Net Worth Post – Feb 2009

Ok, being sick really kicked the crap out of me that last few days.  So this is up late, but at least it’s up.  I’m starting to feel better so hopefully things get back to more normal next week.

Assets

House $299,000
RRSP $17,600
LIRA $8,100
TFSA $2,900
Pension $4,600
Wife’s RRSP $8,600
Wife’s Investment Account $6,100
My Investment Account $5,500
High Interest Savings Account $1,500

Debt
Mortgage $136,500
HELOC $1,400

Therefore my net worth now stands at $216,000 for the end of February 2009. That is an decrease of $3600 or 1.6% from my last update.

So a few comments on the numbers.  First off I closed off my old pension accounts and move them to the RRSP’s.  I’ve also opened a TFSA at Questrade in my name and put some money in there as well (my wife’s TFSA will likely happen next month).  I also paid down the HELOC.  Hence all the values look different as money got shifted around.

Then I had a horrible time trying to come up with a house value.  The market is very flat right now so this is my best guest based on some very rough comparsion houses in the area.  I didn’t find anything that close, so it’s a best guess and possibly on the low side, but I rather be lower than higher in this market.

In general I think it was a very good idea to remove my net worth from any of my goals this year as it continues to swing around by a fair amount depending on the local housing and stock markets.  I continue to pick up the odd position in a specific stock, but otherwise I’ve just be sitting tight.

Book Review: Hot Air

Sorry for the late post everyone.  I’m sick today .  Also this week is a little weird.  Today is more of Green Spot post so I can do my net worth post tomorrow.

Well if you ever really wondered where Canada’s Kyoto target came from or why we did nothing since signing onto Kyoto you should read the book Hot Air by Jeffrey Simpson et el.

The book basically has two main parts.  Part 1 is all about how we got into this mess.  It mainly discusses some of the science, but more of the politics of where we are now.  It does give me a nice feeling of disgust of our political leaders over the last two decades and a nice confirmation that I was right to think that all of them are idiots when it comes to climate change and doing anything significant.

Part 2 of the book deals with options on getting out of this mess.  What’s different about this book them most if the explanations of what to do are more policy based rather than a specific here’s what to do.  So it’s rather a handbook for the government or lobbies to direct people to certain policy types.  The end reason we have failed on Kyoto was we tried volunteer targets and ineffective tax incentives instead of any type of policy with teeth like a carbon tax, cap and trade or any sort or regulation with a significant penalty involved.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this section is the realization that both environmentalists and politicians are to blame.  Environmentalists have been saying “We can make Kyoto!” for such a long time they are denial that it really is impossible now.  So rather than moving along and doing something they keep saying the same old stuff which is just ignored.  Also with so many different groups providing feedback to government it really was easier for government to make grand statement, but really have no plans.

In the end I did enjoy reading this book to just have the history of how we got here and some ideas on policy to actually do something positive now.  A carbon tax doesn’t have to ruin the encnomy if you do it slowly enough.  The trick is to get started now to actually make some changes.

A Confession on Investing

Ok, for those who are die hard index investors cover your ears.  I have a confession.  I have yet to rebalance my portfolio this year.

WHAT?!  Well it did start off for a completely logical thing.  I was waiting to transfer my previous employer’s RRSP to be put into the account prior to doing it.  Otherwise I would end up rebalancing twice so why bother when I can just wait a week or two.  Then the transfer dragged on for a while and things have gotten worse on the market and now I’m waiting for other reasons.

I’m waiting for things to drop even more.  You see I don’t think we are past the worst of this yet.  So I’m sitting on my pool of cash at least until the Q1 results are out for most companies.  I want to see the damage and the reaction to it all before I commit my cash.  I keep hearing about a ‘recovery’ in 2010 and I’m not so sure what that is going to look like.  Perhaps a bit more stability on the markets, but I’m not sold on an actual recovery yet.

So I’m being overly emotional on  things, I know that.  Yet I’m curious what others have done?  Did you rebalance at your set time or are you waiting too?  Did you change your investment policy or have you managed to stick with it? Any tips for those of us with cold feet?