Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey April 2012 Net Worth Update.  For those of you new to Million Dollar Journey, a monthly net worth update is typically posted near the end of the month (or beginning of the next) to track the progress of my journey to one million in net worth, hopefully by the time I’m 35 years old (end of 2014).  If you would like to follow my journey, you can get my updates sent directly to your email or you can sign up for the Money Tips Newsletter..

Before we start, just a quick reminder that today is the income tax deadline for those who owe taxes to CRA. However, if you are expecting a refund there is no rush to file as CRA is more than happy to hold onto the interest free loan from you.  Strange as it sounds, tax strategies are one of my favorite personal finance topics.  Those who are interested in planning for the coming year, check out some of my tax minimization articles.

In addition to tax, the stock market is another topic of interest but, unfortunately, this past month was another tough one for investors.  With the TSX returning -2.5% and S&P500 -1.5% in April, it has resulted in 1% paper losses in my RRSP and leveraged dividend portfolio.  As the losses were relatively small, cash flow and resulting savings keep our heads above water.

With greater time and effort spent on online projects, a couple of them are starting to produce dividends which hopefully will increase cash flow further going forward.

Question for you, a reader suggested that I create a way for others to track their net worth alongside mine so that they can track their own journey.  Would you have an interest in using a tool like that?

On to the numbers:

Assets: $699,400 (+0.25%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $70,000 (+6.06%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Accounts (RRSP): $122,000(-1.05%)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA):  $40,400 (-0.49%)
  • Defined Benefit Pension: $38,400 (+0.79%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Accounts: $32,600 (-0.16%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $91,000 (-1.09%)
  • Principal Residence: $300,500 (+0.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation annually)

Liabilities$82,600 (+0.24%)

  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $0 (0.00%) (Paid off in 2010!)
  • Investment LOC balance: $82,600 (+0.24%)

Total Net Worth: ~$616,800 (+0.25%)

  • Started 2012 with Net Worth: $585,228
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +5.39%

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 – ie. our credit card bill). 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 has proven 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 and REITs. The value of the principal residence remains valued at the purchase price (+inflation) despite significant appreciation in the local real estate market.


The pension amount listed above is the value of both of our defined benefit pension plans.  I basically take the semi annual statement and add the contribution amounts (not including employer matching) on a monthly basis.  The commuted value of the pensions are not included in the statements as they are difficult to estimate.

Stock Broker Accounts

Another common question is which discount broker do I use? We actually have accounts with multiple institutions.  I’m hoping to reduce the number of accounts that we hold in the near future. Here is a review of some of the more popular online stock brokers.

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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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Virata Gamany
12 years ago

I am most interested in your Real Estate strategy. Why REITs instead of outright ownership and positive cash flow from the investment that can reinvested for even greater earnings?

12 years ago

Hey FT,

Just curious why you are sticking with PCF and ING for the savings accounts with their modest interest rates (1.35%). With $70k in savings, you are missing out on potentially hundreds of dollars a year if you were to open an account with the competition.

In terms of CDIC insured banks, both Ally and Canadian Tire Financial offer free savings accounts @ 1.80% interest. People’s Trust offers 2.10%, but lacks some online banking features which is unacceptable to some people, but it also keeps their costs down (and hence the higher interest rate).

There’s also many Credit Unions in MB that offer around 2.00%. They’re insured by an independent body (Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba) rather than CDIC which does make some people hesitant to join.

12 years ago

Are you a member on http://www.networthiq.com ?? I found the link in one of the visiting comments and really like the site. If so, what’s your badge? Thanks,


Steve @ Grocery Alerts Canada
12 years ago

It will be great to finally meet you at the CPF Bloggers conference in Toronto.

We will need to discuss the “Smith Manuever”.

Julie @ Freedom 48
12 years ago

You guys are doing really well! Good for you.
I love reading these inspiring success stories – they’re so much better than the “woe is me” attitude I hear all the time from colleagues and family.

Military Millionaire
12 years ago

Nice work! Glad to see that you are still on track!

12 years ago

I started tracking my net worth because of this site, and now it’s a monthly tradition. Always a good thing when it goes up and a bad thing when it goes down. Thankfully it goes up more than down!

Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey
12 years ago

Glad to see that your assets and net worth increased. Congratulations!

12 years ago

mint.com is among other things a net work tracker tool…
I love it!