Privacy and the Affluent

In our data-driven world privacy is a basic right that should be afforded to everybody. Privacy is our right to protect the information we don’t want to share publicly. It allows us to maintain personal, business and family personas away from the public eye. It’s tied in with our sense of freedom from control, the right to pursue and protect our own interests.

For the affluent in particular, the right to privacy is particularly important no matter where they’re from in the world. Often, they will model their entire lives around the need to protect their privacy.

A survey conducted by market research firm YouGov, together with high-end real estate firm Luxury Portfolio, covered the top 10% of consumers across 12 countries. Over 5,000 interviews with wealthy people, 61% of them stated that privacy was very important to them. In terms of real estate, privacy was the most commonly mentioned feature in the survey.

Why is Privacy Important to the Affluent?

Over the years we’ve been bombarded with images of the super-rich cruising around town in Ferrari’s or stepping out of personal luxury jets. A lot of people flaunt their wealth in the name of attention seeking, but the subset of affluent people who wish to fly under the radar and maintain their privacy is growing very large.

The reason? Well there’s a few, but first and foremost privacy and security are inextricably linked. By staying private, affluent people are protecting themselves, their families and their businesses.

With more and more of our personal information being stored online, a privacy breach can have exponential effects on anyone’s financial and personal lives. A data breach could result in finances being wiped out, identities being stolen, reputations ruined. As well as physical and material damage, this can have severe emotional distress on a person or family.

Affluent people are more of a target for this kind of breach, for the simple fact that they have more to lose. The money in their bank accounts is a target for a start, as are their assets. There might be people who are jealous of their success and would like to ruin their reputation.

This is the same for affluent people from all cultures across the world. If their privacy is taken care of, they feel secure. It reduces stress, because they don’t have that feeling of looking over their shoulder the whole time. If someone’s mind is at rest, their relationships, both personal and business, are easier to manage. They perform better, and greater success and a capacity to earn more are the result. Investing in privacy is an investment that pays off.

How the Affluent Maintain Privacy

Because they have higher security concerns, affluent people who are concerned about privacy are generally more cautious in all aspects of their life. They fly under the radar, they drive nondescript cars.

A chief area of caution is on social media. As well as not sharing anything to publicise their wealth, affluent people will be careful not to post anything that gives away their home or work location. Even birthdates aren’t shared, as this can be a stepping stone towards having enough information to commit financial fraud.

Often companies are used to buy properties or private planes, so they can’t be traced to a particular person’s name. This provides privacy at home. The super-rich are even known to purchase in neighbourhoods where Google Street View camera cars are blocked, so there’s no possibility of scouting out the front of their home on Google Maps.

Affluent people who value their privacy also invest a great deal of trust into choosing who they want to work with. They focus on building relationships where their anonymity is preserved and their privacy is respected. Where they feel safe and secure to carry out transactions.

The Henry Wong Team® has dealt with a number of real estate buyers on the BRW 200 List. We have a network of affluent Asian and Australian contacts who we stay in touch with and engage regularly. If you have any questions about privacy, security, or relationships based on trust, please give us a call.