My Net Worth’s Correlation to the Market is Frustrating

by Evan

I have noticed that over the past 6 months or so, my net worth is extremely correlated to the broad market.  Yes, I know that this is beyond a first world problem since most people in the first world probably don’t track their net worth (nevertheless have a personal finance blog where they publish said calculations).

Why is My Net Worth Correlated to the Market?

What is my net worth made up of:

  • House – Not correlated, but I also haven’t increased the value in 3 years
  • Retirement Accounts – Broad Market funds & Large Cap stocks = Correlated
  • Dividend Account – The only purchases made in this account are those that have paid increasing dividends for the past 25+ years, and as such, they tend to be established companies that have a very low beta
  • Cash Accounts – uncorrelated but don’t move
  • Debt – Slow to be paid off 0% Credit Card Debt, and even slower 30 year amortized loans (mortgage and law school loans)

I also have cash value life insurance, but do not bother to include it when calculating my net worth.  As such, I have balance sheet items that don’t move (house and cash) along with 100% stock positions.  That will do it!

Does it Matter if my Net Worth is Correlated to the Market?

Personally, for me, the answer is no.  I understand the risk I am taking, and as important, I am relatively young.  As young as when I started this blog? Hell No, but at 34 I can take a 50% market swing without endangering the welfare of my family. As I get older, I hope to be less correlated through additional line items in my balance sheet which could include investment real estate and/or additional businesses.

Should this view be the same for everyone? Absolutely Not.  If you have a lower risk tolerance or are older than me you may not be able to take the violent and nauseating swings that a correlated portfolio or net worth might cause.

 

While I am not going to do anything about it in the near future it was just a trend I have noticed recently and I am annoyed enough about it to bitch.

 

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2 comments

Lazy Man and Money February 24, 2016 - 10:00 am

Real investments really help diversify. The only problem is that it doesn’t leave a lot of cashflow for emergency situations (such as law suits 😉 ).

It seems like the stock market impacts everything, so it can be hard to escape it.

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Evan February 24, 2016 - 11:54 am

Real investments could if you had a cash positive rental property – but it feels like I am much further from that goal than I once was.

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