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Net Worth: January 2011

$125975 (+ 2.7%)

I decided to omit the pension for 2011 onwards because it was kind of a hassle to take my information from my pay stub every two weeks and make sure I write it down somewhere.  Also, I can’t access this money anyway (and don’t plan to until I retire) so I don’t want to be including it in my calculations.  It made it look hyper-inflated, if you know what I mean.

Okay, so here’s the breakdown:


CASH: $12622(+67%)

  • More money Pictures, Images and PhotosNo, I didn’t win the lottery (though someone who has been pronounced dead three times and won the $190 jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery did!), but I did cash out $7500 from my RRSP under the home buyer’s plan.  This money will go toward some renovations on the house.
  • 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)

STOCKS: $24232(-2.1%)

  • These are stocks that captures the “moment in time”, including unrealized gains or losses in my BMO Investorline and Questrade accounts. I added up USD and CAD stocks as “Canadian” money to be simplistic (which is about a 0% difference right now)
  • In my TFSA, I bought some Just Energy shares (they are maintaining their distribution in a form of a devidend), I also bought some BMO stock when it had that 7% dip in one day
  • I sold my Manulife Financial shares and bought BMO
  • I also sold positions in Telus (I didn’t want to, but I had thought they weren’t going to approve my Home Buyers Plan withdrawal so I needed money… then after I sold everything I got a call to tell me the home buyers request went through!), XDV, and sold all my shares in TAC.
  • I now have some cash that’s ready for some value investing 🙂  But I might transfer that to my TFSA since it’s pretty much empty now.

RRSP: $8393 (-46%)

  • I ransacked my RRSP some more to take out money for the renovations on the house (Quartz counter top and new flooring, anyone?)
  • This includes the monthly contribution into my TD E-Series account (primarily bonds), a GIC in my ING Direct Account and my new Questrade RRSP account.

OTHER INVESTMENTS: $3459 (+7.3%)

  • If you’re wondering what I hold in my Other investments- check out my post long story
  • I have some investments that were poor choices (I signed up for them before I became self “edumacated”) that are losing money big time. In order to receive a tax credit, I got persuaded into buying some flow through shares, Venture investments that gave out a tax credit, and some more mutual funds about four or five years ago.
  • These guys haven’t been moving much, unlike the rest of the market.  I have broken even this month, but can’t take it out until 2012.  Once I hit January 1, 2012 I’m going to take my money back and run 😉

TFSA: $592 (-90.3%)

  • I took my money out from my HSBC TFSA (with net $500+) and closed the account- needed money for the house renovations
  • For my 2010 TFSA, I signed up for a Tax Free Trading Account with Questrade
  • I sold most of my TFSA income trusts (all but two- which are being converted) and kept about $500 in the TFSA account as Questrade requires you to have a minimum of $200 in the account.
  • I plan to put $15000 back in (slowly throughout the year, of course… or I might move my non-registered investments into the TFSA) to avoid the penalty from our good friends at the Canada Revenue Agency.


  • I’m not going to bother counting the car as an asset. It’s 10 11 years old and I’m planning to drive it to the ground.


  • There’s no way I can buy a house for $387,500 in Vancouver. So I divided price the house in two to simplify my net worth calculation. BF and I each are paying 50% of the costs of the house to make in nice and even in case we split up. Besides, BF would not want me to be disclosing his net worth with the rest of the world, either.
  • We got the BC Assessment in the mail and the value of our home has gone up by $96,100 apparently.  However, this was calculated last year in July 2010 and the market was certainly very different then.  Traditionally, market value is usually 10%+ BC assessment value in Vancouver, but I doubt that is the case now.  I’ve decided not to include this and will just use the amount we paid for it +/- inflation.


Mortgage Debt:  $308,773 (-0.3%)

  • Before anyone goes ballistic on me for taking on such a large mortgage debt (which I know you might anyway! 🙁 ) we are planning to rent the out the basement out after the renovations to help with the mortgage. This will be on top of the full amount that we pay accelerated biweekly and this will help tackle the beastly amount.
  • The street we bought the house on has a lot of new houses being built (a good sign, of course), and a comparable house on the same street (older, but with three stories and with minor renovations) sold for over $1,000,000.
  • I’m excited to tackle this mortgage beast and pay down my debt- might be a new focus on youngandthrifty.ca!

Credit Card: $2050

  • 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 basically charge everything to my card to reap the benefits (free flights and hotel stays here I come!)
  • I got the SPG AMEX card for a few months already and have been using it as often as I can (compared to the MBNA travel elite card) but American Express isn’t accepted everywhere here in Canada…which is a hassle.
  • BF and I got the Royal Bank Avion Infinite Card as our joint credit card (free for one year since we have a mortgage with RBC! So will be using it and letting you how I like it- I would of course not pay $170 a year for this, but since it’s free for one year, why not?)
  • This month was pretty expensive- we bought some stainless steel appliances (during boxing day week).

Article comments

question everything says:

I have looked over your numbers and I want to ask you how you are getting to your total net worth? To me it looks wrong somewhere in the equation. can you break it down a bit better? (line by line) how much is/was your down payment on the house? thanks

Leavy says:

You are INSANE to be taking money out of you RRSP to invest in your house that is going to become a negative asset in the next few years! I can’t believe anyone would consider this with the current housing forecast!

But then again, you have money in GICs that will probably make you less than a high interest savings account and won’t even pace inflation (2.4% right now).

Why anyone wouldn’t max their TFSA first and foremost in beyond me.

Good luck having the bulk of your net worth in a house situated in a market primed to be ground zero for a housing correction. Can you say ‘massive equity loss’?

But anyway…goodluck!

young says:

@leavy- thanks leavy for your concerned note :). You don’t really know exactly how much I have in GICs and how much I have in other investments. The GIC RRSP I have is actually a small part of what I have in my portfolio. I had bought it a long time ago and it just rolls over. But thanks for your concern. I am prepared to ride out the waves. Like I said many times again, the place I have purchased is to be lived in for 10+ years. It will
Be hard to predict what will happen over the next ten years.

ST says:

When you talk about pension is that defined contribution RRSP from your work, or is that the government pension thingy?

young says:

@ST- Hi ST, thanks for visiting. It’s government pension.

Oh wait the $387k is after already being divided by two then, right? Yeah, that makes more sense! It does seem high but I agree with the commentators to say treating it as an expense; except for the portion you are paying back toward principal. There is downside risk to that too should the prices come down, but you are paying down debt at least.

young says:

@Invest It Wisely- Yup, prepared mentally and emotionally if the prices do come down, but we are in it for the long haul- at least 10 years, so I don’t think it will be too big of an issue. I have a friend who bought her house for $500,000 10 years ago, then 5-6 years ago, it was only worth $250,000, and now it is worth $900,000 to $1million.

$387k actually sounds very low for Vancouver. I thought houses were much higher than that these days…

This is what usually happens when you buy a house in the first year, a lot of red shows up 😉

In 2011, you got time to rebuild your accounts slowly and back into the green.

But seriously, 800k for a house in BC? Do you have oil and gas beneath your land?

Serferboy says:

Thanks for sharing. Be sure to tackle that mortgage as fast as possible.

From a quick/rough glance it looks like you have a net worth of about ~50K excluding the equity in the home (i.e. counting your investments and cash only)

You’re essentially leveraged up 2.4 – 1 (debt of ~300K on net worth of ~125K approx.) No one can say that is good or bad, just as long as it’s what you are comfortable with.

Ignore market appraisals, BC Asmt. Treat the house as an EXPENSE.

The only assets that matter ones that can generate a return that beats inflation AND the risk-weighted expected rate of return on capital.

Right now, housing in Vancouver is overpriced, but the value of your home-enjoyment isn’t quantifiable.

Just don’t get caught into thinking you’re rich just b/c real estate marketers say housing has gone up…

krantcents says:

It seems as though you have a good start.

@Y&T – You’re doing just fine! Relax with the debt! It is a part of life, ya know? 🙂

I always exclude my pension in my NW calculations too. I can’t be bothered doing the precise math.

Besides, it’s passive income I’m after to retire on, to supplement my pension! Go dividends go!

I look forward to learning about what you put into your TFSA and you re-fill it, and why.


young says:

@My Own Advisor- Awe thanks MOA, you guys are all like my big siblings who have “been there done that” and I appreciate your experience and words of wisdom 🙂 Debt is a part of life… but I would rather it not be! 🙂

I will definitely do a post on what I fill my TFSA with again- so many choices!

Kiki says:

How do you stay so disciplined?

young says:

@Kiki- Hmm I guess I am disciplined… I do “pay myself first”.. and I guess I have different priorities now. I actually don’t like spending money on stuff that I could get for cheaper, or that I don’t necessarily need to spend money on (e.g. going to the gym, buying lunch at work, clothes that I don’t need). My weak spot is eating out for dinner with boyfriend… we’ve been really good at avoiding it lately, but the problem is, I almost feel like binging on eating out because I have been holding back so much haha! Will let you know how that goes…. 🙂

WOW, complicated!
You’re moving in the right direction even if you have a lot of reds. I think the house will turn out to be a great decision especially if you can get a stable roommate to help pay down the principle. You know they jacked up the assessment to get more tax money right? 😉
How much property tax do you guys pay up in Vancouver? 2%?

young says:

@retirebyforty- Ohhh yeahh, I know that they jacked up the property tax. BF was like “honey!! Guess what? We’re up by “X” amount of dollars” Me “those money-grabbing taxers!” Needless to say, my boyfriend thought was I was being overly skeptical.

Someone has to pay for that big world party Vancouver had in 2010 *cough cough Olympics*, right? 😉

Echo says:

Hey Y&T, congrats on coming out ahead in the net worth department even with the reno’s you’re doing now.

What percentage of your salary is going towards your pension? It should be the same $ amount every two weeks, no? I think you should include it in your net worth, since these are your contributions.

If you didn’t have to contribute to this pension through payroll deductions, wouldn’t you be investing that money into your RRSP or TFSA?

I have a DBP and have to contribute over 11% of my salary to the pension. Damn straight I’m going to include that in my net worth 🙂

young says:

@Echo- Oh I haven’t finished paying for the renos, my friend! I predict it will be “in the red” next month 🙂 As for the pension, it is around the same amount every two weeks… it does make out to be around 8-9% (now that I think about it that’s a lot of money!! Those bastards! Take my money…). Hmm good point. Maybe I will include it again next month… haha and confuse you guys some more! 🙁

Fox says:

Very defirsified investments. Sounds like you got a bit of everything. Congrats on the renos and the value of the home going up. Always a good thing.

Do you invest in any stocks? Thoughts on it?

young says:

@Fox- Yup! I love my stocks. I have been focusing on dividend paying stocks lately, and I reserve a portion of my portfolio for some growth stocks and “play stocks” where I tend to trade more often (e.g. hold on to it for a few months and then sell it). Do you invest in stocks?