Last week in a social setting I met Mrs. L who is employed as an assistant manager at a branch bank. She and her husband are immigrants from India. Mrs. L asked me what I did for a living. I responded that I am a researcher and writer.
Mrs. L: Research? My husband does medical research. What kind of research do you do?
Stanley: I study wealthy people.
Mrs. L: Like Donald Trump?
Stanley: No, it is more about people whom you would never suspect are wealthy.
Mrs. L: I don’t understand.
I tried to explain about the millionaire next door types. She had never heard of The Millionaire Next Door. Finally, I decided to relate to her job experiences.
Stanley: Have you ever noticed something about the appearance of a lot of your customers who have large balances? Do they dress like they are rich?
Then Mrs. L paused for a moment with a surprised look on her face.
Mrs. L: No, they certainly don’t.
Then we had a brief discussion of the “big hat, no cattle” type. When I asked her about how the people who bounce checks and often have low or negative balances dress, she responded that often they are well dressed, well accessorized and sport prestige makes of cars while driving up to the window. Even though Mrs. L has only been in this country for a few years, she knows that for most people one can either look rich or be rich!