’ve seen to billionaires fight over one calling the other “elitist” over a cars and coffee snub. They would be hilarious if they weren’t so immature. Therapy might make you feel better.

    1. Hey Freebird! There are actually a few wealthy guys out there who’s pile is already large enough that piddling a little bit away on a nice JLC or Patek shouldn’t necessarily be a sign they are clueless in the capital creation department : )

  38. My dad always said he looked at a man’s watch in business meetings to see who he was dealing with.
    But I also met a guy who was dressing to impress and attending expensive places, spending all his money on appearance to marry a rich woman. It is pretty messed up. I don’t care too much if a guy has money or not as long as he has his financial life together and similar plans for the future.

  39. I also think the best relationships are those that happen out of college. Or even high school. As far as I can tell, it’s very difficult to protect wealth in the event of a divorce, particularly when there are children. The woman that marries a rich man can later decide to take up with a more charismatic yoga instructor, and the both can live happily ever after on the rich man’s net worth. Theoretically wealth can marry wealth but chances are a wealthy woman is no longer young and nubile.

  40. Good luck around here. The wealthiest guy in our town is a retired UFC Champion. He’s usually driving a John Deer Tractor. He buys his clothes from the salvation army. Until last year he lived in a $60,000 dollar house. Now of course he just bought a mini mansion, so that would be about your only tip off.

    1. I’m a late-50’s, retired multi-millionaire and no one would guess my net worth by looking at me. I live a more frugal lifestyle now than I did when I was scraping by in my 20’s. Unfortunately, I don’t date much. I wish I dated more, but I’m not willing to flaunt my wealth in hopes of attracting a nice lady to someday marry. I’m hoping we can hit it off really well, then, once I trust her, let her know my net worth; it’d be cool to see her reaction.

  41. I appreciate this post as I am 46, newly divorced and anticipate these issues arising as I move forward into new relationships. Heck, I have already been told by one potential paramour that I am too frugal as she chastised me about my choice of automobile (paid for 2011 Honda CR-V)…go figure

    1. “I have already been told by one potential paramour that I am too frugal as she chastised me about my choice of automobile (paid for 2011 Honda CR-V).”


      How helpful of her to have so readily provided a reason to move on to someone else!

  42. That’s a good point about relationships that start in college when both people are basically on equal footing and money hasn’t really come up yet. I agree that the Bay Area has a lot of hidden wealth because of the laid back culture here and the amount of young people working at the big tech firms. It’s also cool to take public transportation, use rideshares, or drive eco friendly low range cars and not drive flashy souped up cars.

    I can see how some women want to go after wealthy men but there has to be a connection in personality and fit for things to blossom and progress long term. A friend of mine went on a date last weekend with a guy she thought would be great, but the date was so boring she’s already lost interest!

  43. Mr Geek and I met at our private University. 11 years together (2.5 married) and counting.
    It’s a great relief not to have to date :)

  44. Someone once told me that Texans who are wealthy probably drive a truck, but check their hat and boots for quality. Rich Texans spend their money on their hats and boots! I think rich people usually will spend money to maintain their clothes. If you see someone in worn out clothes or shoes, he probably is not wealthy. Similar to an interview, it is the little details that tell you more about the person than what they may say or do. Normally, my clothes are modest except for an expensive sweater, shirt or shoes. No designer logo, but you would have to know quality to see it. Dressed up or down, the only other sign is my watch. I prefer casual to dressing up, so it may be harder to figure me out.

    Luckily, my wife liked me before I was materially successful. She told me that it was how I dressed that impressed her and then who my friends were. Maybe nothing has changed in the last 50 years! I think women are sharper when it comes to finding rich men.

      1. Old money drives trucks, new money drives Porsche – if a woman wants to live lavishly she should look for new money, if she wants to live powerfully she should look for old money. I think you overlooked the key here being the difference between old and new money.

        I think most women prefer lavishly at first and it’s pretty damn easy to see who the posers are.

        1. Good point, although I’d see it as fast vs slow money. If you want a Cinderella experience, hook up with the fast money, and see firsthand the meaning of easy come easy go. If you want to live securely for life go for the slow money and stay with it through thick and thick.

        2. Trudy Beerman

          Old money, and OLD. Old money passed to the next generation will show up in Porsche’s too. The difference again is STILL mindset – as you alluded to. Old money knows the value of money.

    1. My dad’s worth between $5 million and $10 million and pulls in $500k-$700k AGI (pre-tax) per year and wears sweaters and shirts with holes in them to fancy restaurants, much to my mom’s embarrassment! My dad tells my mom that no one cares but she gets really

      He’s without question my biggest idol. I’m just ceaselessly impressed with the fact that he doesn’t pine for material things and never ever ever flaunts his wealth. He drives a $30k Honda Odyssey (paid for in cash, or well, he wrote a check – same thing), and yet he paid $80K (cash) for my mom’s LS460, $40k (cash) for my IS350, and $47k (cash) for my brother’s C350. No leasing. No financing. All cash. He’s the sole breadwinner of our household and has the means to write checks for $197k in cars and yet he drives the most humble car among us. My mom, brother, and I all drive luxury cars and he drives a humble economy van. He deserves to be driving a $100k+ car but he has no interest in cars at all. He wears a $200 Seiko while my mom, brother, and I all wear more expensive watches (all paid for by him!) He hasn’t purchased a new shirt in years while my brother and I wear $100+ shirts and $400+ jeans. And, the only time he gets a new shirt is when my mom goes out and buys one for him without his knowledge! He just doesn’t like spending frivolously at all.

      Another story that I get a kick out of has to do with his work. He’s often called up by law firms to act as an expert witness. One time, he walked into a law firm wearing what I would call a very respectable, tailored $300 suit. The lawyers were apparently horrified by how “unsophisticated” the suit looked that they purchased a $2000 suit for my dad on the spot for free and told him to wear that to court the following morning instead of his $300 suit. Feeling slightly embarrassed, my dad obliged, but I get a chuckle out of that story because for all I know my dad likely pulls in more money than said lawyers and likely has a higher net worth to boot (although to be be frank I really don’t know), and yet here they were complaining about his suit not looking professional enough. Patent law cases aren’t won by the kind of suit you wear (for what it’s worth, they did end up winning the case).

      If I ever end up being even 1/10 as successful as my dad, I’ll be lucky. His ultra frugal, ultra stealth wealth ways have definitely rubbed off on me and left a lasting impression. Some days I’m embarrassed to be driving the car that I drive (as a college student), wearing the clothes that I wear, and eating out at all the fancy restaurants that I eat out at all on my dad’s dime (even though he says he’s happy to give my mom, brother, and I this kind of lifestyle). I feel like I won the genetic lottery and I can’t believe how unbelievably lucky I am to be in the position that I am in. I’m spoiled rotten by any reasonable standard, but paradoxically if I ever grow up to be wealthy (self-made wealth; I don’t like counting any future inheritance because it doesn’t feel like I’ve earned any of it) I plan on following in my dad’s footsteps – living a frugal lifestyle while affording my family the luxury of indulging in the finer things in life. I just think it’s badass.

      Anyways, I’m not really sure why I posted this in this particular section. Maybe this comment should go in the stealth wealth section. Oh well.

      Long story short, I don’t know if you can go by clothes or watches. A lot of my dad’s colleagues are pretty wealthy as well with similar incomes and net worths and they wear calculator watches, casios, timexes, and seikos. Seiko is very popular among them. When not at work, they wear kakhi shorts ($30? $40?) and polo t-shirts ($50?) or simple blue jeans and t-shirts.

      The only real way to tell that they are wealthy is to look at their houses ($1M-$3M which is a healthy amount in Texas. I know a comparably priced house in SF or Manhattan would be paltry). Some of my dad’s colleagues drive reasonable luxury cars as well (Mercedes E350s, cars of that sort). But the one constant is the house.

        1. Absolutely not. When my brother and I were younger, we were not spoiled to the extent that we are now and for two reasons First, my dad’s biggest fear was that we would become unmotivated and dependent on his wealth. There’s no honor or satisfaction in living off unearned money. I can’t feel “badass” (to reference my earlier post) if I become nothing more than a financial leech. The “badass-ness” comes from earning one’s own way in this world and building one’s net worth by living a steady, frugal lifestyle well below one’s means.

          Instead, we grew up mostly running the gamut from “middle” middle class to “upper” middle class, and we were pushed to excel academically from an early age. I’m pursing a degree in Chemical Engineering from UT Austin and will head off to medical school after graduation, and my younger brother (also in college) is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering with aspirations to go to graduate school.

          The second reason that we were not spoiled to the extent that we are not is because if we were spoiled to this extent, then we (as a family) would have been living well beyond our means. My dad came to the U.S. in the early 80s and made $80k/year fresh off of graduating from his PhD program. That jumped to $120K in the early 90s, $160k in the mid 90s, $200k in the late 90s, $300k in the early 00s, so on and so forth. Income builds steadily over time. The reason why my dad is in the position he is today is because our lifestyle did not grow proportionally with his income. He faithfully saved and invested the bulk of his money early on (after maxing out retirement accounts). The upper class pampering (the luxury cars, eating out, vacations) came mostly in the late 2000s. Even still, as a family of four we spend (including room and board; my brother and I attend college on full scholarships) roughly $110k/year. My dad’s mortgage is already paid off. The remainder is just saved in bulk and invested in the market.

          Once it was clear that we were on a reasonable path to earning our own way in this world, my dad felt more comfortable pampering/spoiling us. But, he’s always stressed the importance of frugality early and often. If I went out and purchased a comparable entry level luxury car or moved up a class in 10 or so years, I’d be making a mockery of what my dad has taught me over the years.

          1. This is really awesome man! One of my fears is raising children who are spoiled and lack perspective. It’s always good to hear people of wealthy parents have their heads on straight.

          2. Texas university is an ok school to learn how to recycle, smoke weed, and hug trees, but why would a Chem E major want to go there?

            Do you want to design the next organic pichouli oil or perfect the tie dye t-shirt process? If not then you need to move to a real school–someplace here the students do more than smoke weed, play ultimate frisbee, and meet for environmentally friendly drum circles.

            You need to go to Texas A&M. WHOOOOOP!

        2. This dad literally sounds exactly like my friends dad. But Financial Samurai, what do u mean by kicking back? Not going to college? chilling? Getting an average job?

      1. Your dad rocks. He also leads by example for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. As for all of you others in family you seem to be the one that has those eyes and ears.

      2. That’s a great story. It sounds like you get it completely. Good for you! It’s great to have a dad (and mom) you can look up to and learn from, isn’t it? Now that you obviously know that and how personally (not monetarily) valuable your parents are; spend as much time with them as is practical. I like to call it a “No regrets” lifestyle. Enjoy your parents as your friends. I at least have dinner with mine several times a week. I don’t regret that time spent with them one bit, even if we’re just watching TV.

    2. stopobjectificationofwomen

      I think it’s sad that this mentality of women leaching off of a man’s wealth still exists. it just goes to show how insecure and inadequate **some,(emphasis on some) women can be. Men today need flip the tables on women. We men are the prize. What do the women have to offer? If she’s not financially stable, mentally stable, or lacking moral judgment, forget it.

      1. Absolutely agree. I just finished a weird relationship with what I’d call a gold digger. She produced no income of her own…. others kept feeding her and she kept counting on good looks and the inheritance of her parents wealth to be rich. It won’t take long for someone who creates his own wealth to realize she leaches off his back. I doubt she’ll make out well. Second generation rich kids usually lose all the wealth the first generation created.

      2. I tried to be self sufficient however due to a lack of support from my family I have struggled. I put myself through university and paid off my debt, while renting. However I ended up in a line of work that I was good at but the ethics leave something to be desired. I believe I am highly ethical, more so than some of the managers I worked with, which had lead me to being bullied. Now that brings me to my point, I have done everything I can to get ahead and now I am thinking maybe I do need to find a rich guy simply because I need money for my future to pay for a stable roof over my head and my medical bills when I am older. I use to think I would not marry a man for money but I think now I would providing they were kind. I know I have a lot to offer. If only I had the knowledge of what I know now, when I was younger that would have helped a lot too.

    3. I do not consider myself wealthy but am worth ~5mm. I can tell you the “millionaire next door” is spot on. I am Hispanic, I wear old, and at times torn, jeans, simple T shirts, cheap shoes. I drive a 98 mercury villager that I bought used in 2012 for 4,500. I have another 1998 Nissan Quest that has been hit more times than Mahammad Ali but it runs and I paid 1,000 for it in 2015. I own 12 rentals and do most work myself. My kids go to private schools at 15,000 per year each and they have been well traveled.I grew up on welfare and saw my mom work 2 jobs all her life to get us off and keep us off. My mom is 88 and still works yet she is worth about 3.5 mm. I don’t care about things. I care about experiences and time. I listen to Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard . I don’t agree with Ramsey’s 0 debt approach. i dont know many millionaires who did not leverage money in some way. I seek the company of people smarter than I because I have been more lucky than smart ( honestly that is true). 20% of my wealth is in stocks the rest is real estate. Becaue of the car I drive and the way I dress, I don’t worry about “bad neighborhoods”. No one could tell my net wort from outward appearance.

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