With another month underway, albeit a big month, it is time to see how my net worth has fared. I have been publicly tracking my net worth since January 2011 when I “zeroed” out my net worth so I can share my gains or losses every month since. It is odd to me that I am in the minority of people who actually keep track of their net worth. At the very least it provides you with the opportunity to think about whether you have made good or poor choices with regard to your finances that month. At the most, tracking your net worth may provide you with the mental encouragement to possibly make better financial decisions.
Calculating my Net Worth
Creating a net worth statement is pretty simple. All one has to do is honestly add up your assets and minus your liabilities. If you build your net worth calculation on lies, what’s the point of even doing the exercise. I know calculating my net worth helps me keep track of my decreasing liabilities while seeing if my investments are growing like they should be.
My assets are pretty simple:
- Emergency Fund – It is a little less than where I would like it, but I don’t calculate it in terms of monthly expenditures. Rather I think to myself how much cash would I really need if say, the roof goes.
- My Dividend Growth Account – It is small, but this is where I have really been focusing my efforts lately and I will writing a lot about it.
- My Wife’s Roth IRA – Nothing special – just a mixture of cheap index funds and stocks that capture my attention.
- My 401(k) – My 401(k) is terrible with high fees for shit mutual funds, but where else am I getting a match on my money. I am not one to turn down free cash.
- Wife’s Mutual Funds – This was an amount that was given to my wife from her now deceased grand parents. They were horribly mismanaged until I stepped in, putting them in low expense vanguard mutual funds. She and I both look at this account as a super emergency fund.
- My House – Despite being my largest asset I don’t particularly care how it is valued. I am not moving so it is more or less a dead asset. I don’t grow it and I don’t reduce it. Maybe at the end of the year I can do an annual review if there are any comparable homes sold.
- My Traditional IRA – Just a few stocks that have captured my attention.
- My Investment Account with my Brother – My Wife and my brother invested a nominal amount ($1,200 each) to try and give my brother confidence with his stock picking ability.
- My Law School Loans – Despite being almost 35 years old I have a significant amount of law school loans left. They are locked in at 3.5%, so what’s the rush to pay them off?
- My Mortgage – I live on Long Island (and its on not in), so the odds of me ever prepaying this down, especially with a 3.375% 30yr fixed is unrealistic.
- Credit Cards – My favorite card is my American Express Premier Gold Card, whose fee I fight every year. I also have some minor outstanding balances that I’ll just pay down slowly.
My Net Worth Increase/Decrease
- Month over Month (so 12/1/2016 to 1/1/2017) my net worth increased 3.80%
- For 2016 my net worth increased an awesome 21.70%
- Since I started tracking my net worth in 2011 it has increased 256%
Looks like I paid down more debt than my investments increased. This seems a little troubling given that the broad market is up 10% for 2016 and my assets are highly correlated to that number. Although if we take away the post-election run it is a little less worrisome. In addition, I used more of my end of year bonus for debt repayment versus assets deposits. Guess, I just talked myself out of being worried about that trend!
How was your year?