I grew up lower middle class and always thought the rich were special. I worked hard, went to university, eventually became a professional and worked my way up. During that time, most of my peers and others in my social strata had the trappings of being rich.
In addition to my day job, I built a business which I eventually sold for low 8 figures. I had much more free time and joined some organizations and clubs, and took up fun hobbies which lead to making deeper social connections with the truly rich – namely people who have $10 million+++ of net worth.
With that perspective of going through that journey, I became better able to sniff out who was truly wealthy, and who was a poseur. What surprised me the most was how many people with fancy cars, who take expensive trips and live luxury lifestyles – who by all appearances we’d call ‘rich’ – are economically hanging on by their nails. They weren’t bad people, just misguided and trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’
Looking back at my career when I was a full time professional, more than half my peers were in that category.
The truly rich, namely the self-made ‘millionaires next door’ tend not to flaunt their wealth.
What also surprised me about the truly rich is how much they donate to worthwhile charities, not only publicly but anonymously — far more generously than the poseur class.
Lastly, what surprised me was that the children of the truly wealthy (who grew up their whole life with that wealth), more often than not, tend to have serious sociopathic tendencies.
Something I need to avoid at all costs with my kids (pun intended).