As many are aware, ‘net worth’ is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. The most common approach is to sum your marketable assets (e.g. savings, IRAs, 401k, etc.) and equity in your automobiles and homes; and then subtract your liabilities (e.g. credit card debt, mortgages, etc.). Regular readers of this blog know that I am not a fan of using ‘net worth’ to measure your financial health, and specifically, your retirement preparedness. I go into detail in the Net Worth is a Useless Metric post.
I believe people are better off focusing on the marketable assets (portfolio) and developing multiple streams of income when they engage in retirement planning.
Net Worth Tables
With that being said, and although I have long railed against focusing on net worth, earlier this year I decided to add a Net Worth table to the workbook I use to track and manage my finances. I did so because I thought it might be interesting to track it and watch it increase over time. At that time the Portfolio Value was $625,084.50 and the Net Worth was $788,546.23.
Exactly nine months have passed since I decided to start tracking net worth. It’s been a good stretch and the wife and I are rapidly approaching millionaire status:
My current estimate is that we will cross that threshold on May 28 next year:
Becoming a net worth millionaire in the near future is interesting, but much less interesting and relevant than staying focused on my marketable assets (my portfolio). When the portfolio crosses the $1M threshold that will be cause for a greater celebration.
How is your portfolio looking? What’s a reasonable goal for your net worth by age and income and how do you stack up against your peers? While you do not want to get trapped in the game of keeping up with the Joneses (and likely accruing unsustainable debt) or basing your self-worth on a comparison of your net worth, knowing how others are doing financially – particularly within the context of similar income, age, etc. – can offer some insight into how you are doing. If others in your age group are making a similar income, yet have a net worth 3x yours, you might want to at least give some consideration to re-evaluating your investment plans and approach.