Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How To Track Your Net Worth All in One Place

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What is LeBron James’s net worth?

I sat there wondering this to myself as he was sadly taken down by the Golden State Warriors—again. How comfortably could LeBron live if he just hung up the shoes and sat on a yacht drinking vino? Of course, I pulled out my phone and searched Google for the answer. It turns out that LeBron has a net worth of $400 million according to a 2017 article by BankRate, on track to one day become a billionaire. Sheesh! That’s a lot of vino!

This search led me to search other famous athletes’ and movies’ stars net worths—and ultimately lead me to one final question: What the heck is my net worth?

My name is Connor Anderson, and I am a new addition to the BiggerPockets team. What led me to BiggerPockets was my love for real estate investing (and my networking with people I looked up to at BiggerPockets).

Most people get into real estate investing because they want to increase their net worth, but there I was, a semi-recent college grad with the hopes of tackling my first real estate deal by the end of the year, yet I had NO IDEA what my net worth even was!

I turned back to the place where I find the answers to all of life’s great questions, Google. What I was looking for was some program that would automatically track my net worth for me. It didn’t take me long to find exactly what i was looking for: Personal Capital (to learn more about Personal Capital, click here).

What is Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is a one-stop shop for net worth tracking and money management—but the best part is that most of its features are completely free!

How Personal Capital works is you link all of your bank accounts (yes, ALL of your accounts): checking, savings, loans, credit cards, and even retirement accounts. Personal Capital’s software will then add up all your the assets, subtract all your liabilities, and boom, present you with your net worth.

That’s not all, though. There is also a host of charts and graphs to help you track you net worth over time. Numerous metrics help you track your cash flow and compare your spending from this month to last month. These chart and graphs can track your entire portfolio or just a single account. Lastly, there are several tools PC has built for budgeting and even planning for your retirement.

See below for a few examples (not my own accounts) of what Personal Capital’s software looks like:

Screen Shot 2018 06 21 at 10.46.03 AM
Example of dashboard view
Screen Shot 2018 06 21 at 10.45.40 AM
Example of net worth view
Screen Shot 2018 06 21 at 10.44.58 AM
Example of cash flow view

Pros and Cons

What I like most about Personal Capital is how automatic they make the process. I simply had to set up my accounts, and then every single time I log in, the accounts are updated and I can see where I stand. The mobile platform also is easy to use and has all the same functionality as the web version, making tracking on the move simple.

There is not a huge learning curve for PC, either; it’s a rather intuitive program. But if you do get stuck, there are some help features and question mark icons that give definitions for non-obvious terms.

The only drawback to Personal Capital I have experienced so far is that some small banks are hard to add to your profile. However, I have a feeling this is on my bank’s end and not the fault of Personal Capital.

Why is it Important to Track Your Net Worth?

Just like all great businesses deeply understand their financials, all great investors and financially savvy individuals know what their balance sheets look like. Say you want to retire early. You need to know how much money you have in assets. Maybe you are looking to buy a house. You won’t be able to do that unless you know how much cash you have. Or maybe you are like me, looking to quickly pay off your student loan debt. You will have no idea where you stand unless your track your net worth. Luckily, Personal Capital exists and can help you quickly and easily know exactly where your finances lie.

Final Thoughts

Personal Capital has tremendously helped me on my investing journey. If it weren’t for this product, I would have had no idea where I stand financially. When I first created my account, I didn’t have a clear picture on my finances, and because of this, I had no way to plan and map out how I was going to take down my first real estate deal. Four months later, I know exactly where I stand and I have a clear idea of what I need to do to begin my real estate investing career.

Hopefully this article was helpful and inspires you to find out where you stand financially, take action, increase your net worth—and maybe one day join LeBron on that yacht.

Learn how you could qualify for 2 months of free advisory service or a free iPad by signing up for Personal Capital here. *Terms and conditions apply.

Do you use Personal Capital? If not, what personal finance software do you prefer?

Comment below!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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