12 signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy

If I point out a crowd of 10 people, can you tell me who’s rich and who’s not?

It might seem obvious: the wealthy people will be wearing expensive jewelry and clothing. They’ll be acting “high-class” and confident.

The truth is much more subtle.

Many of the wealthiest people don’t like to flaunt their material success.

Here’s how to find out if someone is secretly rich but hiding it.

12 signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy

1) They’re endlessly curious about new ideas and information

This deserves the top spot on any list of signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy.

I’ve never met a rich person who wasn’t a really curious individual.

Even when they hear about a subject they’ve never heard of before, they want to know more.

They have learned that crucial life lesson about success: you just never know who you’re going to meet or what topic you’re going to hear about that builds your next empire.

It’s not even really about money at a certain point: it’s about a fascination with how things work and the potential of new ideas and theories to transform the world.

People who are secretly rich don’t care about posing in front of their Lear jet or wearing a necklace worth $500,000.

They care about learning and meeting interesting people who can expand their horizons.

2) They go easy on using their credit card for optional purchases

One thing that truly rich people don’t do is flash their credit card like a reckless monkey.

They go easy on using their credit cards for optional purchases, because they’re well aware of the power of debt to sink you like a stone.

Those who show off are often doing nothing more than bragging to the world about how far under they are in credit card debt.

It’s sad to see.

“The more men try to showboat their wealth, the more likely he is spending beyond his means with credit card debt,” writes the Financial Samurai.

“Wealthy men try to look for as much value as possible because there’s a deeper appreciation for a dollar earned.,” he adds.

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The only exception here is someone who is secretly rich and uses his or her credit card for necessary business purchases and long-term buys in order to accumulate valuable points or rewards such as for air travel,  consumer goods, or cash rebates.

3) It’s hard to pin down their career to just one job

One of the most interesting signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy is that it’s hard to pin them down on just one job.

This can be confusing, since “what do you do?” is often one of the first questions we ask when we first meet someone.

If you ever met a low-key individual who smiled at that question and said something like “well, I do a few different things these days in sector X and sector Y,” then you may well have been talking to someone with serious money.

Secretly rich people don’t really do labels.

They’ve passed that level of the game and are now working in multiple markets and areas to bring their plans into fruition.

It can even be difficult for them to explain what they do if they want to because their specialization and experience make it hard to translate to someone without a similar background.

If you ask someone what they do and they’re very vague, then the three main options are that they’re in between jobs, a slacker who dislikes their work or they’re secretly rich.

4) They laugh at rich douchebags who show off

One of the best signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy is their ability to laugh at other rich people.

In this sense, they’re just like the rest of us:

They find the antics and ego-tripping of some rich folks hilarious and ridiculous.

They may share a laugh with you at a guy flashing his expensive watch ostentatiously or at someone using the “do you even know who I am?” line on a restaurant server.

We all know the kind of rich folks I’m talking about here…

Libby Balke writes about this:

“If you comment on their Louis Moinet watch, they’ll brush it off – ‘This old thing?

“My parents gave it to me when I graduated from Haaaaaahvard’ – but you’ll know it cost upwards of $2 million…

“They name their children horrendous names like Randolph Edward Channingsworth IV in honor of the family’s forebearers who earned, subsequently squandered, then redeemed the family’s inscrutable wealth.”

5) They bring out the talents and skills of others

People who are secretly rich often got there by maximizing the input of others.

After all, one person can do some great things, but a team of people can take us to the stars!

Secretly rich folks are keenly aware that everyone has value in certain contexts.

They tend to be appreciative and observative about others and to notice their contributions and skills.

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Then they create projects, endeavors and partnerships that help bring those talents out.

There’s no investment more valuable than an investment in the future of a human being.

The keyword here is catalyst: some of the wealthiest people I’ve ever met were less of a one-man-show and much more of a catalyst.

They provided platforms, funding and places for others to grow and evolve. That brought them joy and fulfillment.

It also tended to make them very, very rich.

6) They don’t crave quick fixes and short-term profits

People who are secretly rich often raise their eyebrows at the nouveau riche or those who’ve come along and made a quick buck.

It’s not just a matter of taste and decorum, it’s also that those who are truly wealthy – and don’t show it – understand the value of patience and long-term thinking.

They are willing to put off short-term profits or big bang ideas in favor of slow-burning plans and startups that could take years.

They’re in no rush, in fact, they savor the hard work and dedication that it takes to build something from the ground up.

You’ll often find secretly rich folks who can’t start a new project soon enough even once they’ve enjoyed enormous success on their last one.

That’s because they love the grind and the process itself.

“They have the ability to delay gratification. This is probably the most important trait in this list,” observes Bloom on his YouTube channel.

“Delaying gratification also means being disciplined. Nothing meaningful can be built overnight.

“Whether you want to become a CEO of the company you’re working at or a successful athlete or entrepreneur you need years of constant work and dedication.”

7) They’re skilled at forming new connections and sharing ideas

Some rich folks are recluses with oddball interests who don’t like talking much.

But even these types will usually have a strong ability to connect with who they want to connect with in their own weird way.

One of the top signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy is that they understand the completely irreplaceable value of personal networking and forming connections.

One of the most integral parts of becoming wealthy is building bridges instead of burning them down.

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As such, those who are rich will often display this ability to form connections and find commonalities with those around them.

They will springboard off an idea at a get-together or conference and suddenly be pitching their ideas effortlessly without anyone even realizing.

As Bloom says:

“Most people aren’t going to build the next Facebook or Microsoft, that’s why the ability to build strong connections with others is a dealbreaker.”

8) Their money isn’t on display

Some rich people like to flaunt their wealth. As I was saying it’s often more about displaying their credit card spending limit than their actual wealth.

Those who are secretly rich are more modest.

As Neil Patel writes:

“When I was starting out in business, I was dazzled by displays of wealth. Since I was money-hungry myself, I tried to seek out people who looked like they had wealth.

“I soon discovered that most of these wealth displays were pure show.”

The way to tell if someone is rich when they don’t like to flaunt their wealth is kind of subtle.

Look for someone wearing clothes, shoes and accessories that look comfortable.

Forget about looking for what’s shiniest or has a brand name splashed across it.

Look for the person who looks like their clothes are super comfortable and fit them well.

Secretly rich people love functionality and comfort far more than impressing random people in public.

So look for loafers that just look like walking on clouds, and well-worn chinos that drape just right.

That’s real wealth.

9) They have an infectious optimism

I know that we’ve all met plenty of optimistic folks who aren’t rich.

But I’d go so far as to say these are likely to be the future people who will be rich.

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Optimism and innovation are the two key ingredients to wealth, along with never giving up and forming connections wherever you can with people who are on a forward trajectory.

If you meet someone with a kind of infectious optimism then don’t brush it aside so easily.

For one thing, we can always use more of this in our troubled world.

But for another thing, that deep optimism is basically a money-printing machine.

After all, for as long as we’re drawing breath there’s always hope and potential.

10) They skip the name-dropping game

There’s a thing that attention seekers and the nouveau riche like to do: name-dropping.

“Yeah, so that’s when I messaged Beyoncé just to get her opinion, y’know?”

Well…congratulations. It sounds like you know Beyoncé pretty well!

Those who are secretly rich and not trying to show off skip this whole name-dropping game.

If a mutual contact or friend comes up naturally they’ll be open about who they know or don’t.

But they don’t bother bragging about how important they are. In fact, they often seem to intentionally want to underemphasize who they are.

The reason is twofold:

Some wealthy individuals are sick and tired of people leeching off them or only liking them because of the funding and opportunities they can potentially offer.

Secondly, they are just plain bored of the whole fame game. Yes, they know Mick Jagger and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, but it really isn’t as big a deal as people think it is.

They just want to live their life, do their business and meet interesting people.

When you’ve truly “made it,” the thirst to prove something or impress others tends to dissipate.

11) They don’t enjoy reckless spending

This is in line with the points about not overusing credit cards for frivolous expenses.

One of the biggest signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy is that they don’t enjoy reckless spending.

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You will often see a wealthy individual become frustrated with his or her kids because they spend on stupid things, for example.

That’s because they know their kids don’t have the same respect for a dollar as they do, and they worry about their discipline and future prospects.

Amirah gives us the goods on this:

“Spending a lot does not mean you are rich. A true rich man will usually save on his spending to accumulate his wealth because it’s more worth it in the long run.”

Secretly rich folks have their money in long-term mutual funds and offshore accounts.

They have them invested into assets and physical businesses, or intellectual property.

They have zero interest in going to a Ferrari dealership and picking a color from the rainbow.

They are not after that quick dopamine hit from a big buy.

They’re after the slow-burn satisfaction of building something from the ground up and watching it grow before eventually leaving it to future generations.

12) They’re modest and don’t brag

Real wealth isn’t looking for applause and recognition.

It’s looking to build, invest and grow.

If you’re looking for clear signs someone is secretly rich and wealthy then look no further than modesty about wealth.

Even when you see someone’s spending power, their luxurious home, or their name all over various boards and company mastheads, they shrug it off.

“Oh, that. Sure.”

Low-key rich people I’ve met also often enjoy talking about their upbringing, especially if it was in more modest or working-class origins.

They often feel that their new status has redefined them in a way that makes people misunderstand them.

In their heart, there’s a part of this woman or man who will always be the working-class girl from Chicago, or the newspaper delivery kid from the inner city of Atlanta.

Rich or not?

We’ve all seen it: Instagram accounts of people trying to look fabulously wealthy and exclusive.

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There’s even a trend of young women renting time in studios designed to look like the interior of private jets just to take social media photos.

We’re in an image-obsessed world.

But when I think about the wealthy individuals I’ve met in my life who I know for a fact were incredibly rich, they acted the opposite.

They generally wore outwardly unremarkable clothes, had red eyes from lack of sleep, or drove old Toyotas whose speedometers were about to run out.

They also – to a fault – tended to be incredibly friendly and curious and seemed almost bored with other people in their “circle” of upper society.

This shouldn’t be surprising, considering wealthy celebrities are some of the loneliest people in the world.

I’ve spoken to powerful and enormously rich US senators with serious dandruff problems evident on the lapels of their suits.

They just didn’t care about public image, they were too busy making deals, new connections and talking about ideas.

Not that there’s anything wrong with caring about your appearance a little or investing in some Head ‘n Shoulders.

But that’s the thing about money: it’s all about what you do with it.

If you use it to pose by Lambos and buy a collection of gold chains to fill your closet then you get what you pay for.

If you use it to build businesses, make connections and advance your ideas then you also get what you pay for, even though many people who meet you may never realize just how wealthy you are underneath the average outer appearance.

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