Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey January 2010 Net Worth Update – New Beginnings Edition!

If you recall, 2009 was a great year for net worth growth.  With stock markets and savings up for 2009, we managed to increase our net worth by 29%.

What’s on the horizon for 2010?  I’m hoping for more of the same but I think it will be challenging for the markets to return the same as it did in 2009.  However, the markets are known to surprise.  I will keep holding onto my long term equities and continue to collect my dividends.

A couple changes to the net worth statement for 2010, first, I added a new row for my new TFSA with Questrade.  Right now, it’s sitting as cash until I decide how I’m going to invest it. The original plan is to invest in REITs, but they look awfully expensive right now. The second is that I decided to increase the value of our home by a historic inflation factor (3%).  The local real estate market has really taken off over the past couple years and even with the inflation adjustment, it’s still well below the selling price after all fees.

On to the numbers:

Assets: $ 497,600 (+3.39%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $29,500.00 (+13.46%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Account (RRSP): $76,300.00 (+0.93%)
  • Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA):  $5,000 (+0.00%)
  • Pension: $28,150.00 (+0.54%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Account: $15,200.00 (-7.88%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $53,500.00 (+0.94%)
  • Principal Residence: $283,250 (+3.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation)
  • Vehicles: $2,500 (2 vehicles) (-16.67%)

Liabilities$80,300.00 (-1.71%)

  • Tax Liability: $3,000 (-0.00%)
  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $23,700.00 (-5.95%)
  • HELOC balance: $53,500 (+0.19%)

Total Net Worth: ~$417,300.00(+4.43%)

  • Started 2010 with Net Worth: $399,600.00
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +4.43%

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. 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.


The pension amount listed above is the value of my wife’s defined benefit pension.  I basically take the semi annual statement and add the contribution amounts on a monthly basis.

I've Completed My Million Dollar Journey. Let Me Guide You Through Yours!

Sign up below to get a copy of our free eBook: Can I Retire Yet?


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.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
14 years ago


My NW increased 4.56% so very similar results compared to yours. The last week of the month was definitely not good for my portfolio. Overall the month of January was a down month for all major indices around the world.

Forex Intraday Trading
14 years ago

Very nice 4.43 in a month, very nice.

14 years ago

Congrats FT!

I just had one question. You show the SM investment acct balance to be exactly the same as the HELOC balance on the liabilities side. Did I miss something or is this just a coincidence, an oversight or some special logic you apply?

Not sure if it would have a large bearing on your NW but, my balances in these two accounts are never the same. And, of course, the idea is to grow the investment balance significantly beyond the HELOC balance, correct?

Just curious about that one. Thanks!

14 years ago

Good stuff!

I know it’s a matter of opinion here, however revaluing your residence at historic inflation seems to be an incorrect approach. Housing prices haven’t historically followed inflation from what I can tell and really don’t reflect your local reality. It seems like you’re a bit resistant to have your house drastically affect your net worth, as it would have done over the last few years. The reality is once you are close to the $1M mark, your house(s) are still going to be one of the major components in having you reach your goal.

Since you track on a monthly/yearly basis, I’d suggest using some other barometer – I typically use our city tax assessment; it’s usually off by a considerable amount IMO, however the city has much more insight into the price of my house than I do.

I’ve also tinkered with the idea of having a realtor do a market value assessment every year, which may help take into account work being done (or not) on the property.

Best of luck!

14 years ago

4.43% is mostly due to the accounting adjustment that FT has incorporated this year in how he values his house. I agree that valuing it at just inflation is prudent of you.

Removing this accounting adjustment and his monthly increase is a still respectable 2.36% monthly increase in net worth.


14 years ago

inflation rarely goes negative and when it does, it a small amount (-1%) for a short period. housing prices can drop 15-30% after the end of a hot market.
i have just stuck with our purchase price and when the time comes to sell, I can make the adjustment once the money is in the bank.
if you wanted to follow a more market based value, i’d use the city’s assessed value. just be sure to follow the assessment down if it does go down. a lot of people are keen on the increased value, but think their place is worth more when the city decreases the value.

Big Cajun Man
14 years ago

Wow, your honesty is quite refreshing, but I would caution you to maybe be a little less open about WHERE you bank (but I am also accused of being paranoid, so take this advice with whatever grains of salt you wish).

Keep up the hard work.

14 years ago

Wow, 4.43% in one month. Excellent. I can’t even make 2% accross a whole year and you do more than twice that in one month. I don’t know how you do it but well done!