If you want to achieve your financial goals, you need to know what you are worth and keep tabs on it.
Strictly speaking, your net worth is assets minus liabilities. In other words, your net worth is what you own vs what you owe. This tool focuses on investments, not debts, so it is more of an investment tracking dashboard if you want to think of it that way. Most investment trackers only support stocks. This one supports stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds but also offline assets like individual bonds, private funds, real estate, and collectibles.
Your net worth is likely spread across several different financial institutions, account types, and asset categories. Consider that people accumulate wealth all over the place in the form of mutual funds, individual stocks, a 401k at their current job, a 401k from a previous job, cash in the bank, a vacation rental, and a valuable collection of 18th century works by Shakespeare.
Your net worth changes daily and should be checked at least every month.
To determine your net worth you could jot down some notes on a piece of paper but it wouldn’t be very precise, not to mention it would be out of date very soon.
You could use a financial planner but that is expensive and you miss the opportunity to understand and control your finances on your own. There are online brokerages that offer net worth tools, but they want you to roll all your money over to them. You know the old saying about "putting all your eggs in one basket"? Some of these places will call you all the time trying to sell you investment products. That is so annoying. We won't do that because, a) we don't even collect your phone number, and b) we are software developers!
Now if you are savvy with numbers and data you could create your own DIY spreadsheet. These can be fun, almost like a hobby, but they are time consuming and miss conveniences like stock market integration, automatic backup, security measures, and easy access from mobile devices. This tool was born out of our obsession yet frustration with net worth and investment tracking options!
The Wealth Meta Net Worth Dashboard (NWD) makes your life better because:
1) Add at least one account (like your bank account, brokerage account, or 401k account).
2) Add assets to your account(s). Assets are things like stocks, mutual funds, bonds, cash accounts, etc.
3) Make sure to register so this dashboard is associated with your user.
4) Check under settings to name the dashboard and configure other options.
5) Book mark the page and revisit as needed!
6) On the summary screen, click on Edit Allocation Goals to setup your overall investment targets per category. This is useful to see where you are actually at vs where you are comfortable, and if it is time to rebalance.
Tips for tracking net worth:
The easiest way to get started is to enter any publicly traded ticker symbols you have and how many shares you own in 'Quick Mode'. Down the road you can opt to switch the value mode to be transaction based if you are interested in keeping a history of your trades.
Assets have a category (Stocks, Bonds, etc). You'll want to carefully categorize your assets so you can see your overall allocation on the summary screen. Some assets like mutual funds and ETFs are compromised of multiple categories (like a balanced fund that is 50% stocks and 50% bonds). For those types of assets, select Multiple Categories and on the next screen 'Edit Composition'. An asset's composition is available at the fund provider's website and in the prospectus.
With some retirement plans you may have a fund that appears to have standard ticker symbol, but the prices / quotes won't match. That is likely because the fund you have is a different series. The publicly traded fund and your private fund of the same name are probably setup very similarly, but may vary on expense ratio and other minor details (namely NAV which is the quoted price). In that case choose "Private Fund" as the asset type and manually update the balance periodically. You can also setup a watch (enter zero shares owned) for the publicly traded symbol right below the private fund.
Accounts in the NWD are setup similar to a brokerage account or retirement account. The account has a name, a financial institution, and a type (IRA, 401(k), etc). Accounts can be taxable or non-taxble (important for retirement planning and the summary screen breaks this down).
We include a name field and a separate financial institution field because often times you end up having multiple accounts at the same place. Think of the case where you and your spouse each have individual Roth IRAs at the same company. Different accounts, but same company. The summary page computes how much assets you have with that company, across all accounts. This is useful for knowing how many eggs you have in each basket.
Assets are anything that has value - stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, gold coins, a book collection, a pension fund, even your emergency fund and personal belongings.
What qualifies as an asset? There is a lot of debate about what to count in your net worth. A good place to start is to only count things you consider investments towards your retirement. An expanded definition would be anything you can easily sell to generate cash. Things you cannot easily tap into like home equity, family heirlooms, and pre-IPO stock options don't fit well since they are not liquid. When it comes to social security, pensions, and annuities the cash value is tricky to compute as part of net worth since those are a future income stream. To get your overall financial picture including assets and pensions check out the Income Spending Simulator, one of the other tools at this site.
Asset Category and Category Mode - what type of asset it is, a stock, a bond, or a fund? Single Category is for standard stocks, bonds, and funds that focus on a single asset class. Multiple Categories is for ETFs, mutual funds, and other assets that are made up of a blend of asset categories. For example, a conservative allocation fund might be 60% stocks and 40% bonds. The calculator needs to know that so it can tell you what percent of your overall net worth is in stocks vs bonds vs other categories. After an asset with multiple categories is created its category breakdown can be setup on the next screen under 'Edit Composition'.
Basis - what you originally paid for the asset. If this field has a value the overall gain or loss will be computed. It is okay to leave this field blank.
Value tracking - this is how you tell the dashboard how much of this asset you own. With Quick Mode you input the number of shares you own or your current balance (non ticker driven assets). With Transaction Mode you enter all buy/sell events (for stocks) or deposits/withdrawals (non ticker driven assets) in a ledger. Transaction Mode is more accurate because it acts as a check against your monthly statement but takes more work to track.
The NWD handles many different kinds of assets and treats them differently:
To include bank or credit union assets in NWD first add an account, then add an asset for each checking account, savings account or CD you have there. The bank calls each of those items an account, but the NWD thinks of those as assets (since they have a value).
For your baseball card collection, create an account called collectibles, then add your baseball cards as a single asset. Or if you like break it up into several assets by league, rarity, or whatever you prefer.
The summary section computes net worth across all assets. The following figures are computed:
The summary section only adds up values for items marked as 'Include in Totals'. That option can be toggled per asset and per account under the edit dialog and under the organize screen. When an account is unchecked, all assets under that account are also excluded from the summary calculations.
The summary section includes an Asset Category Breakdown which displays your net worth by asset category (stocks/bonds) and how that compares to your goals for each category. You can setup your target allocation by clicking ‘Edit Allocation Goals’. This section is a way of looking at your overall investment risk and can tell you when it might be time to rebalance.
Additional summaries display how your assets are distributed for tax purposes (account type and taxable status), and what percentage of your wealth is held by each financial institution you use.
Most US stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds are available based on their ticker symbol. Quotes can be delayed or unavailable. There is no guarantee of quote accuracy since they are coming from a third party API provider.
If you are having trouble with a ticker symbol or quote please contact us.
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