Welcome to a post designed for people trying to “network” and for gold diggers (God Bless them). We’re not exactly sure how this information will be used but it doesn’t matter to us. The post can be used to triangulate liars, people who are sandbagging and of course the “richest guy in the room”. Before we begin, we have to give the standard disclaimer. Most rich people have odd quirks. This means you have to build a mosaic from the items below. One single item is not a good indicator of wealth (although we will highlight the most obvious ones) and many people break these rules. But. If you use the mosaic approach, you’ll be right the vast majority of the time (85%+ or so).
Levels of “Rich”: This is going to be a one to five scale. We’re using this so we can help explain the ranking system. Number 1 will be the lowest and represents a person who is completely dead broke, homeless, massive amounts of debt or worse. Number 2 will be people who are in credit card debt and struggle to get by living paycheck to paycheck. Number 3 will be your standard middle of the road person saving a few thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars a year (yes a wide range since most fit here). Number 4 will be your first “pretty rich guy” who is a millionaire but isn’t able to buy anything over the top like a Lamborghini, Mansion or $100K+ watch. Number 5 is the “ultra rich” area, can afford practically anything and you’re looking at someone who is already worth 9 figures or could easily get there in the next 5-10 years. In short, these levels are essentially a “doubling” of buying power.
Levels of Rich Clothing Edition
The below tweet and photo is the summary but we’ll also explain why. There is a psychological reason for the tiers to look like this.
Levels of rich (clothing edition)
1) Broke: tattered clothing
2) Poor: doesnt fit but clean
3) Break even: “name brands” low end, (ex. Michael Kors plastered)
4) Middle class: Brooks brothers
5) Rich: custom clothes or hoodies in tech
6) ultra rich: jeans, t-shirt, $100K+ watch
— Wall Street Playboys (@WallStPlayboys) September 7, 2018
Wealth Level 1: This won’t surprise anyone. People with tattered clothing, poor hygiene and a focus on second hand clothing are usually in a bad place economically. We’re not going to burn time talking about why they are here or what to do about it since we really don’t know. What we do know is that older tattered clothing that is likely not washed as well = no money. Tough to argue this one.
Wealth Level 2: One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is in level 2 but not in level 3 is the fit of their clothing. It’s a small nuance but tells you quite a bit. When you’re able to buy the same low-mid level brands but there is something “off” about either the fit or the color schemes they choose relative to their skin color… this is usually the sign. A great example is a lot of horizontal striped clothing or long-sleeve clothing where the arms are baggy. You’re more likely to see this in Tier 3 level cities in the USA and less likely to see it in Tier 1-2 cities since they eventually assimilate based on how other people dress.
Wealth Level 3: The vast majority end up in this category and it’s quite a wide range. This is where people buy clothing that fits and have a splattering of random “brand name” items. Good examples are guys wearing Brooks Brothers clothing or wearing Ferragamo shoes. We get it though. It would make rational sense to think that people wearing Ferragamo’s or that $10,000 submariner Rolex are rich. We’ll take the under on those bets every day. Why? Usually it’s just a guy who makes $100-200K a year who spends on a few choice items but isn’t really rich. They feel the need to impress.
Wealth Level 4: Here come the tell-tale signs. If a guy is wearing those brand name items *and* has a suit and shirt that are custom made, it is wise to re-calculate expectations. Why? Everything is matching. If someone has a few “random” choice items this isn’t enough for displayed wealth. The watch could be a gift, the shoes could be his Christmas present to himself. A custom made suit (custom made clothing in general) is almost never a gift. Combine this with a guy who seems relaxed all the time and some other choice items (could be a watch value of $2,500-$30,000 and shoes valued at $500-700) and you’re likely at level 4 wealth (millionaire). This again isn’t perfect science but the difference should be clear. Custom items are not cheap since no one would know a person’s exact measurements. As a side note, be careful if you’re in the technology sphere because none of these rules apply and the guys who are rich usually wear hoodies and other low key items. An Asian or White male wearing a hoodie in tech could very well be rich (ver rich). But. This is just one strange situation.
Wealth Level 5: Welcome to the ultra-wealthy club. As usual in this club there is no exact outfit but more of a “most common” outfit. In this case it is a t-shirt jeans and a really, really, expensive watch such as a Patek or Richard Millie. It could certainly be a different watch like a Rolex or Audemars Piguet, but, the key is that the price tag has to register near $100K (rough range of $75-150K). We don’t know why this is the case but it is a good item to be aware of. You won’t see any low 7 figure guys sporting these types of watches since they are too far out of the price bands (unless it’s another insane gift situation). For fun see Exhibit A (RM watch) below… his website is here
Levels of Rich Word Choice and Speaking
There are numerous studies on this topic and we’re sure some of our assumptions here will be wrong. It’s a mosaic approach where you look for all of the items in each section here.
Wealth Level 1 and 2: Unlike the other category there are only three real tiers here. At the lower levels you’ll notice the following: 1) constant belief that any topic is about them, 2) they will refer to people dying as “he’s with god now” or some similar statement with religious/spiritual undertone, 3) easy to anger and constantly giving out opinions despite lack of knowledge and 4) high amounts of vulgarity. We don’t need to spend a lot of time here since most people will know if someone is in this area quickly. Their responses to questions will also be quite slow.
Wealth Level 3: Here is the vast majority of the general population (as usual). Common items here are: 1) passive aggressive behavior with commentary *and* belief that others are passive aggressive, 2) they will refer to people dying as “he passed away” –notice that somehow relates to #1 – odd coincidence in wording, 3) generally a lot more cynical, since they are moderately successful they always look for signs of “how someone is getting something out of the deal” this translates to more sarcasm and 4) constantly stating they were “better in the past” at any activity since it helps save face in any particular social situation. A few of these probably sting for people constantly surrounded by middle class people, but you’ll notice it more and more now that you’ve read this paragraph. Most never make it out of this section.
Wealth Level 4 and 5: Welcome to the low stress arena. We know the level 5 guys are still way above the level 4 guys. And. It’s damn near impossible to tell the difference in most situations. Why? If two couples walk into a high end restaurant and one couple spends $600 and the other $700… if one is worth 10x the other… you won’t be able to see any difference. Funny how that works. After you get to a certain level it becomes near impossible. Anyway. Here are the common items: 1) they only talk about money if asked about it and are generally upbeat on the topic and excited. This creates a vibe where most people think rich people are “money obsessed”… they aren’t. They are just excited to talk about it if forced to because they have a positive relationship with money, 2) they will refer to people dying as “he died”, much more to the point, 3) very difficult to anger and rarely have any emotional outbursts, anything that happens is either good and they are excited or something bad happens and they shrug it off as if nothing happened, 4) wide ranging vocabulary, unless they are talking to audiences then they purposely dumb it down (7th grade reading level for sales and 3rd grade language for broad audience), in rich people events they’ll use more complex words. Oh one small one we notice but likely just a coincidence, rich people tend to have a strange lisp/pitch issue. Not sure why but lots of rich people have a strange pitch when it comes to using certain letters/words that are extremely unique. We’re still flushing that one out. Oh and by the way, most rich people do speak directly despite regular people saying they are “nice and elaborate”. They are only nice and elaborate when they know they are speaking to a regular person so they keep their image up, if you try to give elaborate emails to a rich guy he’ll delete them. Try it yourself if you feel like cold email networking (those life stories will not get responses)!
Levels of Rich: Home Edition
This is probably self-explanatory but many people put way too much emphasis on home and value of the individual. Many individuals and families live in situations where the primary residence is a huge chunk of the net worth.
Wealth Level 1 and 2: Low quality housing. It is no surprise that people in this category typically live with multiple other people (usually more than just one) and don’t live in the best parts of town. It’s pretty difficult to enjoy life in these situations since people don’t want to go to these areas and the quality of the facilities is usually lower.
Wealth Level 3: As usual the middle class comes in once again. There are usually two different camps. People in cities will have a wide range of living in studios or even two bedrooms assuming it’s a nice one in a prime location with another working professional. This certainly sounds crazy to people who live in more suburban areas where the middle class lives in basic homes/apartments in the low $100Ks value. For this level instead of assuming the person is rich or broke, think about the cost of living, location and the lifestyle the area affords. In suburban areas, cars are needed… this means the lifestyle is less location dependent.
Wealth Level 4: We’ll take a break from level 5 since there is usually a big difference. In level 4 the person may live in a basic place or they might live in a high end place. There really is no real way to know. If you find someone lives in a basic one bedroom apartment in SoHo (Manhattan) the guy might actually be loaded (or he is somewhere between level 3 and 4). The reason for this is his spending style. While one guy might enjoy spending more time alone (higher end place) the person with a basic but nice apartment might spend $10K+ a month on having fun. This is an interesting arena to us since the range is so wide. You could be talking to a guy worth millions or a guy who is still on his way. Tough call and why we’re leaving this here to be aware of.
Wealth Level 5: Here is the rub. If the person is in a high end place but *still* travels a ton, it is difficult to say this person is in level 4 anymore. Why? Well the costs would pile up. In the fourth level of wealth you have some barriers (you can’t choose the super nice place and to go out a ton so you choose one of the two)… In the final level there are no real barriers. If push came to shove here, you can tell if the person is in the final area if his home is worth more than $3-4 million dollars or so. This is because there are limited deductions on mortgages going up that high which then means the person is probably loaded. If it’s a $1M place, the guy could be in level 3/4/5 around $2-3M is 4/5 and then north of that is likely level 5 wealth. The main point here is that real estate is displayed wealth but never gives the whole picture since you can always downsize to leave more money for discretionary spending.
Levels of Rich Going Out Edition
Level 1 and 2: As usual we have such a small amount of information on this segment since we’re dislocated but you can assume this level is in the minority. No real time to go out. If they go out, they are drinking cheap items, alcohol and other partying is done indoors or outdoors (literal sense) not inside standard bars/clubs unless it is extremely cheap.
Level 3: Ah yes. Being able to tell the regular guys from the rich guys is quite the art and we’d argue that even the gold diggers have trouble learning this scene! That’s right, it is that hard to tell. There are many situations where a guy can get table service but pay nothing (maybe he knows the owner and he is personally not rich). There are many situations where the guy is also just a promoter (see completely broke and short lifespan that ends in a spectacular decline at age 40). There are many situations where the guy only has 1-2 drinks but is loaded to the gills! Well… That’s why you’re on this paragraph. Lets start with tables:
Tables: Before assuming the guy has money because he has a table you have to do a quick check. Figure out if the guy is just connected. Figure out if they are only ordering basic drinks (vodka with mixers is the most common level 3 bottle order). Then of course the natural “does this seem like a normal event” tell, where they are “antsy” to get the night started or not (the less excited they are the more likely they are rich). So there you have the basic level three tells: 1) if promoter or hooked up – ignore not legitimate, 2) if they are excited – likely a group event and they are not comfortable, 3) look at the type of alcohol ordered, it will always be a lot more basic since they don’t want to break the budget or anger the person hooking them up!
Regular Bars: Since drinks won’t really break the bank at $8-20, it’s harder to tell again. Until… you see consistency. This is where the east coast women seem to have the west coast ones beat out. They are sharper. If they see the same guy at the beach with a nice car in the club/bar… they *will* remember. Also. They recognize guys as regulars in specific high-end joints. So your basic tell for a regular person is that they don’t really have consistency. They can absolutely afford to hit the same clubs and bars but there is no real ability to continue this over long periods of time.
Level 4: Here you get into the rich area (the place everyone wants to be). The people in this region are usually recognized in multiple areas. Not just one city. This sounds like a fairy tale but it is reality for a lot of people. If you meet someone and he’s recognized in two different cities in nice areas, you’ve essentially seen his cards already. He’s well off. This type of person will bounce around quickly and never worry about the money. Typically paying more in cash because it’s faster and if he doesn’t like the “vibe” he can get out of the place without having to sit next to the register for 5-10 minutes wasting valuable time. If the guy is with a group at a table he’s usually disinterested either engaging with the group or simply relaxed (no major emotional swing since it’s just another day)
Level 5: Here you’ve entered obvious signs of wealth. These guys do not show up to any clubs alone, they show up with multiple girls or some sort of entourage. They are not there to meet anyone since they already have their group and have no problem dropping money on any type of alcohol (champagne, high-end anything etc.). Naturally, since they are not there to meet anyone… the girls show up. Funny enough after writing this out we now realize why it’s difficult for most people to tell the difference. The guys showing up with a “group” in level 3 look very similar to the guys that are truly rich. The difference though is that the guys who are actually rich are not going to show up with people their own age, practically never happens and the girls are always several years younger 5-10 as a basic range (bonus, the watches and clothing from above can also help fill out the picture).
Levels of Rich Travel Edition
Level 1 and 2: As we write more in this post we realize how dis-located we really are since we have trouble naming exact items in this category. This is probably because it is extremely clear. If the person is always forced to take public transportation and has long commutes then they are not in good shape. Traveling outside of the country is just not in the cards since it is much more expensive and time consuming.
Level 3: As usual the vast majority fall into this category. This usually consists of a few domestic vacations and one international vacation. Or some mix of the price points combined. It can also include some sort of hobby such as ski trips/fishing trips and other somewhat costly extreme adventures. In general, we’re putting a wide range in here because it doesn’t really tell you much. A vacation to Hawaii or Western Europe is probably the most common. The same stuff every single time with the same Instagram photos of toes/feet on the beach. Nothing special just an attempt at attention grabbing.
Level 4: The interesting level begins where the person travels quite a bit. Now remember, we’re assuming here that the person likes to travel. Many rich people stay in the same areas and simply frequent country clubs, but, if the person likes to travel this type of life will be a dead giveaway. The first one is status. If the guy has a status level that is at the top tier in any airline he is probably a millionaire at least. The clearer sign is the frequency of visits that are *not* work related. Work related travel doesn’t get factored in since there is no cash outflow. If the person does north of 10 trips a year then he’s certainly in this group. He’ll probably have a few locations he simply loves which leads to “being recognized” in multiple higher end locations in different cities (see going out edition)
Level 5: Now of course if a guy has a Jet or Helicopter he’s in this category. For those that don’t have these obvious glaring items, the next one is frequency of business class travel. Be careful here. If a guy flies economy here and there it does *not* mean he is in level 4. He could be saving time which is worth a TON more than sitting in a nicer seat. If there is only one direct flight and it’s economy he’ll buy this every time over the connecting business class flight. Your average person thinks that he’ll choose the business class trip but that’s why they are average in the first place (they don’t understand the value of time and have never seen a big paycheck in their lives). Anyway. If around 80% of his trips are in biz class he’s likely in this category. The only exception is if the business class tickets are always short flights to the same destinations, in that case they could be a lot of upgrades and somewhat related to work which doesn’t signal much.
Levels of Rich Time Edition
Level 1 and 2: Everything is essentially the same. In this area each day is similar to the last since the habits are practically set in stone. If you were to go and follow a person in category two for example, he would be doing the same thing next month as he was doing the prior month some 99% of the time. They are unable to tell you what they did last week or last month since it is essentially the same (their lives don’t’ change). A good way to tell if they are in this group is the classic “what did you do last year” and they can’t really give much for highlights.
Level 3: Pretty standard tells here, the most common is the belief that there is a “time for money exchange”. That’s probably the biggest sign, a devoted relationship between time and money. There is also some deep obsession with age and net worth as if getting older should equate to more money (doesn’t make any sense). The good news is that this group is generally easy to spot once they explain their relationship with time. They’ll have some sort of schedule that is slightly more flexible than level 2 and they have 2-4 special events that will highlight a year for them. The rest of the year is essentially a blur since each year is a baby step up the socioeconomic ladder (10-20% savings a year).
Level 4: This is where it gets fun. There is no real relationship between time and money in this group since they are typically *less* busy. You’d think they would still be killing themselves to get extra money but there is a strange void here. You’re either in Level 3, working like a dog to get into level 4 or you’re in level 5 where you’re so valuable that your schedule is filled in seconds! Not sure why this happens but it’s hard to deny particularly if you have lived it. People in this group have a *de-coupled* belief between time and money, they also have much more control of their lives. The most common example we can give is a top rated sales person or an affiliate marketing professional. They make around a million a year, +/- $200K or so and yet they don’t seem to work a ton or be on call constantly. This is called deep rooted relationships. It’s tough to explain it if someone hasn’t seen it or experienced it but once you do it’ll stand out like a sore thumb. Very low stress levels, high flexibility but an oddly lower amount of demand compared to the ultra-rich or the middle class.
Level 5: Two types: 1) still working hard which means no free time because they are pushing for hundreds of millions or more and 2) those that hit their huge numbers and have quite literally no commitments. This is quite an odd set up since the guy who hit his numbers will operate similarly to the level 4 guy, the difference is that the level 4 guy will always have certain times in a month where he suddenly drops off and needs to work hard for a few days. The ultra-rich person quite literally never *needs* to do anything. The stereotypical level 5 person is the one the masses hope is true for all rich people (as you see it’s no where near accurate), constantly grinding. This is because he’s trying to reach some larger goal and wants to push every single lever he can to get that exit multiple!
Bonus: Levels of Rich Car Edition
You’d think there would be a solid relationship between the car and wealth… But we haven’t seen a really good correlation. The extremes are the only ones that really stand out. If someone has a *new* high end car like a Lamborghini then they are rich (used older ones are questionable and in some cases could fall all the way down to level 3/4 range!). Also. If we look at the bottom barrel with cars, you can see the person doesn’t have money (level 2). This would be a car that is so old that it is worth more money selling it in pieces (or a basic fender bender would result in a cash payout since the repairs are more expensive than the car!). You’d think that the classic BMW or Audi shows that someone is well off… all we’d say is please visit Miami or Texas. Lots of people get into the upper middle level of car ownership without having any serious amount of money. Funny enough, people still equate cars with wealth. It’s more likely that a guy in level 4 wealth drives a brand new Honda civic (but flies first class) versus a guy driving a BMW and flying economy (despite both equating to the same amount of cost). Once again… the opposite is true, a “known” item for wealth isn’t accurate.
Somehow this casual post turned into 6 pages. Seriously. Six pages. It’s interesting how easy it is to compartmentalize people once you’ve seen it enough. It is also interesting that the only way to really see these items play out is by getting to the top. This is probably because an outsider from the know can only see what is in front of them, if they were able to read people they wouldn’t be middle class for long in the first place (logically this makes sense). We’ll leave it up to the reader to remember these basic guidelines and see if they can do the calculations in the back of their head quickly in social situations. And. Remember… the truly rich never really have to pay for anything (funny how that works!). Spoiler: if forced to choose on the fastest way to determine wealth go with 1) watch, 2) most expensive real estate asset and 3) amount spent on services. If they aren’t a watch person the money will flow into 2 and 3 anyway.
Levels of rich
1) broke – buy on credit negative worth
2) ok – pay all items no debt
3) better off – everyone assumes you will pay their tab becuase you are well off
4) rich – company covers most your bills
5) really rich – you never pay becuase you’re paid to show up
— Wall Street Playboys (@WallStPlayboys) September 6, 2018
Q&A Announcement: we’ll hold the next Q&A on Friday September 21. As usual only paid purchasers will be allowed to ask a question.
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