Net Worth

The median net worth of Canadians increased by 11.8% from $295,100 in 2016 to $329,900 in 2019.

The total net worth of all Canadian families increased by $868 billion from 2016 to 2019.

During the period, assets increased by $885 billion, and liabilities (debt) increased by $7.3 billion.

 
Your net worth statement is fundamental in the process of financial planning—you cannot begin without it. It’s the best overall measure of your financial resources and is considered your financial report card. When completed annually, it provides you with an indication of whether you’re moving ahead or falling behind. Your net worth will provide you with the following:
  • Analysis of your assets
  • Analysis of your debts
  • An investment objective
  • Analysis of your potential tax liability
  • An indication of your life insurance requirements
A net worth statement helps you determine what you own and what you owe. When you’ve completed your net worth statement, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is my net worth mainly concentrated in one asset?
  • Is too much of my net worth in assets that depreciate in value over time (such as vehicles)?
  • Is the ownership of my assets in the most beneficial form for tax purposes?
  • Are some of my assets increasing in value to offset inflation?
  • How much insurance do I need?

The Liabilities: Detailed worksheet is available under Debt Elimination Plan. Use it to create a detailed summary of your liabilities, payment obligations, debt challenges and action items.

If you want to quickly check your net worth and see how it could grow (or shrink!) over the next ten years, use the Net Worth calculator below.
 
Use the Net Worth Statement to build a more detailed summary that you can keep for your records, revisit and make changes to throughout the year. Use the most recent information from statements that you have. If debt is an issue, you should update your net worth statement often (at least every three months), so you can track your progress in eliminating debt and building your savings. Once debt is not an issue, you can spread out the time between reviews, but do your review annually at a minimum. You must prioritize which you will do first—save or pay off debt.

Net Worth Calculator

Your net worth is the value of all of your assets, minus the total of all of your liabilities. Put another way, it is what you own minus what you owe. If you owe more than you own, you have a negative net worth. If you own more than you owe you will have a positive net worth. This calculator helps you determine your net worth. It also estimates how your net worth could grow (or shrink!) over the next ten years.


Information and interactive calculators are made available to you only as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment or tax advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.

Points to Remember About a Net Worth Statement

The proportion of all Canadian families with some debt decreased from 71% in 2012 to 70% in 2016.

The median debt held by indebted families increased by 27% from $63,400 in 2012 to $80,600 in 2016.

The median net worth of Canadian families increased by 14.7% from $257,200 in 2012 to $295,100 in 2016.

  1. Liquid assets are versatile and necessary on a short-term basis; however, if your assets are kept liquid over a long-term, the interest paid yields the lowest real return. Try to establish the amount of liquid assets you need for an emergency fund, your comfort and safety, then divert any excess to other forms of investment.
  2. Investment assets represent what you have saved to date, to meet future goals like retirement. They should be invested to achieve a higher rate of return than your liquid assets. Investment assets may be held in more than one account. Each account should have a stated investment goal (such as retirement, children's education, or home purchase).
  3. Personal assets are necessary or desirable for daily living. Appreciating personal assets, such as your home or your children's registered education savings plan (RESP), represents a store of wealth. Depreciating assets, such as your vehicles, home furnishings or electronics, need to be periodically replaced. They don't increase your long-term net worth but are rather summaries of past lifestyle spending.
  4. Fixed assets (such as real estate) have the potential for a higher return on equity over the long-term; however, they usually absorb income. Therefore, make sure that fixed assets don't use more income than you can afford. For example, we hear of people who are ''house-poor'', which means the house costs more money than they can afford. Another example is someone who has to ''do without'' to pay taxes on a farm property bought for the purpose of capital gains.
  5. Your net worth statement represents the start of a financial plan. Once built, your financial plan will illustrate how your net worth can grow to meet your future goals, provide for your dependants and recommend any tax or insurance deficiencies that need to be addressed.