Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey November 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..

In the last update, I mentioned the possibility of a Santa Claus rally in the stock market.  Of course, as soon as I mentioned it, the TSX corrected about 5% but has since recovered to about a 2% loss for the month of November.  The S&P500 performed a bit better and broke even for the month.  As my portfolios grow larger with more positions, it’s no surprise that they are acting similar to the index.  My leveraged portfolio is composed of Canadian dividend stocks, and it is slightly down for the month but has outperformed the TSX.  On the other hand, my RRSP consists mostly of large cap US stocks and has slightly outperformed the S&P500.

As mentioned in the October update, a few stocks that I have been watching have started to move which were traded in my “risky” trading account.  A couple of these trades paid off which include a solar energy stock along with a social media company.  The remaining of the “non-registered account” growth is due to savings for the month.  The savings growth is primarily driven by income growth.  The nights and weekends working on a new aspect of the business are starting to pay off.  While we went through significant lifestyle inflation (new house and new baby) a few years ago, we have come into a routine which means that extra income goes to savings.

Before I go, for the deal hunters out there – until Sunday Dec 2, 2012, Chapters is offering 15% off purchases $75+ using the code HOLIDAYCHEER. Might be a good time to pick up a deal on Christmas gifts.

On to the numbers:

Assets: $772,600 (+0.94%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $20,000 (+0.00%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Accounts (RRSP): $132,200(+0.15%)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA):  $40,900 (-0.24%)
  • Defined Benefit Pension: $40,700 (+0.74%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Accounts: $129,000 (+5.74%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $104,800 (-0.19%)
  • Principal Residence: $300,500 (+0.00%) ( purchase price adjusted for inflation annually)

Liabilities$94,100 (+0.21%)

Total Net Worth: ~$678,500 (+1.04%)

  • Started 2012 with Net Worth: $585,228
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +15.94%

In my last update, readers suggested to chart my net worth progress over time.  Below are the net worth values since Dec 2006 with data points taken semi annually.

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.

Savings

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.

Where Does the Savings Come From?

We don’t live a lavish lifestyle (how we save money) and do not carry any bad debt.  The only debt we have is an investment loan (which pays for itself), so we end up pocketing a majority of our earnings.  Our earnings come from salaries, private business income (via dividends to shareholders), and eligible dividends from publicly traded companies.

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.

Pension

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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