Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey May 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.

The first half of 2012 continues to be a rough one for investors.  With the TSX (via XIU) returning -2.5% in April, then -5.5% this past month, and the S&P500 (via XSP) dropping 4.4%, needless to say, portfolios have seen better days.   What has saved my RRSP is that I made my annual contribution in the amount of $4,000.  My RRSP room is capped pretty low due to my pension contributions with my full time job.  What about my leveraged dividend portfolio that has all Canadian content?  It did relatively well this month with a -1.65% return (compared to TSX) which was likely cushioned by dividends coming into the account.

In addition to regular savings, a relatively new web project paid out a dividend, which helped add to savings.  Here is the reason why I don’t add a tax liability to the balance sheet below.

So back to you, is there anything else you would like me to talk about in these net worth update posts?

On to the numbers:

Assets: $703,700 (+0.61%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $73,000 (+4.29%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Accounts (RRSP): $125,200(+2.62%)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA):  $40,200 (-0.50%)
  • Defined Benefit Pension: $38,700 (+0.78%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Accounts: $32,100 (-1.53%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $89,500 (-1.65%)
  • Principal Residence: $300,500 (+0.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation annually)

Liabilities$82,800 (+0.24%)

  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $0 (0.00%) (Paid off in 2010!)
  • Investment LOC balance: $82,800 (+0.24%)

Total Net Worth: ~$620,900 (+0.66%)

  • Started 2012 with Net Worth: $585,228
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +6.10%

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 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.  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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12 years ago

I really like your allocation between house and liquid asset close to 1:1 — something I am working on it too but still long way to go .

good job MDJ

Let's Learn Finance
12 years ago

Keep up the good work, FT! I’m with nobleea on this. An extrapolation on what’s happened so far to make a prediction on when you’ll hit that big day would be quite interesting to see.

12 years ago

Nice work, FT!

I just passed $200k this month, so I’ve got a ways to go. I went through some projections the other day and with some luck I could reach $1M by the time I’m 42.

12 years ago

Great job FT! I have a feeling you’re pretty much there. As you mentioned earlier, if you add the valuation of your blog, your net worth will be pretty beefed up!

Now that I have bit of equity, I’m thinking of doing a smith maneuvre too. Maybe when the markets dip to 2009 levels.. next time….! :)

12 years ago

Jeez… way to go on your -1.65% for your SM account! Mine was down a whopping 5.5%, which, considering the TSX composite was down 6.3%, I thought was OK until I read your post! Good on ya!

12 years ago

Nice job. I was down 0.5% because of the markets. First month I’ve been down this year, so not too bad.

My Own Advisor
12 years ago

Onwards and upwards FT! I will include this in my weekend reading update :)


12 years ago

Might be interesting to plot the networth updates over the past couple of years, and then extrapolate to estimate when you will hit your target.