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One whole month into 2017 already!  How have your personal finance resolutions been going?  Nothing too exciting this month, markets are pretty flat.  Something else is exciting happening in my husband and I’s life and it will be a life and game changer!

My personal finance goal for 2017 is to reach $475,000 by 2018, and I have about $20,300 left to go for the rest of the year.

Okay, so here’s the breakdown for February 2017: $454,700 (+$2200)

In This Article:


CASH: $63,200 (+2.4%)

  • Once I deplete the cash in my non-registered account (yes, there is more cash in there) I will start moving this cash into investing accounts.  It is nice to keep it here for an emergency fund anyway.
  • I added up my chequing and savings accounts (High Interest Savings Account). I automatically deduct money from my chequing account and have it siphoned to the HISA account (paying yourself first)

Non-Registered: $83,540 (+0.2%)

  • These are stocks that capture the “moment in time”, including unrealized gains or losses in my BMO Investorline and Questrade accounts.

RRSP: $67,000 (+0.0%)

TFSA: $68,610 (-0.1%)

HOME: $272,000

  • This is the approximate purchase value
  • Am planning to rent it out in two years or sell it.  I think am leaning more towards selling it.

CAR: $15,625 (0.0%)

  • I updated it for 2016-2017 with the Canadian Black Book price, will update it again in July 2017 with the depreciated price


Credit Cards: -$1170

  • I just have my MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® right now as I cancelled the other cards… I’ll be looking for more cards again with the goal of travel hacking my way to trips.
  • I use Mint.com account but I only added my credit card (this is helping a bunch so that I can keep track of my spending)
  • I’ve redeemed $300 for 2017 so far with my MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® and it went towards my upcoming trip
  • I pay off my full amount every month (and folks, it’s VERY important you do so otherwise you’re losing out on a 19% return!) but include it in my net worth update so I have an accurate picture of my actual net worth. I sort of think “If I were to sell everything right now, what would my net worth be?” I guess I shouldn’t put it in the liabilities column since i pay it off regularly, BUT in mint.com it’s under the liability column so I’ll do the same.

Mortgage: $114,100 (-1.0%)

  • I pay an extra mortgage payment a month
  • I usually put $20,000 annually on top of the extra mortgage payment per month but haven’t decided what I’m going to do this year, I will probably not put in $20,000 so I have more liquidity
  • My intent is to rent it out in a little while (see above). In order to offset future rental income, I chose to acquire a mortgage instead of paying for the majority of the condo, and would rather not put all my eggs in one basket (e.g. real estate).

Article comments

james says:

I don’t include my defined pension as I can’t reasonably calculate a meaningful value for it. All the variables that determine it’s value when I retire are unknown.

The only value that I can record is the value of the contributions. But I can’t access that money and if I do it would be reduced by my tax rate.

Lexie says:

I’m wondering about defined benefit pensions. Should I not include this at all when calculating my net worth? Curious on your thoughts as to why you don’t include it, thanks!

Doug Mehus says:


Love the “net worth updates,” which are interesting “point in time” financial snapshots and serve as a sort of “badge of honour.”

When I first read the headline number, I was like, “whoa…how’d he go from like $350,000 to $470,000+ from the time he posted the ‘why I left Mint.com’ entry to this most recent update?” I assumed you were: (a) older than me; (b) earning a much higher income; and (c) perhaps invested much more aggressively than me.

I see that yours includes your home – I guess I just assumed you were following the less popular, but growing, movement of renting and building wealth entirely through your investment portfolio. Also, I just noticed that you include your car, which is fine based on your own methodology. Perhaps I’m a bit too “conservative” on this but, if I owned a car (or even drove), I’d write down the value of the asset to $0 and not include it in my overall net worth. Then, if I sell it, I can book a one-time gain in my net worth with the proceeds from the sale. Might not be standard accounting practice but my thinking is it’s a depreciable asset and so hard to value. 😉

As a fun sort of “factoid,” excluding the home, in terms of cash, cash-equivalents and equities (i.e., “total investable assets”), we’re almost “dead even”. ~$235,000 to approximately your $219,000. However, of course, including the approximate $158,000 in equity that you have in your home, you’re way ahead – it’s just a more illiquid asset and only truly “valuable” once it is sold. 😉

I see you’re considering selling your home or renting it out – if you want my “opinion,” I’d say just sell it and invest all or the bulk of the proceeds in accordance with your investment policy.

Now, as far as “investments” go, you’re further ahead in that my allocation to cash is, unfortunately, far larger. When I left a previous employer that I’d been with for over 6 years, I’d had a substantial amount investment in a defined contribution pension plan and group RRSP that were invested in a serious of Standard Life and third party “pooled funds,” that couldn’t be transferred out in-kind back in February 2014. Knowing that investing entirely or predominantly in low-cost passive investment “vehicles,” there’s no active management so one has to prudently pick their “entry points” so as not to severely diminish returns. Unfortunately, except for one or two relatively minor (i.e., 10% or less) corrections since then, only part of it has since been re-allocated. I’m hoping we get a good ‘ole fashioned 20 to, ideally, 30 percent (or more!) correction (or most would call that a short-term bear market!) for me to continue my re-allocation. 🙁

I used my non-registered portfolio for Canadian dividend-paying stocks to (a) benefit from the dividend tax credit and to (b) serve as the smaller “active” portion of my portfolio. There, I’ve done very well with an approximate 100% return (excluding some non-reinvested dividends, which would boost returns a bit) but that’s over the last 9-10 years (this year actually). It would’ve been 150% if not for near 100% collapse in the value of my Yellow Media stock. What was formerly 260+ shares is now 1 share, which I can’t even sell as the trading costs exceed its current market value so it continues languishing there, reminding me of the importance of looking not only at valuation metrics like Price-to-Earnings and Price-to-Book ratios predominantly but in terms of future business prospects and general outlook. It’s for that reason I never bought D+H when all of the investors and analysts were bullish on it and why, despite their “coolness” and “catchet,” I’ll never own a traditional print, digital or television media company (with very few exceptions). 😉


james says:

These posts are always so inspiring!

My goal is to triple my net worth by the end of the year. Current value: $26579.84. This should be pretty simple as I don’t have plans to move into my own home any time soon. I’d like to but my dad’s looking at permanent disability soon so I want to make sure they are okay before I do. My take home is about $2700 so I’m looking at saving basically all of it (raises to come in a few months). No car, no house.

I just got my full time job with benefits in December after working contract for a year. I’m doing okay I think. About half of my net worth is a questrade account in VCN and VXC.

Plus I have something like $30000 federal tuition credits and $20000 provincial so this year’s tax return is going to be amazing. 🙂

Young says:

@James- Great job james! That sounds like a reasonable target/ goal. I always love great tax returns, which will help you achieve that goal.

Robin says:

Long time reader, first time commenter 🙂

Your net worth is always such an inspiration to read. I’m roughly on par with your June 2010 net worth…and I think you were around my age (26?) at the time, so that’s encouraging!

Question about your extra mortgage payment per month. Is that your monthly payment doubled or is it a weekly/biweekly payment doubled? I’m looking into increasing my mortgage payments, so I’m just curious about what you do.

Young says:

@Robin- Good job!! You’re off to a good start, starting young is very important. It’s just a biweekly payment doubled, so not super aggressive but medium aggressive haha.