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July 2009 Net Worth Update (+1.75%): Big Home Expenses

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey July 2009 Net Worth Update – The Home Expenses Edition

Houses are expensive!  With summer in full force, I have been diving into the “honey do list.”  Thus far, we have installed a fence and organized the garage.  Other items on the list include creating a front garden for curb appeal, building a shed, and developing the basement.  They probably won’t all be done this year, but I’m hoping to take advantage of the home renovation tax credit as much as possible.  With the work done so far, and mid year property taxes due, our savings have taken a hit.

With regards to our portfolios, they have been performing well thus far in the year.  I’m actually surprised that we haven’t seen a larger correction, but I’ll take it!  If we do get another correction, I will be waiting to buy more equities.

Assets: $452,500.00 (+1.04%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $10,000.00 (-9.09%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Account: $67,000 (+3.08%)
  • Pension: $22,500 (+0.67%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Account: $17,000.00 (+6.25%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $48,500 (+5.43%)
  • Principal Residence: $275,000 (+0.00%) (purchase price)
  • Vehicles: $8,000 (2 vehicles) (0.00%)

Liabilities: $89,900.00 (-1.75%)

  • Tax Liability: $3,000 (-0.00%)
  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $33,900 (-4.51%)
  • HELOC balance: $53,000 (+0.00%)

Total Net Worth: ~$362,600.00 (+1.75%)

  • Started 2008 with Net Worth: $309,950.00
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +16.99%

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 all held with PC Financial. 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.

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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.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Kirk S. July 30, 2009, 8:24 am

    I love these net worth updates. Congratulations! I am also glad that you finally admit that you occasionally spend some money (even if it is to get the tax credit)!

  • Avatar adam July 30, 2009, 12:41 pm

    Maybe you’ve answered this already, but can you explain your ‘Pension’ listing? Is it CPP? How do you acquire a figure for that, is so?

  • Avatar cannon_fodder July 30, 2009, 1:43 pm


    Just a thing to consider since this a “Million Dollar Journey” is provide an update perhaps every quarter, or twice a year, how well you are tracking towards your goal. It would be interesting to see if the pace is accelerating and an indication of what needs to happen in the next X years for you to meet your goal.

    If you are like me, you don’t have an overall target – it is actual the total of the individual components and their projected value (residence, real estate, retirement savings, long term debt, etc.).

  • Avatar cannon_fodder July 30, 2009, 1:45 pm


    Just a thing to consider (since this a “Million Dollar Journey”) is that you could provide an update perhaps every quarter, or twice a year, how well you are tracking towards your goal. It would be interesting to see if the pace is accelerating and an indication of what needs to happen in the next X years for you to meet your goal.

    If you are like me, you don’t have an overall target – it is actual the total of the individual components and their projected value (residence, real estate, retirement savings, long term debt, etc.).

  • Avatar Ms Save Money July 30, 2009, 3:53 pm

    wow congrats on the 17% increase :) looks like you’re doing very well. I just started saving money this year and currently my networth is at negative $14,400. The only thing I owe is student loan and car loan.

  • Avatar Jaeydaad July 30, 2009, 11:36 pm

    I was about to ask you for a post on where you started and how far are you from your destination.

  • Avatar Blogging Banks July 31, 2009, 9:02 am

    Way to go MDJ! A 17% gain is a very good advance, considering that we are jsut halfway done with the year. Are you shooting for a 20% increase in networth?

  • Avatar Father of Five July 31, 2009, 11:26 am

    I heard on CBC yesterday that the home renovation tax credit is not yet passed into law. Given the possibility of an election I am becoming hesistant about spending $10,000 to “maybe” get back $1,350. I suspect Harper might use it as a ploy, saying to Canadians that if you don’t vote Conservative, then you might not get your $1,350.

  • Avatar Amanda Rush July 31, 2009, 11:47 am

    Wel this is indeed a great post that can help us get a lot of ideas when it comes to hgandlin our finances well.

  • Avatar Tember July 31, 2009, 8:34 pm

    I see you crossed out your rental property. Did you sell – can you comment why?

  • Avatar Kumar August 2, 2009, 11:15 am

    Congrats FT!
    Any changes to your holdings inside the SM investment account since June 17th? (I think your last posting of the holdings)

  • FT FrugalTrader August 2, 2009, 11:40 am

    Tember, I sold the property to my tenants as we had a prior agreement to do so.

    Kumar, no big changes to my SM portfolio since the last update. I’m still waiting for a pullback! :)

  • Avatar cannon_fodder August 2, 2009, 6:05 pm


    That means you still hold Teck, right? Must be one of your best performers in spite of suspending the dividend.

  • FT FrugalTrader August 2, 2009, 6:28 pm

    cf, unfortunately, I did sell the remainder of my TCK.B shares (100 shares). Do you still hold yours?

  • Avatar Frugal-Wannabe August 3, 2009, 1:55 pm

    FT, could you please explain your pension amount? is it CPP how do you know the actual amount?

    Also, any chance you could share your income statement sheet / monthly budget with us?

    • FT FrugalTrader August 3, 2009, 1:58 pm

      Frugal W, as mentioned before, the pension is my wife’s pension plan. That’s a good idea about the income statement/budget, I will look into it.

  • Avatar cannon_fodder August 3, 2009, 2:32 pm


    Yes, I still plan to hold mine for the foreseeable future. My SM portfolio needs some diversification from financials and TCK helps. It’s almost tripled in price from where I bought it and I do believe that they will reinstate a reasonable dividend (around 4.5%) perhaps late 2010 or in 2011.

    The only negative is that it represents the biggest percentage position in one equity in all of our investment holdings (RRSP’s, RESP’s, TFSA’s, SM portfolio) because it has risen so quickly.

  • Avatar nobleea August 4, 2009, 2:42 pm

    Father of Five: The HRTC just needs royal assent. It’s a rubber stamp. There’s no way it would get cancelled, regardless of an election.

    FT: With building a fence, organizing a garage (I think any shelving is valid), landscaping, shed, etc, you might be well on your way to maxing out the HRTC. If not, you can buy commodity stuff (lumber/drywall, electrical) for the basement and just store it there until you’re ready next year, in order to capture the 15% discount.

  • Avatar Brendan August 17, 2009, 10:05 pm

    I am curious as to why you have 17K in non registered investments?
    Isnt the SM strategy to pay down your mortgage with the investments and reborrow the same amount?

    • FT FrugalTrader August 18, 2009, 9:20 am

      Brendan, I have sold off most of my non-reg investments, but remain to hold onto a few. With the large correction last year, I just couldn’t sell the stocks at such a low price. Come to think though, now may be a good time to unload some of them.

  • Avatar Bob August 18, 2009, 4:27 pm

    Probably silly questions as I’m not a regular here but…

    1. How does the percentage interest work behind some of your numbers? For instance “Savings: $10,000.00 (-9.09%)” if I understand this correctly, you’re losing money on your savings? I assumed this is your PC Financial Savings account but that doesn’t make sense.

    2. why value your home at the original purchase price instead of market value, or the value used to obtain your HELOC?

    • FT FrugalTrader August 18, 2009, 6:28 pm

      Hey Bob, feel free to ask away.

      1. The savings had a negative b/c I withdrew from the account to pay for expenses.
      2. I’d prefer to keep the home value as purchase price as I’d rather not deal with a fluctuating market value. My home is approximately worth 20% more than purchase, but the market around here has been very aggressive and who knows when there will be another correction.

  • Avatar DAvid August 19, 2009, 1:10 am


    I don’t see why you don’t adjust your home value at some reasonable interval. Here in BC, we get an annual market appraisal as part of the taxation process, so annually in January is a reasonable interval here. My concern with your current practice is it does not accurately reflect your net worth. If values were to drop below your purchase price, it would be folly to be still claiming you home is worth it’s purchase price, so why not include increases?

    Additionally, you don’t value your portfolio at the book value, so to make the value of you home comparable, shouldn’t it, too be adjusted?


  • FT FrugalTrader August 19, 2009, 7:52 am

    Hey DAvid, you are right, I should be adjusting my home value. I think it’s a combination of laziness and leaning on the side of caution. However, in the new year, I think I will do some valuation adjustments.

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