The Streak Continues | Net Worth Update - December 2017

Net Worth | Balance Sheet | Equity | Financial Independence
December 2017 Net Worth Update
While cash flow is more important when it comes to financial independence, it's still good to look at the balance sheet too, which is why I provide these net worth updates.  Since more and more of my net worth is tied to the markets, there's a larger correlation between my net worth and the markets but in the long run as I continue to save and invest the net worth trend should be higher even though short term fluctuations can vary wildly.  As a dividend growth investor I'm not overly concerned with the short-term gyrations as long as the dividend stream remains in tact, but the markets' effect is noticeable.

The bull market continued on its way during December with the S&P 500 gaining 0.98% for the month.  While I'd prefer to see lower prices if I was buying, I can't say my net worth is disappointed with this bull run in the least.  Fortunately for me we're at a point where valuations are high and investment opportunities are hard to come by right when we're trying to pay down debt.

During December my net worth increased $10,666.86.  

Current Assets: $713,871.69
Current Liquid Assets: $251,148.06
Current Liabilities: $-179,374.12
Net Worth: $534,497.57

My net worth increased 2.0% during December and has climbed 13.7% YTD.  What's fun to see is that December marked 11 straight months of net worth gains which is my longest streak since June 2012 through December 2013.  

While it's great to see the net worth over $500k and assets over $700k, the thing I'm most excited about is that we're back to being cash flow positive by a few grand each month.  That extra cash flow will be aimed at the bit of debt that we have to free up our income to go towards savings and investing instead of towards debt.  We'll likely be a bit conservative with our debt pay down for the next month or two in order to get a bit of a cash buffer, but after that it'll be full steam ahead.

At this time I don't see much reason to pay extra on the mortgage given our relatively low interest rate as well as the tax break on mortgage payments and think we'll come out much further ahead investing the extra cash flow.  Actually I'm considering trying to do a refi sometime after Q1 is over.  So the liabilities side of the net worth equation will be slow moving.  However, once the FI portfolio is able to get to a self-sustaining level of dividends then the plan is to aggressively pay down the mortgage.

As of the end of December we have 25.7% equity in our house based on our purchase price from 2013.  However, according to Zillow our house has increased in value just over $35.6k from our purchase price which is a nice bonus, although I keep the purchase price as the value in the net worth equations.  Based on Zillow's estimate the equity in our house is 36.1% thanks to the appreciation.

The following chart shows my assets and liabilities, as well as my net worth, since January 2012.  While I have accurate records for my net worth dating back to July 2010, I didn't keep track of my assets and liabilities on a monthly basis until the start of 2012.
net worth, balance sheet, equity, financial independence
Net Worth History through December 2017

I've started including a % breakdown of our net worth with each monthly update.  The assets are broken down into cash, taxable investments, tax advantaged investments (401k, Traditional & Roth IRAs), house (using our purchase price) and other which covers things like our cars and various collectibles from when I was a kid (they don't really move the needle at all).  

The liabilities are much simpler and fall into either the mortgage or a personal loan that we have.  Although I do need to gather more information on the various medical, funeral and other debts that total around $40k to give a more accurate representation of our liabilities.
net worth, balance sheet, equity, financial independence, assets, liabilities
Net Worth Breakdown - December 2017

Since I write so much about investigating companies as an investment I figured it'd be fun to see how our balance sheet looks.  As of the end of December our debt to equity ratio is 34% and our debt to total capitalization is 20%.  Not bad, but I'd love to get that debt down to ZERO!

Non-Work Cash Flow

Each month I like to examine the state of our non-work cash flow.  Since our goal is to become financially independent the monthly cash flow has to come from somewhere in order to cover our expenses.  

Truly passive income, dividends and interest, totaled $910.35 during December which was about a $4 increase from September.  *Dividends are from my taxable accounts only.  

With my writing taking a back seat the past few months the EBIT from blogging/writing has been fairly negligible the past few months.  However, December did see $72.42 of EBIT which pushed the total non-day job income for December up to $982.77.  

For all of 2017 I had a total of 7,111.96 worth of income outside of a traditional day job.

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Is your net worth riding the bull market wave to new heights?

Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of holohololand on


  1. Good recap and congrats on the continued progress. 11 months of straight net worth increase is impressive.

    $7,111.96 of passive income in 2017 is also great. - Mike

    1. Mike,

      Glad you enjoyed it. 11 months is pretty cool to see of course the markets really helped out on that front, but I'll take it however I can.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Nice summary JC. Do you mind sharing the main sources of your $982.77 EBIT from the non day job activities? Is it blog advertisements? Tom

    1. Tom,

      I consider my non-day job income as anything that I earn cash from that isn't my day job. So dividends, interest, writing/blogging all gets lumped into that category. Dividends are by far the biggest source on non-day job income, but the blog does churn out a bit each month. I'm hoping to get back in a a better routine with writing because I would also like to start writing on Seeking Alpha again which brings in more exposure and more income than my little blog.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great progress to end the year, JC. Congrats on ending the year strong and noting a 13.7% increase in net worth for 2017. We had a fantastic year too networth-wise.

    Thanks for sharing

    ps: Cool new theme...Ive been considering switching up the theme on my blog too.

    1. R2R,

      Those back to back +$10k moves sure did help out for the end of year total. And I was pretty happy to see a 13.7% increase for the year considering we weren't able to ride the markets higher with fresh capital and we were still kind of blah as far as cash flow for the first half of 2017.

      I'm glad you like the theme. I'm still undecided about the black background/white text, overall I like that look but sometimes I feel it's hard to read. So I might make a few tweaks to it, but it was very much needed because the theme before was very outdated.

      All the best.


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