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Net Worth: Singaporean’s Most Important Number In Personal Finance

Turns caffeine into digestible finance content. You can contribute your thoughts like Ming Feng here.

Food for thought: What is your net worth?

Nobody likes tracking their finances despite it being of high importance. This is simply because people want to feel good about themselves and tracking of finances is the direct opposite of that. One of the common mistake many of us (even some established financial advisers) commit, is to believe that physical item such as driving a posh car represents wealth.

Ironically, As shown in the simple illustration above, your personal net worth might be a more accurate representation of your financial situation.

Once one gets an insight into his net worth, it also acts as a very good measurement of his progress and goals.

How to calculate your net worth?

Calculating your personal net worth is easy.

It is simply the difference between things you own vs things you owe.

There are only 3 easy steps to calculate your net worth:

  • List down all your assets
  • List down all your liabilities
  • Subtract liabilities from your assets to get your net worth

Calculating your assets

Calculating your assets might be therapeutic since it tells you what you own. Below are some examples of assets which you may wish to list them out.

AssetsCurrent Value
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash in your wallet
Money in savings account
Fixed Deposit
Others
Investments
Life insurance cash value
Stocks
Singapore Savings Bonds
Bonds
Mutual Funds
Unit Trusts
Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
Retirement Plans - CPF
CPF Ordinary Account
CPF Investment Schemes
CPF Special Account
CPF Medisave Account
Personal Property
HDB/ EC/ Private property
Vehicles
Jewelry ( eg. Rolex, or that gold necklace)
Collectibles (eg. art collection, antiques)

Calculating your liabilities

Calculating your liabilities, on the other hand, incurs a high level of stress. We recommend you grab yourself a coffee while doing so, and maybe, just maybe, have a first aid box by your side.

Below are examples of liabilities which an average Singaporean will take up:

LiabilitiesCurrent Value
Credit Card Debt
Property Mortgage
Study Loan
Personal Loans
Car Loan
Renovation Loan

Once you have listed out both, simply:

On a side note, a typical Singaporean will take up close to a S$422K worth of liabilities before age 30.

Life Stages Singapore


Ways to increase my net worth

The components involved in calculating your net worth give one an insight on the items they can improve on to increase their net worth

  • Paying off your debts
  • Save and invest your money, build a good habit to help you do so.
  • Income investing is a great way to increase your net worth
  • Review your assets and liabilities. Look out for liabilities that you can reduce or eliminate.
  • Trim your expenses. The less you spend, the more you accumulate in net worth. Monitor your expenses and trim those expense fats today!

Tools to help you do better


Further Reading – What is my net worth telling me?

There are usually a few questions that pop up after calculation of net worth.

Negative net worth

  • Young earners with a good amount of study loans or mortgage loan have a high chance of getting a negative net worth.
  • This is normal, and it simply shows that you have yet to earn enough to overcome your debt. The situation will improve when you start clearing your liabilities slowly.
  • If credit card debt is a huge contributing factor to your liabilities, you should then be concerned.

Net worth fitting into personal finance

  • Net worth is more important than you think when it comes to retirement.
  • Components of your net worth will eventually be used as your living expenses when you retire.
  • The remaining will be passed down to your next generation should proper paperwork be done.
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