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Jan 2010 Net Worth Update (+4.43)

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey January 2010 Net Worth Update – New Beginnings Edition!

If you recall, 2009 was a great year for net worth growth.  With stock markets and savings up for 2009, we managed to increase our net worth by 29%.

What’s on the horizon for 2010?  I’m hoping for more of the same but I think it will be challenging for the markets to return the same as it did in 2009.  However, the markets are known to surprise.  I will keep holding onto my long term equities and continue to collect my dividends.

A couple changes to the net worth statement for 2010, first, I added a new row for my new TFSA with Questrade.  Right now, it’s sitting as cash until I decide how I’m going to invest it.  The original plan is to invest in REITs, but they look awfully expensive right now.  The second is that I decided to increase the value of our home by a historic inflation factor (3%).  The local real estate market has really taken off over the past couple years and even with the inflation adjustment, it’s still well below the selling price after all fees.

On to the numbers:

Assets: $ 497,600 (+3.39%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $29,500.00 (+13.46%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Account (RRSP): $76,300.00 (+0.93%)
  • Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA):  $5,000 (+0.00%)
  • Pension: $28,150.00 (+0.54%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Account: $15,200.00 (-7.88%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $53,500.00 (+0.94%)
  • Principal Residence: $283,250 (+3.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation)
  • Vehicles: $2,500 (2 vehicles) (-16.67%)

Liabilities$80,300.00 (-1.71%)

  • Tax Liability: $3,000 (-0.00%)
  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $23,700.00 (-5.95%)
  • HELOC balance: $53,500 (+0.19%)

Total Net Worth: ~$417,300.00(+4.43%)

  • Started 2010 with Net Worth: $399,600.00
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +4.43%

Some quick notes and explanations to net worth questions I get often:

The Cash

The $4,500 cash are held in chequing accounts to meet the minimum balance so that we pay no fees (accounting for regular bill payments). Yes, we do hold no fee accounts also, but I find value in having an account with a full service bank as the relationship with a banker can prove useful.


Our savings accounts are held with PC Financial and ING Direct. We usually hold a fair bit of cash in case “something” comes up. The “something” can be anything that requires cash such as an investment opportunity that requires quick cash or maybe an emergency car/home repair.  We also need cash to cover any future tax liabilities.

Real Estate

Our real estate holdings consist of a primary residence plus a rental property. The value of the principal residence remains valued at the purchase price despite significant appreciation in the real estate market that we’re in.  I will most likely be adjusting the value of the home come the new year.


The pension amount listed above is the value of my wife’s defined benefit pension.  I basically take the semi annual statement and add the contribution amounts on a monthly basis.

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Future Money-Bags January 26, 2010, 10:46 am

    Hey FT,

    Almost +4.5% in a month, very impressive.
    I will continue to follow your 7-Digit-Journey!
    I really appreciate all that your blog gives, especially showing everyone how much you have accomplished and saved!

    Although January has not counted as an ‘average’ months earnings, I was able to save 80% of all that I earned this month; Meaning my net worth has increased 9% this month.

    I make a very low income by any means(low hourly wage) but plan to have $100k Net worth by age of 25.

    Good luck to everyone in February!

  • Avatar Varun January 26, 2010, 11:44 am

    I noted in your porfolio that the mortgage rate is 5.95%. This seems a bit high with the current market rates (Assuming 5 year fixed). There could be an opportunity to negotiate lower even with the penalty.

  • FT FrugalTrader January 26, 2010, 11:54 am

    Future money bags, congrats on the huge savings for the month!

    Varun – it must have been an old post with the 5.95% rate, my current rate is prime – 0.85%.

  • Avatar Lakedweller January 26, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Ok, I’m ready to start tracking my net worth…is there an app for this?

  • FT FrugalTrader January 26, 2010, 1:14 pm

    Lakedweller, there are a lot of apps that can do this for you, but I simply use a google spreadsheet. I like how it’s easily accessible as I’m often online.

  • Avatar travellingone January 26, 2010, 1:27 pm

    Curious about why you wouldn’t wait till the end of the month before tracking your net worth calculations? I have seen a variance in mine of 5% during this month alone depending on when I look at it.

    On another point, I have also been looking at adjusting my income and primary residence valuations. I am not completely sold on the inflation increase, I have kept mine at a conservative market evaluation from 2008 less all closing costs, commissions – if I needed to liquidate. However, I am not certain if that is the best approach. I am looking at adjusting it based on market valuation in 2010.

    Been a long time reader, and thoroughly enjoyed your postings, and the various guest writer posts. Keep up the great work!

  • FT FrugalTrader January 26, 2010, 1:41 pm

    If you go through the archives, I typically do wait until the end of the month, but I posted this one today due to post scheduling for the rest of the week.

    With regards to the house valuation, I agree with you in keeping housing values conservative. Even with the inflation adjustment, it’s still a fair bit below what I could get for the house after all fees.

  • Avatar Nelson January 26, 2010, 2:44 pm

    Wow, 4.43% in one month. Excellent. I can’t even make 2% accross a whole year and you do more than twice that in one month. I don’t know how you do it but well done!

  • Avatar Big Cajun Man January 26, 2010, 2:59 pm

    Wow, your honesty is quite refreshing, but I would caution you to maybe be a little less open about WHERE you bank (but I am also accused of being paranoid, so take this advice with whatever grains of salt you wish).

    Keep up the hard work.

  • Avatar nobleea January 26, 2010, 5:07 pm

    inflation rarely goes negative and when it does, it a small amount (-1%) for a short period. housing prices can drop 15-30% after the end of a hot market.
    i have just stuck with our purchase price and when the time comes to sell, I can make the adjustment once the money is in the bank.
    if you wanted to follow a more market based value, i’d use the city’s assessed value. just be sure to follow the assessment down if it does go down. a lot of people are keen on the increased value, but think their place is worth more when the city decreases the value.

  • Avatar canucktuary January 26, 2010, 5:34 pm

    4.43% is mostly due to the accounting adjustment that FT has incorporated this year in how he values his house. I agree that valuing it at just inflation is prudent of you.

    Removing this accounting adjustment and his monthly increase is a still respectable 2.36% monthly increase in net worth.


  • Avatar Brad January 26, 2010, 5:38 pm

    Good stuff!

    I know it’s a matter of opinion here, however revaluing your residence at historic inflation seems to be an incorrect approach. Housing prices haven’t historically followed inflation from what I can tell and really don’t reflect your local reality. It seems like you’re a bit resistant to have your house drastically affect your net worth, as it would have done over the last few years. The reality is once you are close to the $1M mark, your house(s) are still going to be one of the major components in having you reach your goal.

    Since you track on a monthly/yearly basis, I’d suggest using some other barometer – I typically use our city tax assessment; it’s usually off by a considerable amount IMO, however the city has much more insight into the price of my house than I do.

    I’ve also tinkered with the idea of having a realtor do a market value assessment every year, which may help take into account work being done (or not) on the property.

    Best of luck!

  • Avatar Nick January 27, 2010, 7:16 pm

    Congrats FT!

    I just had one question. You show the SM investment acct balance to be exactly the same as the HELOC balance on the liabilities side. Did I miss something or is this just a coincidence, an oversight or some special logic you apply?

    Not sure if it would have a large bearing on your NW but, my balances in these two accounts are never the same. And, of course, the idea is to grow the investment balance significantly beyond the HELOC balance, correct?

    Just curious about that one. Thanks!

  • FT FrugalTrader January 27, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Hey Nick, funny, that is the first time I noticed that the balances are the same. :) So yes, it is a coincidence. I am lucky that the markets have come back, my portfolio was in bad shape in 2008!

  • Avatar Forex Intraday Trading January 31, 2010, 7:11 pm

    Very nice 4.43 in a month, very nice.

  • Avatar cannon_fodder February 1, 2010, 6:56 pm


    My NW increased 4.56% so very similar results compared to yours. The last week of the month was definitely not good for my portfolio. Overall the month of January was a down month for all major indices around the world.

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