Why I Don’t Publish My Net Worth

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As I’ve continued to navigate across the Personal Finance space, I’ve noticed a lot of Personal Finance websites where the writers discuss their overall net worth. They delve into details such as where they are currently at, how they got there in terms of inflows and outflows, how it compares to the previous month and other pertinent statistics.


Ofcourse I enjoy reading net worth updates because it (1) gives me a basis/benchmark in terms of finance categories and overall net worth from a point-in-life standpoint; (2) provides saving, wise spending, and investing ideas; (3) helps to better the Personal Finance community as a whole and even produce motivation.


And then there are some writers who don’t discuss their net worth at all. I fall into this second category. We may discuss how much of a percentage of our income goes to savings and retirement, how much we have spent on certain expenses or allocated to certain investments, but may not provide the entire picture.


I don’t believe that someone with a low net worth is not qualified to provide good personal finance information and insight. For example, I’ve come across many medical professional’s personal finance websites. They have a lot of debt, and thus a low net worth. However, there the great material and these writers provide a different perspective. Finally, the trajectory of their overall financial plan will inevitably lead to success and a quick turn around into a high positive net worth.


And not everyone with a high net worth provides the great personal finance advice either. It’s the old saying of look at what’s being said, not who’s saying it.



The Evil Eye


I realize many don’t believe in superstitions, however, the evil eye is a major consideration in my culture. And in the culture, it’s not appropriate and may seem rude to flaunt materialistic things. Money and the endless things it can buy can be considered by some to be materialistic and to publish it and the acquisitions that result from it would be a form of disrespect for us. It can also lead to jealousy, envy, and resentment from friends and family.



Staying Under The Radar


An NBC news article back in 2014 identified a poll from American Express publishing that shows more and richer people are don’t want to be recognized as being wealthy. The article states that some of these people are worried about “being scorned for being in the top part of the economy”.


On another note, one method from one of my favorite writers whose website I regularly visit: Sam from Financial Samurai mentioned that when you buy name brands, it’s good to tell people the items are fake when they ask about them. You’re buying those items for the quality and durability and style to satisfy yourself right? This makes a lot of sense and the older you get, the more you realize your purchases are for the comfort and convenience of you and your loved ones.


I almost never buy anything for full price. Whenever someone compliments a garment or shoes or watch, I mention, and it’s always true that I purchased the item at a big sale or clearance or received it as a gift.



Continue To Track And Grow Net Worth


Ofcourse I am all for tracking your net worth. As Investopedia states, it’s like a report card for your finances as it lets you know where you are and where you can improve in terms of your assets and liabilities.


With the help of technology, I can easily track my net worth using Personal Capital. Heck, I can even check it on my phone with their app. And I can easily go to other websites for tips on saving and investing to help me figure out ways to increase my net worth overall.


At the same time, don’t fall into a trap which may be caused by tracking. Watson Inc does mention a disadvantage that I found to be interesting. They say that we could become sloppy if out net worth is higher than we anticipated as you may think you “have done something right, which is good. So just when you think your net worth and finances are on track, it may be time to take a step back and reassess your objectives and reach for greater goals.


And just because you are doing better than the median of income earners in your level doesn’t mean that you have earned the right to not pay attention to your finances.” This leads to the risk of over-spending because initially, your net worth is so high that you may not worry about preservation and do what many celebrities have done in the past – go broke!


There are plenty of celebrities and athletes out there who are humble when it comes to money. I recently read about Wide Receiver formerly for the Detroit Lions Ryan Broyles, whom after signing a $3.6 million rookie contract paid off his debts and set up automatic payments for bills all while living on a modest annual allowance to himself of $60,000 a year. I mean who does that; responsible rich people who continue to stay rich I suppose.



Friends and Family Who Read – I Hope 🙂


Although I don’t totally publicize Simple Money Man to my entire community, I’ve let some of my friends and family know on occasion or two about the site.


I narrowed it down to ones whom I think may be interested in Personal Finance, like to read in general, and are closer to me in terms of discussing Personal Finance topics every now and then whenever we meet.


But at the same time, I don’t know their specific financial position and they don’t know mine either. Ofcourse one can gauge since I do have some information like their line of work, where they live, what they drive, if they do or do not have crazy lavish expenses or live a relatively frugal lifestyle.


I wouldn’t want to lose or negatively alter the positive relationship I have with friends and family as a result of divulging Personal Finance information. I mean we are all human and feel things. So as a result, I choose to practice stealth wealth or stealth personal finance since I am in no way wealthy from a financial standpoint. 🙂


Or I suppose I will practice it whenever I become wealthy.  Living under the radar is humbling. It keeps you grounded as football player Alfred Morris says, and may even help you achieve greater financial freedom!




Join The Discussion:

  1. What are your thoughts about publishing your net worth?
  2. Do you think publishing your net worth can help you or hurt you?
  3. Do you and your friends openly discuss each other’s finances?





I use Personal Capital because (1) it’s free, (2) it tracks all of my accounts and overall net worth, (3) my account balances automatically update, (4) it shows how my investments are diversified and allocated in various sectors, and (5) can use built-in tools like “Investment Checkup” to get….wait for it…free personalized advice!