Net Worth Update February 2011 (+1.56%)

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey February 2011 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.  If you would like to follow my journey, you can get my updates sent directly to your email.

We had a respectable +1.56% gain this month bringing us up to about $532k in total net worth.  The gains this month is mostly due to the rising markets and, as usual, our savings.  With exposure to the oil and gas sector in the leveraged dividend portfolio and RRSP, it’s not surprising that both accounts showed some gains. In addition to energy, the financial sector is reaching all time highs as well, which means my large exposure to the Canadian big banks is starting to pay off.

Something that I do not include in the net worth statement is the RESP account.  With the single child (soon to be two), we deposit $2,500 annually to maximize the government matching grant (CESG) of $500.  We usually do this in January, but due to some delays (or procrastination), we finally made the deposit last week.  Now it’s the issue of allocating the cash.  With the markets at a high, I find it psychologically challenging to buy, even though I’m indexing that portfolio.

For those of you who index your portfolio, what do you do with new cash to invest when markets are high?  Do you simply rebalance regardless of where the market is?

On to the numbers:

Assets: $ 588,148.00 (+1.45%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $51,000 (+9.68%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Accounts (RRSP): $108,000(+2.37%)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA):  $26,600 (+1.14%)
  • Defined Benefit Pension: $33,200 (+1.22%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Accounts: $11,600 (-8.66%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $61,500 (+3.02%)
  • Principal Residence: $291,748 (+0.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation)

Liabilities$55,950 (+0.45%)

  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $0 (0.00%) (Paid off in 2010!)
  • Investment LOC balance: $55,950 (+0.45%)

Total Net Worth: ~$532,198 (+1.56%)

  • Started 2011 with Net Worth: $505,800
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +5.22%

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 and REITs plus a rental property. 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.

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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13 years ago

I recall reading your blog when your net worth was at around 280k… that must have been less than 2 years ago!

Congratulations on a job well done! =)

Took a year off from reading personal finance blog to focus on my newborn son… I am now back! And now I have a more meaningful purpose and goal to reach my personal finance goals! ;-)

13 years ago

Thanks for the update. Seeing your NW update each month finally got me to do my own. Not sure whether to include the RESP or not. If my wife the accountant were in control of this, she’d probably add it as an Asset but then offset it by adding a Liability such as deferred liability. This way it’s still “in the books”.

13 years ago

I was in the same boat as some of the other comments, I had some new money in my Tax Free Trading account… was sitting on the fence because of so many 52 week highs.

I ended up taking the plunge anyway and picked some stocks that paid well in dividends, had low P/E’s and P/B’s.

13 years ago

> what do you do with new cash to invest when markets are high?
> Do you simply rebalance regardless of where the market is?

Isn’t that pretty much the whole point of asset allocation? Sell off asset class “A” when it’s relatively high to buy more of “B” when it’s relatively low, and vice versa as the markets fluctuate. It encourages (forces) buying low & selling high!

13 years ago

Hrm… FT… I have to say, such a persistent and consistent growth of networth from month to month makes me think someone is cooking the books :P

Nice work!

13 years ago

in the same boat. have new cash in RESP, TFSA and RRSP. but can not bring myself to put it to use.

13 years ago

Looks like your already more than half way there to your goals. I think it is a great idea to have as much savings as you do for emergencies or whatever comes up. Anyhow keep up the good work.

13 years ago

Another solid month, FT – congratulations.\

I DO include RESP’s in my NW since they can be used by not only the kids but us, too, if we wanted to go back to school. I think we all count the full value of our RRSP’s and non-registered accounts even though, after tax, the actual value may be quite less. Same reasoning applies to RESPs – take the market value without accounting for potential clawbacks or taxes.

Thanks to another down day for Natural Gas we had a great month (unlike last February). Up 12.2% for the month and 66% year over year.

13 years ago

When you have that much money a 1.56% increase is very nice indeed. We usually just rebalance no matter what, we are big on index funds.

Freedom 40
13 years ago

@FT………Yep! Will likely be working in some capacity, but will no longer be working for “The Man”.