Net Worth Revelation

 

Welcome to the first Kapitalust Net Worth Update. I probably should have been doing this right from the beginning in July 2013 when I started this blog. But I haven’t. However, like the old Chinese proverb goes “the best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.” This monthly update will keep me accountable to both me and you – it’ll show the progress that is being made from a typically average married Canadian couple on their way to financial freedom and independence. Without further adieu, the net worth revelation.


The way I display assets and liabilities are bound to change in the future. I am going to start off a little bit more vaguely and perhaps increase details as time goes on. I don’t know, that’s what I feel comfortable with in regards to sharing financial details with complete weirdos strangers online. I’m walking the tight rope between accountability to my vision and plan for all of you and my personal need for privacy. What’s that? Get on with it! Fine, fine, you Peeping-Tom-looky-loos, here it goes.


Assets: $87,893

  • Fixed Income: $60,378
  • Equities: $5,263
  • Pension: $17,427
  • Car: $4,825

Liabilities: $4,020

  • Rent: $1,200
  • Credit Card: $2,820

Net Worth: $83,873


Now, regular readers know by now how much I love making graphs. You know this is my favourite part of this post: providing visual aids for the numerically challenged. I kid, I kid! Sort of.

net worth revelation

Well, that’s a lonely little blue dot, isn’t it? It’ll be joined by many friends – in an upward trajectory – with time.

Now, some quick notes and explanations to the net worth figures.

Fixed Income

net worth revelation asset breakdown

This is a combination of all cash and cash equivalent assets we hold. Yes, it is quite high. Two reasons. First, we weren’t prepared to invest heavily as A) we didn’t have a clear investment strategy planned out and B) I had been in extreme student loan repayment mode for the last 2 years and 3 months (no, I have yet to write the post on finishing off paying back $52,000 in student loans). Second, we simultaneously were not sure when we would think of buying a home, so it was thought prudent just to have cash equivalents ready in case we wanted to. We will probably continue holding a high portion of assets in liquid cash equivalents, for our peace of mind.

Equities

Since we have finally developed a clear investment strategy and investment policy statement, we are ready to start funnelling money into investments. August 2014 was the first month where we have started diverting money towards investments. I’ll tease you guys and not reveal what we hold in our portfolio until another day.

Where Does the Cash Come From?

We don’t subscribe to lifestyle inflation. We are frugal in many areas. We are also lavish in our spending in others. We ruthlessly prioritize our spending and identify waste. We live quite a simple, yet fulfilling life. This way, we end up pocketing most of our earnings. Our earnings currently only come from our salaries.

Pension

The pension amount is the total amount of contributions we have put into our defined benefit pension plans. It is very difficult to come to an accurate value of the commuted value of a defined benefit pension without the assistance of an actuary. I have a rough idea of the commuted values of each, but since it is not fully accurate I will not bother with posting those values.

Car

We value our one car by using VMR Canada and using the wholesale, not retail, value of the car.

Liabilities

With the student loan gone (yes, I will write that post soon) our only liabilities are our monthly rent and rotating credit card charges.

Conclusion

Well, now are all you snoopers happy? Are you satisfied having nosed around in someone else’s private business? I bet you are quite pleased with yourself…

All jokes aside, I have to essentially give all of the credit for this positive net worth value to my wife: she is the one who finished college with no student loans and she is the one who has been building her assets up for the last 4 years. Meanwhile, in that span of time, I went to grad school, looked for employment for almost a year, and then spent 2 years paying back all my student loan debt.

So the financial superstar in this relationship is all my wife. With the student loans finally gone, and with my nerdy level of interest in investments, I plan to start adding value to the financial aspect of our relationship.

Have a great long weekend everyone! We are off for vacation so apologies in advance if I don’t reply to comments as quickly as I usually do!

Like what you’re reading? Than maybe it’s time you join the legion of other Kapitalusts so you don’t miss out on a beat! No spam. No ham. No nonsense. It’s super easy to unsubscribe if it ain’t for you! So why not give it a try?

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24 thoughts on “Net Worth Revelation

  1. Well, this net worth report has the merit of being really clear and simple 🙂 Good job!

    I understand your stance about buying a house and keeping cash. Most of my assets are in savings accounts right now for this very reason. This drives me nuts because I want to invest what I have, but I know I shouldn’t if we buy a house in the next 3-4 years.

    This is the first time I see rent in the liabilities section. In a way, you’re right: you signed a lease on your apartment stating how much you have to pay in a year, so it’s like paying back debt. I like to keep rent in my revenues/expenses spreadsheet, however.

    I can’t wait to learn how you killed your student loans! I pay off my own ($28k) in six months but only because I drained my savings. In hindsight, this probably set me back for the home purchase…

    1. Thanks for the feedback Jason, really appreciate that you enjoyed the layout: I always try to make this visually appealing and simple to understand.

      I see rent as a liability because we signed a lease and owe those payments for a set amount of time. It’s debt in my opinion. Same as a credit card. But perhaps I will should ponder moving it over into revenues/expenses like you suggested. I’ll think on it!

      Ahhh yes, the student loans. Haha it’s coming. I should have written it in July. I think I’m just punting it down the line because I’m scared to write about it? Not sure why!

  2. Does a car count as an asset? I count it as a liability! It doesn’t have income following it, it only drains my bank balance…

    Very nice to see Her Majesty making an appearance 😉

    1. Haha I’m up in the air about it, to be honest with you. I almost didn’t include it. Just like I don’t count our gold and silver jewellery, even though those are technically assets in the sense that they can be liquidated for cash.

      Investopedia defines an asset as: “A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.” (*I honestly just spent about an hour reading up on all the details of assets, liabilities, and net worth calculations. Conclusion: no idea).

      Based on that definition, to get the truest gauge of net worth, every single asset must be tallied up and subtracted from every single liability. But I’m not going to go through the trouble of calculating the value of gold and silver jewellery and other small assets that would be too much of a waste of time to try and calculate.

      I guess one could never get a fully accurate view of net worth without considerable time and energy spent. And since I don’t even have the accurate commuted value of the pension, I guess this net worth calculation is only a rough rule of thumb of net worth.

      Haha and my wife laughed about the majesty comment – thanks M!

      1. I consider a car to be a liability, honestly. They do nothing but depreciate and cost you money, even if you don’t use them. An asset should provide you future value, even if you’re not actively using it.

        The only way a car can be considered an asset, in my opinion, is when you need it to do your job or use it to make money some way or another. The best example I can come up with is a taxi driver or a delivery guy.

        Great overview though! I always like reading these kind of posts.

        You’re doing great, Steve, especially considering you paid off 52,000 in student loans. Must have been an awesome feeling when you deposited the last payment?

        Thanks for sharing and making me laugh out loud at the first graph!

        Have a great weekend,
        NMW

  3. Congrats on your student loan achievement (and on marrying such a smart wife)! You are well on your way to achieving financial security and a wonderful life!

    1. Thanks Patricia! Hope to continue on the course and have this blog as both a way to keep accountable to the goal and to show others it is possible to build wealth slowly but surely.

  4. That’s a great net worth! I’m sure you’ll easily build it quickly as there isn’t the student loan anymore. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work! Now I can live in peace knowing what your net worth is haha.

  5. Love your graph lol. I’m a graph guy myself too.

    Great to tackle your student loan. When we calculate our net worth we don’t include our car just to keep the math simple.

    Is your cash reserve just sitting in the bank? Or are you investing it in some short term investments?

    1. Thanks Tawcan. Ya I was a little on the fence about the car. Perhaps once the value dips below a certain threshold, I won’t bother calculating it into the assets.

      Cash reserve is split between chequings/savings/GIC(CD for Americans)/cash.

      I’m glad your a graph guy too! 😀

  6. Awesome net worth, Steve. Welcome to the dark side… Contact J to get put in the monthly updated net worth of PF bloggers on Rockstar Finance (whoa, that was a run-on, confusing sentence, but you get the idea).

    Question, does rent really count as a liability? I’d call it an expense, but I’m not sure I’d call it a liability.

    1. Thanks Alicia! I’ll stroll on over to Rockstar Finance and check it out!

      For rent, I was up in the air about rent but I can’t seem to decide fully on what should be an optimal list of assets and liabilities. Would you figure that normal credit card charges just should be rotated into expenses? But aren’t they technically a liability as they need to be paid back? Ugh I’m not sure!

  7. Good luck on the house hunting if that is still in the works! I am like you and include my car value in net worth because it is the single largest asset with resale value after the house. Besides if the wife and I reach FI we probably don’t need two cars so we actually are likely to sell one when we retire. I am debating about including replacement cars, or what I will do when that time comes.

    Or, don’t forget to tell J Money on Rockstar Finance to include your net worth posts, it helps a little with traffic :).

    1. I think the house might be anywhere in 1 to 5 years. Haha we have no clue! I think the car (and many other assets) are personal choices and I was torn on whether to include it. I think I wouldn’t bother using it as an asset if it fell below, say arbitrarily, $1k value.

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll go check out RSF right now!

    1. Thanks debs! I do feel a bit naked. But I do like that I am still somewhat anonymous which helps ease that uneasiness.

      Ahh ya the db pp, just luck that I happened to land a job randomly after finishing grad school that has one. Honestly didn’t even know such pensions even existed anymore. I would have been ecstatics with a 5% dc match program.

      I’ll be tuning in closely for your net worth post 🙂

  8. Big changes to your site is one year, keep up the good work and I am now along for the ride. I will enjoy following a Canadian perspective on fund choices. Right now I split my money into a few forms of invesment. #1 Scotia itrade RRSP with Vanguard SP index and TSX index then a REIT #2 Scotia TFSA split between SP Index and TSX index #3 Company matching RRSP program with Sunlife > Int Index SP Index and TSX index #4 Market exempt RRSPs through an advisor in capital investment real estate firms and trusts #5 RESP for the kids #6 Rental property condo Hope it all keeps chugging along, I have way too much cash not invested right now but we started a small store and it is our emergency fund. Plus the markets are so high, yup Im one of those guys worried about investing and seeing it drop the next day.

    1. Thanks Chris! That’s a nice portfolio mix you got going – I think I have looked into all the funds you’ve listed. It sounds like a solid portfolio and as long as you stay committed, it’ll chug along great. I’d be super interested in reading a post on your portfolio choices and the process you went through to select them. It would be a really cool read.

      And good call on the cash holdings. Especially with a small business, it’s prudent to have cash on hand in case something happens where you need quick access to liquid cash. It suck to have to pull money at an inopportune time from the markets.

      As long as you don’t mind investing into the markets as they slide into “fire sale” territory, you’ll be all good 🙂

      1. Steve..
        I used to just pick balanced Mutual funds and then I got smart and started reading…it saved my ass! Education is the key to everything and more people should use the internet to learn and not just kill time. Trial and error and researching what banks offer and what choices we have in Canada and asking a lot of questions too. But of course before this we need to actually save money or all the effort is useless huh. I am actually mad at myself for wasting probably 10 years of really good income on consumerism and silliness, no real debt but damn I wish I invested that money. As for a blog post, I think I may work myself into posting something soon. Im probably due to put something up again and keep writing again.

        1. You’ve got some great content over at your blog Chris – a greedy part of me wants to see more content up there regularly 🙂

          Ya know, it’s awesome that you guys recognized improvements you could make and have the courage to educate yourselves and make the switch. That’s what truly matters: having the courage to realize mistakes, accept them, and act to correct them.

          Life is a series of mistakes and lessons 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing your net worth. If you are staying in the same location for the next 3+ years and with that amount of savings you should definitely look into buying a home instead of renting. You will likely be able to find a home for less then $1,000 per month as a mortgage, and you will be building equity.

    1. Thanks for the comment LI. We might be staying at the same location for the next ~2-3 years, however we continue to rent and will likely continue renting because: A) renting is ~$800 cheaper than buying the condo unit and B) we do not want to necessarily own the condo where we are living. We love the location and building because of its proximity to both our places of work, but we have little interest in buying the property as we don’t see it fitting into our lifestyle once we become parents.

      In Vancouver, it is a little tougher to find anything decent in terms of a detached single home for anything less than ~$1000 a month in a decent neighbourhood and close to work. We’ll figure it out though!

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