Net Worth Update – Dec 2008

Mmm, I’m having a good vacation.  Can you tell by the lack of posts lately?  Anyways I’m back with my net worth update for the end of 2008.


House $308,000
RRSP $15,100
LIRA $8,800
Pension $6500
Wife’s RRSP $6700
Wife’s Investment Account $5200
My Investment Account $7800
High Interest Savings Account $1200

Mortgage $137,500
HELOC $2200

Therefore my net worth now stands at $219,600 for the end of October 2008. That is an increase of $600 or 0.3% from my last update.  So overall my net worth increased by 2.1% in 2008.  Mean while my investing net worth dropped 4%.

What?!?!  After all that mess I still managed to squeeze out an increase on my net worth this year! YA! Now that’s a nice New Year’s present to myself.  Actually looking at the numbers in a bit more detail I’ve noticed the free fall in my house and investments seems to be slowing.  Now the cash going in equals the cash value I’m losing so I’m basically just holding my head at the same level for now.

In general 2008 did teach me several things.  These are my top lessons from the year:

  1. Don’t depend on anything in your net worth staying the same.  Remember net worth is a snap shot, but don’t get overly attached to any number as they will shift over time.  Sometimes by a lot!
  2. I suck at picking stocks.  Really I’m looking at the detailed numbers and it’s become fairly obvious that I’m not any good.  So I’ll be limiting my self at this in the future.
  3. Sticking to an investing plan is required.  You must have an investing plan and stick to it.  In a free fall market it’s the only thing that will keep your head on straight.
  4. Take the long view.  Ok 2008 didn’t look so good overall, but I should keep in mind my net worth at the end of  2006 was $80,200.  I’m still up 174% from there.
  5. Remember to live your life.  Personal finance and early retirement are a nice hobby of mine, but I do have a lot more life out there than that.  So remember to spend time with your loved ones and be thankful for what matters most (hint: it isn’t your net worth).

Graphs will be updated later (I’m having software issues this morning).

It Was the Night Before the Market Recovery

It was the night before the market recovery

When all through the house,

Not a stock was trading,

Not even the child’s RESP,

All the investments were in the market with care,

In the hopes that a recovery would soon be there.

When upon my trading screen there came such a clatter,

The market was tanking,

What ever was the matter.

It must be that Saint Nick,

That lively and quick,

Mutual fund trader and toy expert.

He was tanking the market so very quick,

That the value investors were sudden out into it,

Now the momentum was building,

The rebound underway,

The mutual fund advisers were now in the fray.

Desperate for a recovery they pump in cash,

The market soar higher,

But can it last?

When failure seems near there is one last burst,

As good old Stephen opens the government purse.

It’s a recovery for now,

but will it stay?

Either way,

Enjoy your holidays.

Happy holidays to you all,

Upcoming Vacation

Just a word or two of warning.  I won’t be posted on Dec 25 and Dec 26 and then the week between Christmas and New Years might have a reduced posting frequency.  I’m taking some vacation so my ability to post will depend on where I’m at and access to a internet connection.

I’m also now planning out some posts for the new year.  I’m currently brainstorming a list of people to interview and I’m looking at a larger analysis of how bad 2008 has been to my retirement plans (ie: is my dream dead or still possible).  I would also like to hear what you want to see.  So if you have any post or series ideas of items you would like to see on the blog please leave a comment or use the contact form to send me a note.

Happy holidays,