Off the Shelf Wealth

If my time in Monaco has revealed anything it's that all wealth is not the same. The old saying tells us that money can't buy class but in an age of streamlined international trade where brand recognition of luxury goods is universal, the wants of the nouveau riche are crowding the established aristocracy. Items that once heralded class have been retrofitted and placed on a pedestal for anyone with money.

Money and class are not the same--you don't need to be wealthy to be classy and the new wealth seems to lack the class and gravitas that supposedly came with their new-found riches.


I wrote in a post a while back that people buy 3 types of things: gender, status and group symbols. Where you live, people might all drive Range Rovers or Prius. Here they all drive Ferraris and Rolls Royce. Without a Birkin and an AP, you're no one--in fact, Hermès bags crowd the shelves of second hand stores because it'd be a travesty to carry the same bag twice. Someone might think your husband has money problems.

Your money is not impressive--I've seen and experienced the heights of what money can buy. Show me your Citation X and I'll introduce you to people who ask why you only have one. Money can buy goods, experiences and save you time. Money cannot buy class.

I don't judge people with the trappings of wealth, lots of my clients have lots of money. What I'm far more interested in is the intentions behind your spending. Anyone who has ever won the lottery can tell you how quickly you have to put up walls--amazing how many friends you'll have looking for their piece of the pie. So I understand the quest for exclusivity that is highly prized by the rich and famous and neither do I believe in the redistribution of wealth--your money is your money and I have no right to it.

There is an old Latin phrase: Esse Quam Videri meaning 'to be, rather than to seem.' For many people money can be a great aide in that quest but a lot of people find it an obstacle that sours relationships with no real concept of how to live well.

Stereotypical wealth, or what I call "off the shelf wealth" does not set you apart or impress people worth impressing. My goal as an image and lifestyle coach is to help you project your individual personality in a way that makes you truly unique...truly you.