What are the Biggest Status Symbols People Have?

There are different views of what status is, but for the discussion I am keeping it to riches.

…What makes me think someone is rich when I don’t know them?
Probably the way they hold themselves plus how nice of things they wear. If they wear a suit, have an air of authority, walk with purpose, and if you see them get into an expensive car, I think that’s about as close as it comes to status symbols.

You shoulda seen the lineup of yachts in San Francisco last fall during the America’s Cup races.


For the fantastically wealthy, it’s big airplanes and big boats. The amount of money they consume on an ongoing basis is truly impressive.

I have always found the concept of a ‘trophy wife’ to be ridiculous.
My good friend, Steven Wright, put it well when he said, “A friend of mine has a trophy wife. But from the looks of her, it wasn’t first place”.

Servants are probably the most expensive luxury item, but if you want over-the-top ostentatiousness then perhaps you might consider the ‘bling’ value of owning your own tropical island.

Of everything mentioned so far I think the owned island just mentioned by Gagundathar has to be among the biggest of the status symbols.

It’s one thing to own a million-dollar home. It’s another thing to own a $20 million dollar home. It’s an entirely different level of rich to own multiple multi-million dollar homes. Then you can be in the top 100 richest people in the world and outright buy islands. I think even among the truly rich you’ll see real estate envy.

Peninsula envy?

I’d have to go with the Air Force.

Kenyu 'splain, por favor?

ETA: nm, I get it. Just beeyin lil’ slow…

If you have a big yacht, you need a crew. So, you get the big boat and servants.

I think on of the best status symbols (in the US) is owning an NFL or MLB team.

A shadow yacht. You have your regular yacht that you cruise around on and a shadow yacht that follows behind with the helicopter, vehicles, speedboats, jet skis, servants and all the other stuff you don’t want cluttering up the yacht that you are on.

Shadow yacht

In my neighborhood it’s who sells on the most lucrative corner.

Yeah, like Larry Eillison buying essentially all of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

The USS George H.W. Bush is pretty big.

…a hot trophy wife, 2 generations younger, AND a prenup. :smiley:

Mallard, oh yea, forgot the pre-nup! That would make it even better.


Eradication of polio, reducing the African Aids crisis, and reducing he incidence of malaria for fun, not profit.

This is a good point. I know a “rich” family who has a million dollar vacation home. Most of the members drive nondescript Toyotas. One has a BMW, which is whispered about as an unnecessary splurge but hey, to each their own. He can certainly afford it, but is looked down a little because he’s spending his money on his car rather than on cruises and exotic wine.

Who shows up at your funeral.