June 2009 Net Worth Update (+2.12%): Car Shopping Edition

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey June 2009 Net Worth Update – The Car Shopping Edition.

With one of our cars already 8 years old, the repairs are starting to add up.  So we’re currently in the process of shopping for a good used car/compact SUV, preferably a late model that is off lease with low kilometers.

We are leaning towards foreign models (Honda/Toyota) as we have had good experiences with them in the past. Do you have any used car buying tips?  Should I be looking at dealerships?  Or perhaps private sales are the way to go?  Here’s an article I’ve written in the past about negotiating your new car purchase.

Back to the topic at hand, the net worth update.  Not a big change this month with most of the increase due to savings.  Portfolios gained a little, but nothing compared to last month.  The markets have pulled back a bit since the June high and some analysts are calling that further correction is needed/inevitable.  I’m not sure of the future direction of the market, but I do know that there is a mountain of cash on the sidelines.  Once the fund managers start deploying their cash, I expect that the markets will aggressively go higher.

You may have noticed as well that our vehicles have been depreciating at an accelerated rate over the past few months.  That’s intentional as I am looking to take the cars off the balance sheet soon.

Assets: $447,350.00 (+1.29%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $11,000 (+46.67%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Account: $65,000 (+2.69%)
  • Pension: $22,350 (+0.00%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Account: $15,500.00 (+2.69%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $46,000 (+2.22%)
  • Investment Property: $ 124,500 (+0.00%)
  • Principal Residence: $275,000 (+0.00%) (purchase price)
  • Vehicles: $8,000 (2 vehicles) (-11.11%)

Liabilities: $91,500.00 (-1.82%)

  • Tax Liability: $3,000 (-0.00%)
  • Investment Property Mortgage: $92,000 (-0.11%)
  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $35,500 (-6.58%)
  • HELOC balance: $53,000 (+1.53%)

Total Net Worth: ~$355,850.00 (+$7,400) (+2.12%)

  • Started 2008 with Net Worth: $309,950.00
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +14.81%

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 all held with PC Financial. We 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.

Hope you have a great Canada Day!

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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.
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14 years ago

Check out Leasebusters.com – it’s a canadian site.

There are often deals with large downpayments, or security deposits and/or cash incentives for late models with 36 to 48 months.

They recently introduced FinancingBusters.com also. There are some great deals there also.

For both sites, it’s best to sort the results by “Effective Payment” to flush out the best deals.

BTW: Great site – very usefull, insightful and motivational!

Blogging Banks
14 years ago

My first car ever was a 1998 Ford Zx2.. The car had a “service engine soon” lamp lighting up afte only 2 weeks of driving. (well the car had 120K +miles by the time it was purchased) – not a good sign.

My next car will be a Mazeratti.. I am saving for it, and hopefully interest rates would pick up so I could reach my goal earlier ;-)

14 years ago

Bought a 2002 RAV4 in October with 100,000 km – paid $13,000 (final total with taxes, etc.). We absolutely love it and expect it to last at least 5 years. We found it as a private sale, but the seller then had us buy it through a dealer at the privately negotiated price so they could get the trade-in value – essentially this meant that we had to pay more taxes and some administrative headaches. I was able to convince the dealer to let us pay via PC mastercard and so we got some grocery points out of it at least!

Our other car is 8 years old (PT Cruiser) and we may just replace it with a RAV4 as well – but may try to go to the Highlander because our 2nd child is due in a couple of weeks.

Love MDJ – very closely related to my life path / goals / thinking – in fact I worked in high-tech for 9 years in Ottawa before moving to PEI!

14 years ago

FT, either the Outback or the Forester would probably suit your needs. Some people find that the Outback is a little more comfortable and a bit roomier, but I’ve never found too much of a difference. The Forester will probably be a little less expensive. Drive each one and see what feels better for you- both are great vehicles.

I’ve currently got a newer (2007) Impreza and while it works great for current purposes, I think it would be tight for a family with kids. When we have kids, we’ll be upgrading to one of the bigger models.

14 years ago

Another great month, FT!

As for the used car search, the RAV4 is decent but I find it painfully boring :). Definitely check out a used Subaru- I’m currently on Subaru number 2 and 3 and have found them to be unbeatable in terms of reliability, finish, and performance.

I’d steer clear of dealers for a used car- they offer very little other than inflated prices. Some of the CPO programs are attractive, but not at the premium they charge for the certification. Depending on how ‘new’ of a used car you’re considering, also look at buying new- some of the current deals are quite incredible.

14 years ago

For those of you who don’t live in a severe maritime environment, 8 years is a LONG time for a car in St John’s. All winter there is salt on the roads, and all summer it is in the air. Thus, if FrugalTrader wants a bargain on a used car, he might want to take a trip to the mainland, and see what is available in vehicles to the west, and have a vacation driving it home.

My Dodge is 14 years old, and still going strong. I spend about $1000 in repairs annually, and a few dollars in routine maintenance. A friend just sold his 2001 B3000 Mazda, because of the costs to maintain it – 3 years in St. John’s probably did it in, and 5 years in Calgary probably prolonged it’s life a bit.

Like income & taxes — vehicle longevity varies between provinces.


14 years ago

I am also right now in the process of looking for a new car. Have 2 years old son and expecting a girl in couple of months. Initially thought about SUV, but since I am planning to keep a car for at least 6-8 years, thought that in case the family will grow in the future, small SUV might not be enough. So I am thinking now about Mazda 5. Would appreciate any thoughts on why SUV vs Mazda 5 vs minivan.
Does anyone has expirience with Mazda 5?


Kirk S.
14 years ago

Just a question for FT, why do you still include your rental property (even though its crossed out). It has been several months since you owned it, and I think its okay to just remove it from your postings (IMHO)

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog
14 years ago

FT, The Rav4 wins for more than just cost… it’s continually the top rated small SUV in Consumer Reports. They look at price, but also reliability, safety, road tests, etc.