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Net Worth: November 2010

$128623 (+ 4.8%)

I’m really happy this month with the gains in the market- the market has been doing very very well for the past two months.  Definitely beats the summer’s sluggish market moodiness.

I have been really happy with the way my Questrade TFSA is performing with a 38% increase in 10 months…this sure beats a lowly 2% interest you would get with traditional high interest tax free savings accounts. Huzzah!  All tax free too 🙂  I’m planning to extract this for a house down payment- before the Income Trusts turn ugly- into lower paying corporations.  Then I’m going to recontribute next year (don’t do it too early or else you’ll be penalized, folks!).  It was a hard decision to make- sometimes it’s hard to put an end to something that’s so good… but I guess my thoughts are to get out while it’s good! (+38% increase since “my” inception is indeed a great feeling).

Okay, so here’s the breakdown:


CASH: $38711(+4.1%)

  • I added up my chequing and savings account (High Interest Savings Account).
  • I have a new ING automatic savings account where I put away $100 a month in lieu of giving $32 a month to the pet insurance company– when they keep on denying my poor doggy’s claims. ING gave $100 just for opening up an automatic savings account and funding it with $100 a month until March 2011.
  • Speaking of which, my dog has a vet appointment coming up mid-month to revisit his allergic issues
  • I automatically deduct money from my chequing account and have it siphoned to the HISA account (paying yourself first)

STOCKS: $24757(+6.0%)

  • I sold LUX this month and transferred the money over to Questrade so I can pounce on some value USD stocks if I see something good.
  • I also realized for the past three months, I forgot to factor in an investment of IPI (Potash) I had since 4-5 years ago (it was in a different account), so that’s a bonus!  It’s like finding $5 in your pocket lol.
  • 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)

RRSP: $24888 (+4.4%)

  • This includes some emerging market mutual funds (BRIC), the monthly deduction from my HISA into my TD E-Series account (primarily bonds), a GIC in my ING Direct Account and my new Questrade RRSP account.
  • I hope to max out the $25,000 and withdraw for my first home purchase with this amount saved with the RRSP home buyers plan
  • FINALLY I GOT THE MONEY BACK INTO  my Questrade RRSP account.  It only took about…oh… 5 months to get it sorted.  So I  contributed another $400 to max out my RRSP contributions for this year.
  • I haven’t bought anything with the extra money I funded this year yet, but plan to get some bond ETF’s.

PENSION: $18321 (+2.2%)

  • How I calculated it: I took my pension statement and added my monthly contributions from my pay cheque to reflect this month’s pension amount. I’m not including my employer’s contributions in my pension calculation.

OTHER: $11163 (+1.6%)

  • 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. Once I break even with one of the venture funds, I’m gonna get the heck out (which is in 2012 because I’m locked in). Yuck! These other investments stick out like a sore thumb. =(

TFSA: $12375(+6.0%)

  • Principal protected through an HSBC fund investment (+6%) from inception (TFSA of 2009)
  • For my 2010 TFSA, I signed up for a Tax Free Trading Account with Questrade and I bought lots of income trusts and am having some yummy monthly distributions roll in until they incorporate the income trusts in 2011.
  • My 2010 TFSA is up over 38% ROI this year (including distributions)–awesome!
  • The YLO.UN.TO fund got switched over to the YLO.TO.  I am planning to sell everything in my Questrade TFSA to add to a down payment for the house (just to have the money ready, since I am up $1900 thanks primarily due to CFX.UN.TO which has actually DOUBLED on my initial investment… Sweeeeet!).


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


  • 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…I’ve been getting used to the “Oh, sorry, we don’t take American Express”.

Article comments

Henway says:

Same here, I’m super jealous at how your stocks are doing.. makes me wanna take all my savings and put it into the same funds you own.. I’m not even making that measly 2% savings account rate =(

young says:

@Henway- Hey don’t be jealous! This month’s “supposed” 6% gain is partially due to me forgetting to add my IPI stock in my other net worth calculations lol. I check my “portfolio” in my questradeweb and oftentimes, I’m only up 0.67% but other times in the same week, it’s up 4% (it’s just the market swings- guess I did my calculation on a good day, is all). I’m actually down about 9K from inception with everything combined (thanks to the “other” investments)- so if I were to have put all my net worth in a HISA, I would have been better off lol~

SavingMentor says:

Looks like a good month, congrats!

I as well would like to drive my car into the ground but I’m not sure if it going to work out for me or not. At some point I might need a larger car or truck and my wife can’t drive my standard transmission car so if I was faced with that choice I would probably have to sell it. 🙁

young says:

@SavingMentor- You’re not going to teach your wife how to drive standard? Well, you could sell your car and get an automatic and drive that to the ground. you would still be part of the “I drive my car to the ground” club. 🙂

Very nice ROI for the TFSA!

And I as well will be driving my car to the ground 🙂

young says:

@Beating The Index- Great Mich- that will make 3 of us in the “drive my car to the ground club”. I think the only reason my ROI was so great for the TFSA was the timing. I bought everything in January when mr. market was depressed 🙂 He’s a bit manic and going sky high these days.

Big E says:

Great job! Quick question: if you are only saving $100/month cash, how did it grow over 4% over the month? Are you getting that much in interest???

young says:

@Big E- Thanks for your question! No, I’m not saving $100 a month, I’m saving quite a bit more for cash savings (my interest I get is a measly 1.5%). This is all going towards the down payment on the home I’m planning to get.

Evan says:

Some Fantastic Gains Buddy!

While I get that the venture stuff isn’t moving, but is is it a high risk high reward sort of thing?

young says:

@Evan- Yeah, it was high risk when I invested in it. It has come back up, so I am almost breaking even but won’t be able to cash out until 2012. The primary reason I invested in it was I maxed out my RRSP (sorry for Canadiana speak!) and wanted more of my hard earned tax dollars back.

Hi there,
I recently subscribed to your newsletter, so this is the first net worth update I’ve seen from you. Congratulations on the size of your net worth for your age, it’s something a lot of 20-something year olds would aspire to.

Personal finances is one of those taboo subjects people are afraid to scare discuss, but definitely warrants a place in our conversation, in my opinion. The fact that you showed specific figures helps break the silence on the topic for people who are scared to or don’t know how to begin talking about their finances, even if their personal financial state isn’t the same as yours.

Keep it up 🙂
– Lily

young says:

@Lily- Awe shucks, thanks! I don’t really feel that my “net worth” is anything to be super proud about, a large portion of it is a pension anyways (nothing I can touch until much later). Yeah, it’s nice to talk about things- what I can work on, what I did differently this month etc.

AWESOME returns.

Hey, question about Questrade — do you know where/how I can buy mutual funds on it? I’m trying to find info on it but they’re not helping.

I was thinking iShares or something since the MER is a full percentage point LESS than the bank mutual funds

Or even bank’s mutual funds. I’d rather open an account with Questrade than with a bank, but perhaps you can shed some light on that.

young says:

@Fabulously Broke- How come you’re interested in getting mutual funds with Questrade? Have you tried calling them? I just checked out their page and it sounds like you would have to contact one of their specialists to enroll. Have you thought of using ETF’s instead of mutual funds? I think if I were to get mutual funds again, I would just go with the TD e series mutual fund account (I have a post on how to set one up somewhere in my blog:) ). Their MERs’ are all really low too- like 0.55% I think. Here’s what it says on the Questrade website: So if I understand correctly, Questrade will give you back some money but will charge you some money! (Charge you $30 a month! So you would have to maintain $36K to get a full rebate of the 1% it seems).

How much does it cost to enroll in Mutual Fund Maximizer?
There is no charge to enroll in Mutual Fund Maximizer and your account will therefore never be charged a fee for participating in the Mutual Fund Maximizer service.

Questrade assesses a processing fee of $29.95 per month with a minimum of three months. At the close of every quarter, Questrade determines your eligible trailer rebates, subtracts the total processing fee for the quarter, and then rebates the remainder into your account. This processing fee is never charged to your account, so there is no additional payment if your rebate is less than the quarterly threshold.

The threshold to begin receiving your trailer fee rebates is about CAD $36,000 in mutual funds. This assumes an average trailer fee rebate of 1%.

Outstanding! At the rate you are going, retirement isn’t far, far away. Congrats on your effort.

I noticed that you have an ING savings account. A friend of mine frowns everytime he sees their ad and says their yeild doesn’t pay enough. Are there any other banks that have higher yeilds that you are aware of and are you just using them cause you like them for some reason?

Either way, congrats that is awesome!!!

young says:

@Freddie- ING is actually I would say in the top 25% of online-banks that give you interest on your yields. I think ING is 1.5% right now and the better one is Ally Bank which gives you 2%. Most of the other ones give you somewhere between 1.1% to 1.5% currently. The “big 5” banks only give you about 1.1%. I went with ING initially because of the promotion they had for RRSPs (I think it was 3% or something like that) two years ago. They also have really good promotions whereby if you refer others to get an ING account, you get a $25 referral bonus. Also, they had that promotion where they give you $100 for having a preauthorized deposit for 6 months. Besides, their marketing is kind of catchy and flashy too, sometimes I’m a sucker for that.

I’m a little jealous. Okay, a lot of jealous. But good returns on your investments. I too plan on driving my car into the ground.

young says:

@Sandy- Yeah! We should start a “I plan to drive my car to the ground” Club. Or maybe a MeetUp group. Don’t worry I’ll be in debt soon- mortgage debt thanks to where I plan to live (Vancouver).