Net Worth Update September 2012 (+1.84%) – The Unlikely Rally

Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey September 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.

During the last update, I speculated that September was going to be a volatile month due to historical patterns.  Fortunately for investors, both the TSX and the S&P500 continued its upward march with the S&P500 reaching multi-year highs.  Upwards moving markets are always good for long term investment accounts which is evident in the gains in my RRSP, the leveraged dividend portfolio and my non-registered accounts.

My risk appetite has increased over the past couple of months where I’ve been doing a bit of trading with some excess cash (allocated play money). You may notice a large gain in the non-registered accounts below (+7.41%), this is due to some gold swing trades (lucky timing) in addition to pouring savings into that account.

Where do our savings come from?  First, 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.

On to the numbers:

Assets: $756,200 (+1.64%)

  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $20,000 (+0.00%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Accounts (RRSP): $131,100(+2.02%)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA):  $40,500 (+0.75%)
  • Defined Benefit Pension: $40,100 (+0.75%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Accounts: $116,000 (+7.41%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $103,500 (+0.98%)
  • Principal Residence: $300,500 (+0.00%) (purchase price adjusted for inflation annually)

Liabilities$93,700 (+0.21%)

  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $0 (0.00%) (Paid off in 2010!)
  • Investment LOC balance: $93,700 (+0.21%)

Total Net Worth: ~$662,500 (+1.84%)

  • Started 2012 with Net Worth: $585,228
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +13.20%

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.


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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11 years ago

How much do you allocate to play money? Also, can you write an article on investing in gold?

11 years ago

That’s an interesting approach to it. Is there any reason you don’t contribute to your investements on a monthly basis? That is what I’m doing, I’m just curious what your logic is in doing it annually. Cheers.

11 years ago

FT, just curious if you have a percentage of what you add towards all your investments each month… AKA: 20% RRSPs, 10% TFSA, 50% Unregistered, etc…

Great blog by the way. I’m just getting going understanding the power of dividend blue chip growth investing. It’s fun learning about it and your blog is helpful in that regard.

11 years ago

I haven’t known this site before but I must say the idea for creating such a site is simply ingenious. It must be fascinating to follow your progress over time, which I am certainly going to. Having read this article, I can say that you are certainly going to make it before 35. Respect, man!

Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance
11 years ago

Based on the increasing trend of your assets, I am sure that you will become a millionaire before you turn 35.

My Own Advisor
11 years ago

Up 13% YTD? Wow, great stuff!

11 years ago

Nice job on the net worth gain FT. That’s like a 5 figure increase from last month in dollar terms. Making trades on the price of gold can be really lucrative if you time it properly. I did something similar with silver last month :D I like the historical chart from 2006 you added btw. Keep it up.