Net Worth Update January 2011 (+3.61)

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey January 2011 Net Worth Update – The first update of the year. 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.

In 2010, we finally managed to break the $500,000 net worth barrier which means we are just over the half way mark to the net worth goal of $1M.  Up to this point, net worth growth was heavily dependent on savings growth.  Going forward though, with all of our bad debt paid off, portfolio increases (or decreases) are soon going to lead the way. On the same note, as mentioned in my financial goals for this year, I’m hoping to simplify our portfolios by indexing a larger portion.  Specifically, my wife’s RRSP account.

Another one of our goals was to max out all of our registered accounts.  We’ve thus far deposited $5k into our TFSA with the remaining $5k deposited in the next month or so.

Real Estate returns in my city has been very strong over the past few years.  However, to be conservative and to keep things simple, instead of adjusting our home value up and down every month, we adjust it annually to align with historical inflation (3.0%).

On to the numbers:

Assets: $ 579,748.00 (+3.31%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $46,500 (+3.33%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Accounts (RRSP): $105,500(+2.43%)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA):  $26,300 (+25.54%)
  • Defined Benefit Pension: $32,800 (+1.23%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Accounts: $12,700 (-0.78%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $59,700 (+0.67%)
  • Principal Residence: $291,748 (+3.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation)

Liabilities$55,700 (0.54%)

  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $0 (0.00%) (Paid off in 2010!)
  • Investment LOC balance: $55,700 (+0.54%)

Total Net Worth: ~$524,048 (+3.61%)

  • Started 2011 with Net Worth: $505,800
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +3.61%

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

Hi Frugal Trader

I am new to MDJ and started following the website since last 2 weeks. I am really impressed with the work. It is so simple to understand but covers every detail for almost anything like investement, taxes, brokerage, mortgage.

Also, I like to thank the contributors and other authors for supporting Mr. FT’s such a impressive intiative. You have inspired me a lot and I am going to start planning for my MDJ.

13 years ago

So are the employer contributions in a DBP just being allocated to the fund itself? My pay stubs show my contributions as well as the employer matching contributions. How do you calculate that value for the purposes of a net worth statement? A DBP is typically a richer plan upon retirement, but it doesn’t seem to make much sense to short change it in your calculations during your working years.

13 years ago

@Echo – FT has a defined benefit pension plan, not a defined contribution pension plan. As such, there aren’t any contributions that his employer makes specifically to his account. His benefit is defined at retirement, irregardless of how much he or his employer contribute. (However, if he were to terminate before retirement, he would be entitled to a refund of his contributions if they were more than 50% of the value of his pension)

If you have a defined contribution pension plan, then yes, I would include employer matching contributions as part of net worth.

13 years ago

Nicely done, FT. You don’t have the luxury of ignoring your NW’s gyration like I do… I stopped updating it after May of last year when things started going sour. Then I decided to start again this year and now I not only show a Month over Month but a Year over Year. Of course this will all change when I don’t like what I see ;-)

February was up 6.1% MOM and 46.25% YOY primarily from investments doing well. That could change – last March my NW went down 1.19%.

Regarding house valuations, I just put in 2% per year (arbitrary but conservative) by simply adding 1/4 of that every 3 months to my house value. I could look at the property tax bill and see what they say but not only are they low in my city, they are at least a couple of years behind, too.

13 years ago

Hi FT,

Well that is really great. I appreciate what you are doing for community in terms of giving direction to those who want to save their money to secure their future. Your website is excellent source of information. I myself has been doing a lot of saving and investments, and this website has reinforced it and gave me more ways to save extra money.

Keep it up and hope you reach your goal sooner than you think.

13 years ago


Out of curiosity, I compared your Net Worth from Jan 2010 and Jan 2011. It appears that you added to total of $ 67500 into savings, RRSP and TFSA in last 1 year. Also you mentioned about paying off mortage of $ 23700 this year. If you make $ 105 k per year how can you get a total of $ 91200 ( 67500+23700 ) to add to these accounts?


13 years ago

When calculating the value of Real Estate holdings; are you also considering the carrying costs such as municipal taxes and maintenance?