How often do you check your net worth?

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Frank Grimes
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Frank Grimes » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:22 pm

True net worth? Never, because I'm not going to try to accurately value my house and cars and stuff

Investment balances? When I have a bad day at work, which is all too often lately...

Malinois000
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Malinois000 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:22 pm

Weekly with my home made excel spreadsheet but I have obsessive tendencies.

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DanMahowny
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by DanMahowny » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm

I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
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bloom2708
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:40 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
I agree. Your question could be a topic by itself. It is financial fatigue? Snails pace, too slow of progress?

Too much work? Accurate is one thing. Take a stab. Consistent is another. Guess low for things.

Doesn't anyone think about "Cashing Out" sometimes. Maybe you've been to a casino, up or down, after a point you just think "I'm cashing out..reboot".

My house would sell, I'd net $X. We live in the worst climate in the US. Someone would give me $400k for this house? Ha ha ha ha. Someone would buy that lawnmower and snowblower at a garage sale. Maybe a generational thing. Understanding how the income side interacts with the balance sheet/net worth side is not always known or understood.

I know early on in Microsoft Money it was a REALITY CHECK to type it all in. That's it? I'm 29 and been working for 10 years+ and that is it? I'm not 29 anymore. 48 (shhhhhhhh).

The reality check and seeing momentum can be pretty motivating. Meh. Life goes on. Pass the beer nuts.
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4nursebee
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by 4nursebee » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:45 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:53 pm
4nursebee wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:15 pm
Net worth if it includes RE? Never. Not worthwhile or useful.

Each month we total up our expenses and categorize them. We also total up non RE holdings and RE debt. So monthly.
Interesting. This would be saying to Apple or Microsoft. Only the Income Statement matters. Your Balance Sheet does not matter at all. :x

What if your income is rising. Your spending matches and your mix of cash, investments, property and assets is staying flat or even decreasing?

That actually happens to a lot of people. High income, spending on depreciating assets, home value stagnant or only rising with inflation. Debts increasing.

Saying your Net Worth (Balance Sheet) is not useful isn't useful to the majority of people who care about income and the balance sheet.

My close friends who are bad with money don't track their net worth. Sometimes looking for people is a reality check.

Simply tracking your net worth and understanding what moves it and what doesn't will cause your net worth to increase. Interesting how that works. :D

RE wealth is not going to impact our ability to retire. Other assets will. Sure I could sell the house and by an annuity, but the house is where we plan to live out our lives. My situation has nothing to do with Apple or MSFT.
I do not keep track of things useful to other people when they are not useful to me.
If we cared what the majority care about, we would not be BH!
4nursebee

MindBogler
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by MindBogler » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:47 pm

Frank Grimes wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:22 pm
True net worth? Never, because I'm not going to try to accurately value my house and cars and stuff

Investment balances? When I have a bad day at work, which is all too often lately...
This is one of the other reasons I do not bother to include the house in my net worth. I think people tend to overestimate what their home is worth and its potential for appreciation. I just watched too many friends lose their "net worth" not 10 years ago. There is a non-zero likelihood of selling at a loss or a wash after taxes and fees.

Adding a home to net worth prior to sale can be like a mirage, it can trick people into feeling like they are better off than they really are. I could liquidate my portfolio any time during market hours and the quantity would be almost entirely known. I can't say the same about my house. If I sold my house tomorrow I think I'd have a windfall. But I still have a mortgage and it could be upside down next month. Because I have enough to cover my expense, it has no bearing on whether or not, or when, I'll be able to retire.

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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:48 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:45 pm
RE wealth is not going to impact our ability to retire. Other assets will. Sure I could sell the house and by an annuity, but the house is where we plan to live out our lives. My situation has nothing to do with Apple or MSFT.
I do not keep track of things useful to other people when they are not useful to me.
If we cared what the majority care about, we would not be BH!
Sounds good. I just don't want that to spread to new Bogleheads. We'll agree to disagree.

If your house value increased to $10 million tomorrow. That might impact something. Maybe not.

I'm bailing out. :arrow: *pulls ripcord*
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theplayer11
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by theplayer11 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:50 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
my properties are going to my kids so what would be the purpose of a net worth figure? I mean I know the approx value and that is good enough. I follow my retirement investments much more closely.
To turn your question around...for those that track daily or weekly...why?

jebmke
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:57 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
Are there really many who "don't care at all" or just a lot of us who don't check often?

I learned early in my career (now retired) to avoid wasting time chasing information that won't affect my decision making.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:00 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
I'm probably one of those you would place in that category even though I posted that I don't check it or measure it because I wouldn't do anything with that number. That is far different than not caring about it at all. If my investments all went to 0 overnight, I would certainly care about my net worth and start doing my best to calculate it.

As others have said, the current value of my house is of no interest to me right now as I'm not going anywhere. The current value of our automobiles are of no interest to me right now as I'm going to keep them as we have places to go. The value of furnishings, four TVs, 3 audio systems, a lawnmower and other tools, ad infinitum are of no interest to me as I'm staying put and relatively happy until something needs to be added or replaced. I'm not selling them unless my investments drop far beyond my greatest fears. We have a few pieces of property that we might sell if offered the right price but aren't going to make an effort to sell them. Unless somebody makes an offer on one of them, I have no curiosity about their present value; selling or keeping isn't going to make a noticeable difference in our lifestyle.

All the financial decisions I am likely to make depend upon my investment portfolios (which I do track) and other income (very unlikely to lose more than a minor share of that). Having a figure for "net worth" wouldn't change a single decision for me. Obviously it might for others.

radiowave
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by radiowave » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:05 pm

Update my spreadsheet monthly. Full summary for calendar year on Jan 1 (we don't go out New Years eve).
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MNGopher
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by MNGopher » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:07 pm

The reason I check, at least monthly, is because I'm competitive, even it is only against myself or my previous months gains. I make a game of it, and set goals. This keeps me motivated to invest smarter, save more, and lower expenses where I can.

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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by mindboggling » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:12 pm

Almost all of my net worth is my investment portfolio. Most of that is with Vanguard except for a high-yield savings account and a Treasury Direct account for I-bonds. You'd laugh if you knew how little my house is worth. So, it's easy to get a ballpark figure. No spreadsheets or projections, although I track income and expenses in Gnu-cash.

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bengal22
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by bengal22 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:13 pm

Check it every week. Most important measurement of my financial health.
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AerialWombat
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by AerialWombat » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:13 pm

PVW wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:59 pm
Fiddling with a Boglehead portfolio is like trying to improve the aerodynamics of a hot air balloon.
Very funny, but also likely accurate. :sharebeer
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H-Town
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by H-Town » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:14 pm

Information is valuable. What you choose to do with those information is another story.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:24 pm

H-Town wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:14 pm
Information is valuable. What you choose to do with those information is another story.
But it is also easily created if needed. I think once folks are financially independent they likely do it more out of habit than need, if they do it at all. I still calculate the value of my portfolio weekly but I have been wondering why for a while now. I could probably get by just knowing the current S&P 500 value to know if there is any reason to bother calculating the value of my portfolio.
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jebmke
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:29 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:24 pm
I could probably get by just knowing the current S&P 500 value to know if there is any reason to bother calculating the value of my portfolio.
Every once in a while I make a "guess" at my allocation mix and check it to see how good my guess is. This demonstrated to me that I can pretty much ignore most movement for quite some time before I hit a re-balance point. The market would have to tank a lot more than it did in December. I did most of my TLH in 2008-09 so my basis is so low in taxable accounts that the chance of there being significant unrealized losses that need attention is low.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

sailaway
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by sailaway » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:47 pm

jebmke wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:57 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
Are there really many who "don't care at all" or just a lot of us who don't check often?

I learned early in my career (now retired) to avoid wasting time chasing information that won't affect my decision making.
Read any net worth thread: there are plenty who don't care about net worth. So many, that a large number of bogleheads choose use the words "net worth" to mean something else.

I am not going to make any decisions whatsoever based on the current value of my car, boat and household goods, even though they account for 5-10% of net worth.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:51 pm

sailaway wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:47 pm
jebmke wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:57 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
Are there really many who "don't care at all" or just a lot of us who don't check often?

I learned early in my career (now retired) to avoid wasting time chasing information that won't affect my decision making.
Read any net worth thread: there are plenty who don't care about net worth. So many, that a large number of bogleheads choose use the words "net worth" to mean something else.

I am not going to make any decisions whatsoever based on the current value of my car, boat and household goods, even though they account for 5-10% of net worth.
The only time I can think of that I will care about the value of my house is when I sell it. And the only reason I can think of to sell it is I am getting a new house or I am moving into an elder care facility.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

retired recently
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by retired recently » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:59 pm

I run my net worth (minus house, cars, etc) at the end of each month. I retired 10 years ago and instead of having a budget I adjust my net worth by inflation plus 1 percent and as long as we are ahead of that number we spend as we wish. We are frugal so it has worked well for us. After kids are get into college and have finished then we will probably think about drawing down the balance. Perhaps college costs will draw it down but so far we are pretty comfortably ahead of where we should be.

bookworm
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by bookworm » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:07 pm

I have a spreadsheet I update once per year in January. I do a fairly rigorous update - download my and my spouse's social security statement, update PIA calculations. I am not retired yet, so I update my vested pension and equivalent lump sum, pull in the details of all of the retirement / investment accounts, saving, after-tax spending, investment gain's or losses etc. I calculate asset allocation several ways, but the one I use is after tax, treating my pension lump sum as a bond.

When I was younger I did a "what if I get run over by a truck" calculation which included my life insurance and employee death benefits, mortgage,etc. I stopped doing that one in the past few years as I don't want my wife to realize I am currently worth more dead than alive.

This year I was initially annoyed that the new tax law required me to do a bunch of re-work to allocate ownership of my pre-tax accounts between me and the government but it was actually very useful because it was when I first recognized the new tax law offered a significant opportunity to increase Roth conversions in the first few years of retirement.

Other than that, I check my various accounts online about once a month, mostly to screen for fraud, but I don't worry about it.
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nguy44
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by nguy44 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:07 pm

I see it everyday via Quicken updates. But I do not get excited about its daily ups/downs. I look more closely at it on a quarterly basis.

quantAndHold
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:10 pm

I have a rough idea what it is pretty much all the time, because it’s basically account balances plus home value (no debts).

Calculate it down to the 7th digit though? Exactly never. A precise number isn’t important to me, so it isn’t worth getting into the value of cars and furniture and jewelry.

Wricha
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Wricha » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
Ok I’ll take the bait. Net worth (for me) has limited value it goes up and down but does not impact my life. Cash flow is the number I care about it’s the canary in the mine for me. If that number drops I want to know why quickly so I can take corrective action. If net worth drops, generally there is no action necessary, so much more relaxed about those fluctuations. Funny rarely do you hear people refer to there financial health/success in terms of cash flow statement.
Last edited by Wricha on Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm

Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?

OTOH, I am very interested in keeping my finger on the pulse of our retirement portfolio. It is helping us continue to live in our $275K-$310K home. If our house plunges 75% in value, it won't be nearly as destructive as a 75% plunge in our retirement portfolio.

Perhaps my home is worth more since we just finished a remodel of about $50,000. But, we did the remodel to please ourselves, as we have no plan to leave until we have to do so.

Broken Man 1999
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willthrill81
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Broken Man 1999
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:01 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
All true. But, I didn't say any of that. The OP asked how often net worth is checked. I replied I find no value in doing so. For those who feel they need to track NW, fine.

When I need to do so, I will. Until then, it is simply something I have no need, or interest in doing.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

marcopolo
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by marcopolo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:05 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
I guess you could sell your home at any time and invest the proceeds, but most people don't look to make that decision that frequently.
I don't think it is true that people consider their home value meaningless, but more that it is not really actionable most times.

I have a 60/40 portfolio, and I know the value of it almost everyday, mainly because Quicken updates it automatically.
It is useful to me because I use re-balancing bands and may need to make adjustment at various times.

I also own a home that is about 30% of our networth, so as a fraction of networth, we are 42% equities/30% home equity/28% Fixed income.
But, if the market drops a bunch, I am NOT going to sell my house and deploy that money to buy more equities. I will do that with bonds.
At some point, as a last resort, we may need to sell our home, or we may choose to do that as we age and decide to move elsewhere. Until then, i see no value in keeping track of the home's value, or worrying about how it affects our networth.

What do you do with that information?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

harrychan
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by harrychan » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:08 pm

Monthly
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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AstroJohn
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by AstroJohn » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:13 pm

I update ours twice a year and will probably cut that back to once a year. But then at 69 and with plenty of assets for the rest of my life, there is not much to worry about. Scanning all the answers, I think it would be great if someone could put together a scatter plot of how often Bogleheads check their net worth as a function of their age. My guess is that a trend might emerge.

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willthrill81
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:28 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:01 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
All true. But, I didn't say any of that. The OP asked how often net worth is checked. I replied I find no value in doing so. For those who feel they need to track NW, fine.

When I need to do so, I will. Until then, it is simply something I have no need, or interest in doing.

Broken Man 1999
Well, you asked "how is this figure useful to me." It seems no less useful to me than tracking the value of one's investment portfolio. But if you don't find value in doing that, then I can see why you wouldn't track NW either.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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willthrill81
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:31 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:05 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
I guess you could sell your home at any time and invest the proceeds, but most people don't look to make that decision that frequently.
I don't think it is true that people consider their home value meaningless, but more that it is not really actionable most times.

I have a 60/40 portfolio, and I know the value of it almost everyday, mainly because Quicken updates it automatically.
It is useful to me because I use re-balancing bands and may need to make adjustment at various times.

I also own a home that is about 30% of our networth, so as a fraction of networth, we are 42% equities/30% home equity/28% Fixed income.
But, if the market drops a bunch, I am NOT going to sell my house and deploy that money to buy more equities. I will do that with bonds.
At some point, as a last resort, we may need to sell our home, or we may choose to do that as we age and decide to move elsewhere. Until then, i see no value in keeping track of the home's value, or worrying about how it affects our networth.

What do you do with that information?
The same thing that those who track the value of their investment portfolio do with it.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

marcopolo
Posts: 2550
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by marcopolo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:35 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:31 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:05 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
I guess you could sell your home at any time and invest the proceeds, but most people don't look to make that decision that frequently.
I don't think it is true that people consider their home value meaningless, but more that it is not really actionable most times.

I have a 60/40 portfolio, and I know the value of it almost everyday, mainly because Quicken updates it automatically.
It is useful to me because I use re-balancing bands and may need to make adjustment at various times.

I also own a home that is about 30% of our networth, so as a fraction of networth, we are 42% equities/30% home equity/28% Fixed income.
But, if the market drops a bunch, I am NOT going to sell my house and deploy that money to buy more equities. I will do that with bonds.
At some point, as a last resort, we may need to sell our home, or we may choose to do that as we age and decide to move elsewhere. Until then, i see no value in keeping track of the home's value, or worrying about how it affects our networth.

What do you do with that information?
The same thing that those who track the value of their investment portfolio do with it.
You sell off portions of your house to rebalance into other asset classes?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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willthrill81
Posts: 14040
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Location: USA

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:41 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:35 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:31 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:05 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:45 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm


OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?
You could sell your home and invest the proceeds when you wish.

Many who state that net worth is meaningless seem to actually believe that home equity is meaningless, but that's false. If someone gave me a $1 million home, for instance, that would hardly be meaningless because I could sell the property and invest the proceeds.

The fact that people do not see their home's equity making deposits into their checking account is partly to blame. But imputed rent is real. Similarly, stocks that don't pay dividends are no less inherently valuable than those that do.

Note that this is not to say, of course, that home ownership is always preferable to renting, because it obviously isn't.
I guess you could sell your home at any time and invest the proceeds, but most people don't look to make that decision that frequently.
I don't think it is true that people consider their home value meaningless, but more that it is not really actionable most times.

I have a 60/40 portfolio, and I know the value of it almost everyday, mainly because Quicken updates it automatically.
It is useful to me because I use re-balancing bands and may need to make adjustment at various times.

I also own a home that is about 30% of our networth, so as a fraction of networth, we are 42% equities/30% home equity/28% Fixed income.
But, if the market drops a bunch, I am NOT going to sell my house and deploy that money to buy more equities. I will do that with bonds.
At some point, as a last resort, we may need to sell our home, or we may choose to do that as we age and decide to move elsewhere. Until then, i see no value in keeping track of the home's value, or worrying about how it affects our networth.

What do you do with that information?
The same thing that those who track the value of their investment portfolio do with it.
You sell off portions of your house to rebalance into other asset classes?
That's a separate issue from merely tracking the value*. It's a means of gauging (1) where you are, (2) recording how long it took you to get there, (3) how far you have to go to reach your goal, and (4) what, if any, adjustments are needed. It's very much analogous to examining a map while you're traveling. You start at point A with the goal of reaching point Z. Even though point Z is your goal, it can be useful to know if you're currently at point B, Y, etc.

*But to your point, not everyone rebalances their portfolio, and some buy funds that do it for them. That does not mean that it's a pointless endeavor to track the value of their investment portfolio.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Texflier
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:55 pm

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Texflier » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:50 pm

I track my expenses and update my net worth spreadsheet monthly. It encourages my saving and keeps my spending in check.

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Go Blue 99
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:26 pm

I record it monthly when I do my month-end budget analysis.

pdavi21
Posts: 1296
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by pdavi21 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:36 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?

OTOH, I am very interested in keeping my finger on the pulse of our retirement portfolio. It is helping us continue to live in our $275K-$310K home. If our house plunges 75% in value, it won't be nearly as destructive as a 75% plunge in our retirement portfolio.

Perhaps my home is worth more since we just finished a remodel of about $50,000. But, we did the remodel to please ourselves, as we have no plan to leave until we have to do so.

Broken Man 1999
Before you bought the house you had 1 million. Then you bought it and you had 800k. How do you know you are on the right track financially if you do not include the value of the home you bought and will likely sell? Vice versa, you have 1 million and sell it. You now have 1.1 million and no house. Did you make money that year (not even close).
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

msjohn07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by msjohn07 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:48 pm

Quarterly updates to my spreadsheets

pasadena
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:23 am
Location: Washington State

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by pasadena » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:51 pm

I'm trying to do it monthly, but sometimes I let a few months go.......... and then I have to catch up because I hate empty cells! :oops:

Momus
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Momus » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:12 pm

I put all my accounts into MINT. It keeps track of my assets + liabilities. Networth is updated constantly including car value and house zillow estimate. Basically, anytime I check MINT it's updated in real time just by opening an app on my phone.

jcar
Posts: 222
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Location: NC

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by jcar » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:25 pm

My official net worth annually. My cash flow from investments quarterly. :)

letsgobobby
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:27 pm

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Last edited by letsgobobby on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

mbasherp
Posts: 262
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by mbasherp » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:47 pm

I do a rough check in WAY too often. That’s probably because I really want to be making progress faster than I am. But I do an official update of my net worth spreadsheet monthly. It’s the most valuable gauge of my progress financially.

I also keep a yearly net worth progression log/spreadsheet, and it’s motivating to see how far I’ve come. I project into the future (for planning or fun) with various savings rates and investment returns to try to get a picture of how the future may be. It doesn’t take THAT much of a change to go from retiring at 62 to retiring at 50. (Mid 30’s now) Of course, the future is unknowable.

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Clever_Username
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Location: Southern California

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Clever_Username » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:01 pm

Almost never. My net worth is spread in four places:

* Bank account, where I generally know because it changes so infrequently. Paid monthly, pay expenses monthly.

* Vanguard, where I know whenever I log in, mostly to make a deposit or ensure that a deposit has been made. This includes my 403(b).

* My Series I Savings Bonds at the treasury. I know approximately and update the Vanguard external investments when I remember, maybe every 2-3 months.

* My home equity. I have a rough idea for how much my house would sell for, and I can figure 94% of that minus my outstanding mortgage. I think I should measure this on a regular basis, and this idea got put into my head last year, so on my birthday each year I'll look up a redfin estimate and use that for this.

So... it's going to become about an annual event.
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_ | | I survived my first downturn and all I got was this signature line.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 3498
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:59 am

pdavi21 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:36 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm
Wricha wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:34 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm intrigued by the people that "don't care about net worth at all".

Just seems odd within the Boglehead community. Would love to hear more if anyone wants to share.
OK, I'll bite!

My home is worth between $275K and $310K, based on conservative comps.

Now, what do I do with this new found figure? Our net worth is our retirement portfolio + $275K-$310K. What shall I do with this figure? How is it useful to me?

OTOH, I am very interested in keeping my finger on the pulse of our retirement portfolio. It is helping us continue to live in our $275K-$310K home. If our house plunges 75% in value, it won't be nearly as destructive as a 75% plunge in our retirement portfolio.

Perhaps my home is worth more since we just finished a remodel of about $50,000. But, we did the remodel to please ourselves, as we have no plan to leave until we have to do so.

Broken Man 1999
Before you bought the house you had 1 million. Then you bought it and you had 800k. How do you know you are on the right track financially if you do not include the value of the home you bought and will likely sell? Vice versa, you have 1 million and sell it. You now have 1.1 million and no house. Did you make money that year (not even close).
When I bought our home in 1989, our NW, had I calculated it, would have changed very slightly. The only change would have been the transaction costs. My asset mix would have changed in the following manner: cash down, up equity in home , new liability of the mortgage. And, at the end of the year our net worth had increased due to our 401k plans contributions IF the market had advanced. I knew where we stood in that respect in 1989. I have a Vanguard statement to examine if I wanted to know today.

So, despite never being interested in keeping financial score of net worth, here we are, enjoying a very comfortable retirement.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

indexonlyplease
Posts: 1571
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Location: Florida

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by indexonlyplease » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:15 am

SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:21 am
Net worth: close to never. House is paid off. Retired. No spreadsheets. Short of the zombie apocalypse (which will definitely happen, it's just that none of us know when), our financial machinery is boringly automatic and pretty bulletproof. I will admit I look at my Vanguard portfolio more than necessary, every few days. I rarely do anything while there. It's just weirdly comforting, even during down weeks or months. I'm still recovering from our past days of Fidelity asset management bloat syndrome, so I look for opportunities to sell an equity in the taxable account and move that money into our five-funds-in-one (VTINX).

Cash flow: I reconcile the checking account each month and confirm the auto transfer from VG occurred.

Since we're talking about our financial routines: I keep a set of instructions in a computer file and a paper copy in a binder. This is for my wife in case something bad happens to me. Like many here, she is not interested in the details of our finances. Once every few months I'll read through these instructions for any updates I need to make. I'll also look for ways to make the instructions ever more simple. I'll add the new date, print and place in binder, and save to computer folder.
I am with you. I never understood all the time people spend on setting up and maintaining spreadsheets Why? Before retirement I saved, invested lived debt free and spend the rest on everything. Now in retirement I don't save, don't invest just spend on everything.

I will also state for those looking at their net worth most are wrong. WHY, beacuse they are looking in tax deferred accounts that have money that belongs to someone else Uncle Sam. Like my tax accountant told me what every you have deduct 25% for Uncle Sam. You then have your real value. Also, can't include the house because you need to live somewhere.

KarenC
Posts: 118
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by KarenC » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:48 am

Every day. That may be because I'm getting pretty close to hitting FI; when I'm (more or less) safely across that line, I suspect I'll shift to twice a month (at the end of the month and when the CPI numbers are released).
"How much you know is less important than how clearly you understand where the borders of your ignorance begin." — Jason Zweig

Olemiss540
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Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by Olemiss540 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:51 am

Malinois000 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:22 pm
Weekly with my home made excel spreadsheet but I have obsessive tendencies.
Bi-weekly with my homemade excel sheet because I am completely normal with zero hint of obsession regarding personal finance (or because PAYDAY)!
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

mbasherp
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:48 am

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Post by mbasherp » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:54 am

indexonlyplease wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:15 am
Like my tax accountant told me what every you have deduct 25% for Uncle Sam. You then have your real value. Also, can't include the house because you need to live somewhere.
It is not difficult, with moderate tax deferred balances, to have a plan which would include withdrawals being in the 0% tax bracket.

Regarding the home, the proper approach is to factor imputed rent (you have to live somewhere) not to ignore the value of a large asset on a balance sheet. Also, I disagree that anyone has to live anywhere. I see folks every day who live nowhere at all. The fact that some like to ignore that doesn't change how you calculate net worth.

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