The 15 Most Important Assets in Building Your Net Worth
Are you constantly tracking Your net worth wondering how to improve or increase it? Net worth is defined as the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Net worth is a concept applicable to individuals and businesses as a key measure of how much an entity or individual is worth.
Here are 15 of the most important assets in building your net worth:
Home ownership is one of the most common ways of increasing your net worth. However, since a house is not a liquid asset or one you can easily and quickly convert to cash, valuing it for net worth purposes is a little tricky. You can value it based on the equity appraised value minus the mortgage on it. But can you really sell it for that much? That’s an unknown, especially in light of the ups and downs of the housing market. The best way to handle this uncertainty is to be conservative in your value estimate. You can find the value of your home in a couple of different ways, by checking out websites such as, or that provide free estimates based on your address. For a more exact and thorough estimate, you can also hire an appraiser to provide a professional assessment.
You might not have thought of it this way, but your educational credentials are among your greatest assets. People’s level of educational attainment is more strongly tied to their wealth than ever, according to a new report.
Between 1989 and 2013, the gap between the least- and most-educated families in wealth—that’s how much a family owns, minus its debts—widened dramatically.
In 2013, households headed by those 40 or up without a high school diploma had a median net worth of $37,766. That’s 44 percent less than their peers in 1989 (adjusted for inflation). Households headed by somebody with a high school diploma had a median net worth of $95,072, which is 36 percent less than high school diploma-holding households in 1989. By contrast, the median net worth of households headed by somebody with a two- or four-year degree didn’t change much between 1989 and 2013; it’s now $273,488, three percent more than it was in 1989. Meanwhile, the median worth for a household headed by somebody with a degree beyond a Bachelor’s was $689,1000, 45 percent more than their 1989 counterparts. Wealth is more strongly tied to education than it has ever been before.
3. Vacation Homes
Vacation homes are a savvy way to earn passive income. Platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway make it easy to manage short-term rentals.
A vacation home can also become your future retirement home. Buy it now and have it paid off in today’s cheap dollars. Years from now, you can make it your retirement home if its in a great locale with lots of amenities for retirees.
4. A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP Savings)
An RESP is an investment vehicle used by parents to save for their children’s post-secondary education in Canada. The principal advantages of RESPs are the access to the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and a source of tax-deferred income. Many parents assume ownership of an RESP savings plan for their children, which increases their net worth until it’s time to use the money for school. It can also be counted towards the calculation of your net worth.
5. Retirement Savings (RRSP’s or Tax Free Savings Accounts)
Retirement might be decades in the future, however in building up a nest egg your retirement savings become an asset that can be counted towards your net worth. The same applies for your tax free savings accounts.
6. Rental Real Estate
Rental properties are still one of the best investments you can make. Rental real estate builds your net worth because it allows you to use leverage — i.e., the bank’s money — to acquire properties. Your tenants pay the mortgage — which enhances your equity in the property — while the market value of the property increases over time.
If you don’t want to be a landlord, get a property manager, it decreases your monthly income but can be invaluable for ensuring that your property is well maintained and wont be a drain on your time.
7. Your Health
Good health is an asset that will increase your net worth because it lets you work harder, longer – and be more productive and spend less on healthcare. A longer lifespan creates opportunities for more savings, wealth accumulation and investments.
8. Your Expertise
Knowledge is power, and power can lead to greater wealth. Your expertise is highly related to your net worth.
9. Whole Life Insurance
Most people assume they can’t access their life insurance unless something happens to them. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Whole (or permanent life insurance) can act as an investment tool.
Premiums paid to whole life insurance grow tax-deferred and can be loaned back to the policyholder, tax-free for other asset accumulation like a vacation property. The accumulated cash minus surrender fees, if any, counts as an asset in your net worth calculation. If someone is concerned with their net worth, consider switching your term insurance into a cash accumulating policy.
10. Your Vehicle
The car you drive can majorly impact your residual income. Sports cars and luxury automobiles are nice, but along with large monthly payments, they’re also the most expensive to insure, according to Insure.com. Before you make an investment in a car, research a number of factors like reliability, safety features, maintenance expenses over time and the cost of insurance before making a purchase. Your vehicle can absolutely impact your net worth.
Collectibles can be more than just a hobby. They also can increase your net worth — especially if you become an expert.
The value of these assets, however, is often variable and changes depending on current trends and the demand for such items. Because market values do change over time, and because we are often not aware of the value of certain collectibles. PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” is an example of demonstrating the value of antiques, if you inherited an antique from a family member – it may pay to seek out professional appraisals.
12. Private Lending
Being someone else’s “bank’ allows you to generate passive income that can boost your net worth. Private loans, notes and trust deeds are investments where you loan money to private individuals or entities in exchange for interest.
Have you calculated your net worth?