Over the past few weeks I have seriously upped the number of financial blogs I subscribe to in my RSS reader (If you don’t have an RSS reader, get one! It will save you oodles of time if you regularly read more than five blogs). I note that many display their net worth on their blog.
Personally I am a little bit reluctant to publicize my net worth.
I can think of three reasons.
1) Enterprising (read: criminal) souls might discover my real identity. I’m not sure how much of a risk this is, but given that people break into random houses, occasionally rob people on the street, or commit fraud, I think I would be a better than average target …
2) People might start asking me to lend them money or give them money because they “really need” it and “I can easily spare it”. I have lent money to family in the past, but it is quite risky. I’m sure our friendship would be over if they did not pay me back in time e.g. I could just imagine a deadbeat and consequently former friend who could not come up with money to repay his loan but could come up with money to eat out at a restaurant.
3) Financial matters are still somewhat taboo. I suspect knowing my net worth leads to jealousy or resentment more often than it makes people inspired to reach the same or a higher level. This basically comes down to the question whether “you are not your net worth” or “you are not your salary”. Then again, we probably are. To the extent that this holds, it means that since “my” net worth is “different” than your net worth, we are different and there is something fundamentally human about not liking to be different from somebody else. It makes us question ourselves in a negative manner.
Do you keep your net worth under wraps or is it out in the open? Does it make a difference whether it is negative (sympathy?) or positive (bragging? achievement?)?