So most rappers are lying about their money. What about the rest of us?

Bloomberg Businessweek has an entertaining piece, asserting "Jay-Z is Right: Most Rappers are Lying About Their Money". It suggests that, amongst others, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj are egregious offenders. Interestingly, Dr. Dre is noted for his humility. 

The piece is clearly in jest. But it prompts an interesting question: are rappers alone in communicating that they have a level of wealth, which they do not in fact have?

I use the term "communicate", because, with some rare exceptions, very few people explicitly boast about their wealth or financial success. Many people like to convey this in other ways, with varying degrees of subtlety. 

For example, some people use conspicuous consumption to signal that they've attained a certain level of wealth. Clothes, cars, gadgets, house, as well as less tangible things like the restaurants and travel. The list goes on.

But how reliable are these signals?  It's easy (and, it would seem, getting easier) to spend a significant portion of your income on these things and end up in a less-than-desirable financial situation.

Where do you fit in the scheme of things? Are you like Pitbull or Nicki Minaj, and convey a level of wealth far in excess of your own? Or a Jay-Z, who is more or less on the mark? Or are you like Dr. Dre, operating below the radar (with what I like to think of as "stealth wealth")?


Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is the founder and principal of Fairhaven Wealth.

Before founding Fairhaven Wealth, Sonnie worked in the legal and financial services industries for over a decade.

Sonnie first became involved with financial advice as a specialist financial services lawyer. For many years, he was an “adviser of advisers”, reviewing thousands of advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and providing feedback in relation to the quality and appropriateness of advice; industry best practice; risk management; and regulatory compliance. He has published work in industry publications and spoken at various financial advice conferences.

Sonnie has also worked with banks, investment management firms, insurers, and derivatives providers.

Sonnie has worked as a private client lawyer, focusing on succession, estate planning and trusts. He ran his own legal firm in Australia before relocating to New Zealand. He has also acted in independent trustee and company director positions.

Sonnie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and manage the risks to which they are exposed.

He has written extensively on his blog, New Zealand Wealth and Risk, which can be found at

Sonnie is married to his wonderful wife Chrissy, and has two young children, Ben and Anna.