Net Worth Update - March 2020

Net Worth | Balance Sheet | Equity | Financial Independence
Net Worth Update - March 2020
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 selloff continued throughout March by the end of the month the S&P 500 shed another 12.5% on top of the 8.4% that was lopped off in February.  Considering my exposure to the markets it should come as no surprise that my net worth took a beating in March after the pummeling it sustained in February.

During March my net worth decreased $63,980.18.

Total Assets: $742,977.15
Liquid Assets: $266,096.21
Total Liabilities: -$170,582.35
Net Worth: $572,394.80

Well, this isn't exactly the streak I was hoping to see get started.  That's now three straight months of declines for my net worth with each month's decline larger than the previous.  So far in 2020 my net worth has declined $121,594.92.  OUCH!We've even dipped into negative year over year territory.  DOUBLE OUCH!  Can we go back to 2019 yet?!?!?!?!  

With the continued market declines in March our balance sheet is now well off its high water mark that was hit in December 2019.

For March my net worth decreased 10.1%.

Our goal for 2020 hasn't changed too much despite the craziness in the markets.  The only thing would be prioritizing a bit more towards cash as opposed to debt reduction at this time especially since my job in the O&G industry is in a very precarious situation.  That doesn't mean we're going to stop investing, but excess cash each month would best be served as a cash buffer at this time.

We're slowing down the debt reduction process although we are still paying more than the minimum and making extra payments to get rid of the one consumer debt that we have: the loan on my car.  After March's payment that debt is down to $15.8k.

At this time I don't believe it makes sense 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.  So the liabilities side of the net worth equation will be slow moving outside of the car loans.  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 March we have 29.2% equity in our house based on our purchase price from 2013.  According to Zillow our house has increased in value around $58.4k 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 jumps to 44.1%.

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 March 2020
In order to give you a general idea of the breakdown of my net worth I include 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 and deeply discounted (they don't really move the needle at all but I have them in my spreadsheet because I was bored).
net worth | balance sheet | equity | financial independence | assets | liabilities
Net Worth Breakdown - March 2020

Since I write so much (or at least try to) about investigating companies as an investment I figured it'd be fun to see how our balance sheet looks.  At the end of March our debt to equity ratio is 30% and our debt to total capitalization is 23%.  Not bad, but I can't wait to get that debt down to ZERO!
capital structure | personal finance | net worth | equity | debt
Personal Capital Structure - March 2020
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How did your net worth hold up during the market chaos in March?  Did you reach any level of panic or were you cool as a cucumber?

Please share your thoughts below!


  1. 2020 certainly hasn't been good when it comes to net worth. The market has been extremely volatile. :(

    Control what you can by continue to save and invest.

  2. I like how you emphasized the importance of cash flow for financial independence. Well said about market gyrations not being a concerned but they are noticeable. Your net worth is still looking great. Keep it up.


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