Being rich is the American dream. Anyone from any standing in life can bring in fat stacks of cash and achieve a high status in their lifetime. But unless you’re born rich — and, statistically speaking, you’re probably not — that kind of life doesn’t come easy and needs to be earned.
There’s quite a lot of work, patience, intelligence, and luck involved to achieve wealth from scratch but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Those who have achieved it reap the rewards of luxury cars, accessories, and a round of golf in the middle of the day. Those who are born rich sometimes just end up as one of the rich kids of Instagram.
But not everyone who appears to be wealthy actually is. There are a lot of d-bags out there who basically bluff, mislead, and downright lie through their teeth in order to appear much richer than they actually are. To give you an idea of how they do this, let me introduce you to our fictional d-bag avatar, Douglas Bagg. He’s quite a bit of a jerk and here are 20 things that Doug Bagg does in order to appear rich.
20. Pretend to be James Bond
James Bond is the man every woman wants and every man wants to be. With his sharp suits and fast cars, he’s the prototypical man’s man. But when you think about it, Bond is an arrogant, narcissistic man-child with no regard for anyone else. He does as he pleases and — let’s face it — in reality, you wouldn’t want to find yourself caught dead anywhere near this guy. He basically borders on a homicidal psychopath. But good old Douglas Bagg treats him as a role model. So he ends up just being a dead-beat jerk in a nice suit with an arrogant personality. Just like Bond. And yet, just by acting that way, people assume he is rich.
19. Talk About Money and Business All the Time
For the amount of time and effort Douglas Bagg puts into understanding stocks, money, and business you would think he would have learned a thing or two about it. Instead, he learns the lingo as well as some tried and trued lines (“I bought low and sold high” and he uses the phrase ROI constantly) to make him look like he knows what he’s talking about. Rather than, you know, actually investing in the market. Ironically enough, because most rich people work in finance, they tend not to talk much about business and money in social gatherings. No one wants to talk about work when they’re out and about.
What do Douglas Bagg and little girls playing dress up have in common? Quite a bit actually. One way to distinguish between the rich and just regular folk is jewelry. So, of course, the sneaky Mr. Bagg has caught on to that little fact. A nice piece of jewelry is so versatile that it can really dress up an affordable suit — as long as it’s tailored. So instead of spending thousands on a suit, you’ll find Douglas dropping a few hundred on a couple rings, bracelets, and necklaces just to differentiate himself from everyone else in the room. Mr. Bagg definitely needs to be the center of attention, be it good or bad attention.
17. Logos on clothes
You’ll find a lot of guys who put a lot of effort into making themselves appear to be far richer than they actually are. But why go through all that hassle when there is a far easier way. Yep, instead of dressing sharply with accessories Douglas Bagg will just go out and wear something like a Lacoste polo shirt. You know, the one with the crocodile on it. But why even go through that expense when you can just buy polo shirts from Hong Kong clothing manufacturer Crocodile that has a similar logo. The big difference between the two: the Lacoste crocodile faces right while the Crocodile crocodile looks left.
16. Latest iPhone
Let’s be real here for a second, you don’t need an iPhone. Any cell phone will do you just as well as an Apple branded one — except for maybe Samsung phones that have a tendency to kind of explored on you. Apple’s iPhone is the most widely used luxury mobile on the market and nothing will mark you as being extremely well off as having a brand new one every year when they’re released. Fortunately for Douglas Bagg, he doesn’t need to save all that cash to buy the latest and greatest when telecoms like Sprint and Verizon have plans that allow you to get a new one every year.
15. Pour on the Scents
Personal grooming is important so there is an upside to Doug Bagg pretending to be rich. Shaving, cleaning regularly, and just overall smelling good are something to be lauded — but only up to a certain point. In keeping with the tradition of “if it is worth doing, it is worth over-doing,” Douglas Bagg will slather his entire body in something like Fierce by Abercrombie & Fitch. You’ll always be able to tell where he’s been because as soon as you step into an enclosed area (like an elevator) you might feel faint by the lack of fresh oxygen.
14. Travel in Packs
If one rich d-bag is bad, just remember — they travel in packs. A lone wolf is rarely seen and in order to really pull off that rich look, Douglas Bagg will usually hang out with an entire entourage of similarly dressed friends. Trying to differentiate them from actual rich people becomes even more difficult when you learn that sometimes — just sometimes — Mr. Bagg will actually make friends with rich jerks and travel around with them as part of their entourage. Then it becomes even harder to distinguish between those who are wealthy and those who are merely pretending because ol’ Dougy will just pick up his rich friends’ habits.
13. Loiter in Lobbies
There’s no greater mantra in real estate than location, location, location. This turns out to be true for someone who is pretending to be rich. If you’re wondering how Douglas Bagg may have infiltrated an actual group of wealthy people then I have one word for you: loitering. This isn’t the same kind of loitering in front of a convenience store. Rather, Doug actually dresses up to play the part of the rich and heads off to the nearest swanky hotel. There, he’ll just loiter in the waiting rooms and lobby. Do it long enough and Doug will meet the right influential wealthy people, conning his way into their circle.
12. Order Fancy A** Drinks
Another easy way to fake being well off is to order a drink like someone who is rich. We’re also back to pretending to be James Bond so asking for a martini that’s shaken, not stirred will be your first tip-off. Douglas Bagg is at least a bit more intelligent than that and will actually go out of his way to learn how to properly order a martini — or at least sound like it. There are actually a ton of ways to order a martini so they’ll try to make it sound as complicated as possible by ordering a dry gin martini, stirred, straight up, and with a twist.
11. Know Trendy Restaurants
Want to know where the trendiest place to eat or drink is? Just ask Douglas Bagg. You won’t find him at the local dive bar or at a fast food place eating burritos — at least, not when he’s trying to impress someone. No, he keeps a keen eye on new restaurant openings and knows the names of all the popular or soon-to-be-popular chefs in town. Mr. Bagg will always keep up with the latest in fine cuisine where a famous chef will serve gourmet meals. As for drinks, we already know he orders fancy mixed drinks so it is unlikely he’s at a pub. He knows where the up-and-coming, as well as famous mixologists (not to be confused with bartenders), serve their specialty drinks.
10. Fake Social Media
Everyone knows (or should know) that social media never shows anything more than a distorted version of the truth. In order to appear wealthy, Douglas Bagg won’t just curate his social media accounts but he’ll downright lie in them as well. There are a ton of different ways to fake whatever they want. From borrowing or renting expensive accessories and taking pictures with them to good old photoshop. Another way that he can make himself look rich is by using a service like Lunajets, Victor, or Empty Leg Market which allows you to charter private jets cheaply and take pictures onboard. See, when someone rents a private jet, sometimes they might only hire it one-way. Those companies will then offer cheap, one-way return flights to regular folk in order to make a bit more money on the return leg back to home base.
9. Lease Fancy A** Cars
The gold-standard and number one indicator of status has always been the car. Most are expensive, but the best way Doug Bagg gets around is by just leasing a new luxury car. Then he can flaunt it to his heart’s content. Leasing isn’t the only trick he has up his sleeves, he can capitalize on the fact that companies cannot lease out luxury cars for a tremendously long time. Because of the steep depreciation a car experiences over a three-year lease, they become far more affordable to buy once the lease expires. Voila, Doug now owns an affordable luxury car.
8. Rock the Money clip
The best way to appear to be rich always comes down to the details and knowing the trends. There’s a minimalistic streak when it comes to accessories which have now been paired down to phone, keys, and wallet among the rich. But it isn’t just any wallet, oh no, Douglas has clued into the money clip trend. Instead of carrying around a bulky wallet which will remind you of George Costanza’s exploding one in that episode of Seinfeld, the well off have paired down to a device that holds a few cards and very little cash, if any cash at all. And yet…
7. Carry Fat Stacks of Cash
That’s not to say our Douglas Bagg will not carry around money at all. In fact, he seems to carry around a lot of cash. You might see Doug take out a thick, fat stash of cash and flaunt it at every possible chance he gets. It will look like he’s always carrying thousands of dollars in bills but the truth is that it’s a bit insidious. All he has to do is wrap loads of one-dollar bills in a single $100 bill. Instead of $3,000 in cash, he’s probably carrying $130 at most. It’s a simple trick you can spot because while he’ll take the money out all the time, he’ll never actually pay anything with it.
6. Make Up Fake Names and Titles
Let’s be honest, a guy named Doug will immediately be suspected of faking his wealth. It’s a bit unfair to think that just because someone is named something that doesn’t sound rich that they may not be rich. So our poorly named Doug Bagg will just go out of his way to add as many fake titles and even names to make it sound like he’s in the top 10%. Doug Bagg then becomes Sir D. Quinton Bagg, Esq. or D. Julius Bagg III. Or, hey, he might go all out with Sir D. Julius Quinton Bagg III, Esq. It is amazing how adding a name or two with a title really makes it stand out.
5. Make Up an Entirely Fake Past
But why stop at just fake names when you can fake an entire past? If you think that someone would only go so far as to look the part of being rich but stop short of lying through their teeth about who they are — then I have some sobering news for you. Part of the reason Douglas Bagg wants to pretend to be rich is to fake his status. And what better way than for him to talk about his home-away-from-home in Nice, France or how he’s descended from nobility that can be traced back to the Hundred Years’ War.
4. Wear Knock Off Watches
Where cars are the number one indicator of wealth, it tends to be difficult to bring a Bentley into a club so they are also not the most convenient way of showing off status. As we’ve already said, a cheap suit that is well tailored is difficult to be distinguished from an expensive suit and some custom jewelry will help elevate it. That brings us to the number two indicator of wealth for men: the watch. Unlike cars, however, an expensive watch can be completely faked. A stroll down New York City will find you any number of fake Cartier or Breitling watches. Or there’s always the slightly off-name knockoff brands of Cartier or Breightling.
3. Rent High End Clothing and Accessories
Sometimes rocking the fake stuff isn’t enough to pass the discerning eye of those that are on the receiving end of being deceived. Fortunately for our good ol’ Douglas Bagg, he doesn’t even need to actually buy an expensive suit or accessories. Instead, Doug knows there are a lot of options to rent designer accessories and clothing such as The Mr. Collection which offers subscription packages. All he has to do is sign up online to receive high-end, personalized fashion for around $50 a month. This way, it looks like D. Bagg has an enormous closet filled with an endless supply of high fashion clothing and accessories.
2. The Help Will Clean It
Here’s an easy way for our Douglas Bagg to not only appear to be rich but to truly shine as the jerk that he is. One of the worst habits some rich people pick up is getting used to having other people clean up after them. Some wealthy people, when left to their own devices, would live in giant homes that are just packed to the gills with stuff that wouldn’t get put away. The best example of this is seen in the documentary The Queen of Versailles whose home was in complete shambles when the family struggled during the Great Recession of 2008. So all Mr. Bagg has to do is just not clean up after himself when he’s out. Ever. And just assume that someone will clean after him.
1. Just be a Rich D-bag
When all else fails Douglas Bagg just has one final recourse left: just become a rich d-bag. All of that loitering in hotel lobbies, learning about finance, playing the part of being rich, and making wealthy friends opens a lot of doors for him to actually just become — you know — wealthy. Instead of being a d-bag who is pretending to be rich, Douglas has a good shot at actually just learning how to create wealth. After all, there’s a reason why the phrase “fake it until you make it” has always been thought of as a really good piece of advice.
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