It’s Difficult to Know If Someone Is Lying About Having Old Money or Not. Identify Old Money Easily with These Signs.
Cigars, theatre boxes and friends in high places are all marks of mature family wealth. If you weren’t born with a silver spoon, are there ways to fake it into these elite circles if you understand the culture? Or are you looking for a mega-millionaire and want to know how to identify one in a line-up of fake wealth? The signs aren’t all Mont Blanc and Blancpain if you want to score a blank cheque.
Whether you want to emulate it or uncover it, here are 15 things that scream old money.
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Not Buying Into Fleeting Trends
Old money is old because it has seen seasons come and go in the family. The wealthy of this type are horrified at how much the new rich spend on brands and gadgets that will be here today, gone tomorrow.
Seasonal fads and latest trends rarely impress old money. They are amused at how much time and attention is given to celeb gossip or mastering the latest social media platform. But they appreciate that the distraction allows the majority to stay occupied while they take care of business.
A pastime that barely anyone but old money can access, is horse sports. It’s a close-knit community, whether horse racing or polo, show jumping or fox hunting, the cost alone raises the barriers of entry to only the elite.
At these types of events many relationships are built, deals go down and decisions are made, but finding your way into the saddle is usually only passed on by the bloodlines of old money.
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Not Replacing Something Until Necessary and Buying Quality
Have you ever watched The Crown and wondered why the Queen still drives an old Land Rover series 1 when you know she could afford to put her royal highn(ass) in any new SUV she pleases?
It’s a good example of old money reluctance to replace anything unless completely 100% necessary. The old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. Old money buy quality because they plan to use the item to death.
Byron Tully wrote a brilliant book about the way to get this Old Money style if you don’t have the budget. It’s called: The Old Money Book: How to Live Better While Spending Less: Secrets of America’s Upper Class
You can listen for free by going to alux.com/freebook
Same-Same but Same
If old money does finally concede to replace an item, you can almost be sure someone in the family will try to find exactly the same thing. It might seem a bit stuck in their ways that there is only one shoe brand, one tailor, one brand of luggage or one colour of linen they like.
This is often just like old money prefer it to remain, just the way it was. It’s part comfort in the familiar and part coming from a culture of valuable items that don’t get updated with seasonal fads.
Nothing screams we have been conquerors for a while than a family tree. When you see a gold framed family tree written in cursive and full of people with middle names and no divorces, you have landed in the presence of family that has old money.
Not only does it show that your mom knew who your dad was, it’s indicative that these old-world linkages were more than blood, but often marrying large fortunes or titles together.
A Knowledge of Classical Music, Opera, Ballets and Languages
Ah, the illustrious knowledge of the arts. It seems inherent knowledge to the generationally wealthy. There is an air of old money about knowing the works of James Joyce or being able to speak French. If you haven’t been gripped by Tosca or laughed at Figaro, then perhaps Latin opera wasn’t a staple in your family.
If old money had to fill out a LinkedIn profile it would be a long scroll, not because there has been a lot of job hopping but rather because their career has historical context. They didn’t just pop onto the scene, and there are no “overnight successes” amongst old money.
One of the foundation stones of old money is a long history of success. The old saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss” couldn’t be proved more right than the old money of Europe who have had the same estate homes for hundreds of years. And we all know how much moss they’ve gathered!
Time Is More Valuable Than Money
You might be able to pry some money from the wealthy, but something you will rarely be able to get is 5 minutes of their time. That’s because old money know that time is their most valuable resource.
Time spent well is what got them to this stage, even if that was robbing and pillaging in centuries gone by. Old Money protect their time, usually with layers of staff that keep them from engaging anyone.
If you want to stop wasting your precious time, check out 15 Biggest Time Wasters in Life.
If you do get an audience with someone with old money, then don’t be surprised if you experience this next trait:
Straight Forward Answers
Old money often don’t really care who they offend. They have come to terms with the fact that hearing a hard truth rarely killed anyone.
If you have ever dined with a college friend and a wealthy uncle was at the table, they probably warned you to not take anything he says personally. That’s the kind of candidness we’re talking about. Often the truth is that it is the truth, so don’t let your offence get in the way of good advice.
In short, they are straight forward AF about everything except when it comes to talking about money.
Avoiding Talking About Money
A tell-tale sign that will tell you someone is old money is a resistance to discuss money. If you ask “how much did you pay for something” you can expect them to squirm out of answering.
The one rule of old money? You don’t discuss old money!
Ivy League Universities
Part of old wealth is attending the best universities in the world. From Oxford to Harvard, supporting your alma mater with pride is part of the culture. Old money know that it’s not only what you learn while studying, but also who you meet. Those college chums are going to be across from you in the boardroom.
Fairness aside, it’s the way it is, and old monied families know that spending on a “good education” sets up the next generation to keep the wealth in the family.
Summering In the South of France
Few sentences sound quite as upper crust as dropping that you’re “summering in the South of France.” Nice, Cannes or Monaco, and Saint-Tropez are the names that most come to mind. But if countryside trumps seaside, then Provence’s medieval charm is also a name worth mentioning in polite conversation to impress. Anywhere in and around the Côte d’Azur is a hot spot to see and be seen and where the old money love to “people watch” from their luxury yachts.
If the culture of yachts piqued your interest, then watch this video next:
A Member of the Board
Old Money hold positions on many boards. These can be universities, companies or charities, and the benefit is mutual. It helps the organisation to have knowledgeable and reputable names steering their ship. It also helps the old money insure they look after their own interests.
What wealth is left to future generations is of central importance to the family structure of old money. Many children born into wealth are already assigned vast trust funds that will ensure they are able to carry on the standard of living they were born into.
Another tool that a family with old money use are funds and various trusts to keep money in tax wise facilities that ensure that they can live off the interest and leave the majority of wealth in the family for future generations.
Of course, this isn’t possible if you don’t have patience.
A Long-Game Vision
Wealth creating is a long game. Old money know this well. They realise that overnight successes are rare, but steady long-term investment means that you make good decisions that don’t hinge on small market fluctuations but rather general upward trends.
They are willing to wait it out, they have seen their wealth survive world wars and market collapses and know that knee jerk reactions are not the solutions.
Mary McCarthy said: “Old money is fully as moronic as new money, but it has inherited an appearance of cultivation.”
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