Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey August 2009 Net Worth Update.

There’s not a lot to report this time as not a lot has happened in the month of August.  The markets continue to edge upward but we are closing in on the volatile September and October months.  Do you expect a significant market correction coming soon?  Or do you think that their may be a smaller correction but continue on with the upward trend?

With regards to savings, we did well this month sticking to the game plan.  One of our financial goals is to save a percentage of our income regardless of how much our income increases.  The cash is either used for RRSP/TFSA contributions, mortgage pay down, or a general cash account.

Speaking of mortgage pay down, we have done well this year chipping away at the balance and we should meet our goal of eliminating our mortgage in early 2011.

Assets: $457,350 (+1.07%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $13,000.00 (+30.00%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Account: $69,000 (+2.99%)
  • Pension: $22,650 (+2.99%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Account: $17,000.00 (+0.00%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $48,700 (+0.41%)
  • Principal Residence: $275,000 (+0.00%) (purchase price)
  • Vehicles: $7,500 (2 vehicles) (-6.25%)

Liabilities: $88,600.00 (-1.45%)

  • Tax Liability: $3,000 (-0.00%)
  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $32,500 (-4.13%)
  • HELOC balance: $53,100 (+0.19%)

Total Net Worth: ~$368,750.00 (+1.70%)

  • Started 2008 with Net Worth: $309,950.00
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +18.97%

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.


  1. Investment Advice on August 31, 2009 at 8:13 am

    The economy has not been doing well for almost two years now. In spite of this some signs of reciovery are becoming evident. However, it may still take some time time before a full recovery is evident.

  2. The Reverend on August 31, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Though I had intended to buy and hold the stocks I picked up over the last year and just reap the dividends, I’ve moved almost everything to cash and just took my gains off the table. Gonna pay down the mortgage and not get too greedy.

    Still have retirement savings in the market for the long term so I won’t miss out if we keep going up, but I just don’t see the upside in the market in the near term.

  3. Kirk S. on August 31, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I am a little worried about a market correction as the year winds down. The confidence in the economy is not great and if the market takes another 5 or 10% hit in a week the momentum could be pretty intense.

  4. dnaman on August 31, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I like the simplicity of this overall view and will have to ‘adopt’ it for our personal financial picture as well. One question regarding your real estate. You took the purchase price of your house before or after tax? We recently moved into a new home so we have not been given the proper assessment yet and im wondering what value I should use for our house under assets. (of course we have a mortgage though!) Thanks!

  5. FrugalTrader on August 31, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    dnaman, the purchase price was the cost of the house at closing. So after tax (HST) on new build.

  6. Sampson on August 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Keep it up FT.

    I’m a little surprised your SM account isn’t doing better. I know you’ve got a tonne of financials in there, but Aug was a pretty good month for us. (Obviously your registered accounts and pensions reflect that).

  7. dnaman on August 31, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks FT, sorry one last question, what do you use to calculate your vehicle’s worth? We have 2 cars at the moment (just bought a new one on a small loan) so it would be interesting to see what they are worth and what value they would have on our assets column..Thanks again,

  8. FrugalTrader on August 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    sampson, i’m not sure why either, perhaps it’s because I didn’t add to much to my positions during the down turn?

    dnaman, I use the “Canadian black book” to do my appraisals. Truth be told though, I’m deprecating the vehicles rather quickly to get them off the books.

  9. James on August 31, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Is your pension a DB or a DC pension. If it is a DB I am curious as to how you are valuing it as an asset.

  10. The Reverend on August 31, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    for simplicity, i’ve always assumed our cars are worth the same as the outstanding loan on them for a net worth value of zero. this may not be appropriate if you have extended payment periods, but we’ve traditionally amortized our car loans over 3 years so i think its reasonable.

  11. Henry on August 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    FT: Have you thought about selling some your Canadian bank stocks? They seem to be priced as if the recession have never happened.

    What do you think about utilities and telecoms? I am long on them instead of TSX Composite Index.

  12. Ms Save Money on August 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Looks like you’re doing very well – increase on savings and decrease in liabilities. Congrats :)

  13. FrugalTrader on August 31, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    James, the pension is a DB and is valued at the contributed amount over the years (not the employer matched value).

    Henry, Yes, i can see what you’re saying about the CAD banks, however, I’m in it for the dividends, so I will be keeping my positions.

  14. Mark in Nepean on August 31, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Nice gain FT….slow and steady wins the race!

  15. Bill on September 1, 2009 at 12:37 am

    FT: I must say, I admire your discipline. We have just paid the deposit on a new construction, our first house. We both have gotten good jobs with the feds, and have been biding our time renting until we really thought we were ready. We managed to get a pretty good deal from the builder here in Ottawa – it’s true that resale prices haven’t dropped at all here over the past few years, but builders with a glut of inventory are willing (even eager) to negotiate when they think you are serious – we walked in pre-approved and knowing what we wanted, and it worked out well from there with ~10% off the purchase price, AND upgrades thrown in. I got some great negotiating tips from your posts – buying a car or house, the same principles apply: Research, and don’t fall in love before you buy.

    Just a thought, have you considered going graphical on these numbers? I like seeing all the bad coloured lines dropping and the good coloured lines climbing. I always find the raw numbers tough to really visualize.

    I’d love to see (yet another) fixed vs variable mortgage debate, under current conditions: to throw out some numbers, we’ve been offered 4.09% fixed, or prime+0.3 variable (both 5-yr closed).
    Thanks for all the great info – keep up the good posts!

  16. FrugalTrader on September 1, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Hey Bill, thanks for the kind feedback. I will look into doing some kind of excel graphic to visually show the asset growth and liability decline. Congrats on the new place!

  17. Olivia on September 1, 2009 at 9:39 am

    well this is a informative post and i agree with one of the above commenters that the hike in the market can cause skepticism in the minds of the people and can make the situation intense. and i will look forward for the excel graphics :)

  18. DoneToZen on September 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I hope there will only be a small correction, but I’m expecting a big correction.

    Nice job with increasing your net worth.

  19. cannon_fodder on September 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm


    If you are looking to expand your investment portfolio with dividend payers, then take a look at this article. Could help diversify your holdings. I haven’t done any analysis yet (just got back from vacation) but I will.

  20. cannon_fodder on September 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Sorry… forgot the link (I notice that I am not offered the option to edit a post within 5 minutes anymore!)


    • FrugalTrader on September 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks for the link CF. CJR.B looks interesting… do you hold it?

  21. cannon_fodder on September 2, 2009 at 10:52 am


    No, I don’t own it, but of the 5 mentioned (not sure why they forgot to mention the sixth stock) that was the only one that stood out. I don’t like any stock which has a great history of dividend growth and low payout ratio of there is a loss in capital appreciation (e.g. Pfizer).

    Corus Entertainment is also quite far afield from commodity linked or financial stocks.

    I’ve put a note to alert me if it gets below $14 so that I can look at it more closely. Analysts are typically averaged around hold for it right now. More and more analysts are expecting we are at, or near, the beginning of a pull back in the next couple of months.

    I’ve put some money in my SM portfolio towards a down trend so that not only can I profit on a downturn, but also then have more money to pick up some further or new positions in stocks I want to own long term.

  22. FrugalTrader on September 2, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Are you shorting HXU or long HXD in your leveraged port?

  23. cannon_fodder on September 2, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I’m shorting HNU since Monday (up about 17% in 2 days) and shorting the financials by buying HFD. That was a long term play and, if I had have studied the way these derivatives worked, I would have shorted HFU instead of buying HFD.

    I took the position in HFD because I wasn’t convinced that the banks would come down again. So, I’m certainly below water with my HFD but because of the positions I have in the banks, I’m net positive.

    I think we might finally see a retracement – and when it happens, I will be pouring everything I have left in to the market. I keep hearing there is still a lot of money on the sidelines and they must be gnashing their teeth that the missed so much upside. Thus, one has to think that when we finally get a pull back (nothing like March 9 lows) that this will be what a lot of that money has been waiting for.

  24. cannon_fodder on September 2, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I meant to say (I had it right the first time) “I was convinced that the banks would come down again.”

  25. MikeG on September 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I have quite the penchant for calling top of markets (at the time that I decide to go buy big lots). So you all should be worried if your prices are higher than July 27th prices :P

  26. MR on September 17, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    FT – do you have a spreadsheet template that you could post for tracking net worth? I would like to start tracking, and if i don’t have to reinvent the wheel, I won’t :)

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