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No More Figures in Net Worth Posts

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I’ve decided to stop divulging hard numbers in my “Net Worth” series of posts where I publicly track our progress towards financial prosperity. The reason why I started the series was because other personal finance bloggers were putting their net worths out there and I felt like it was the cool thing to do – and it was. Had I not been so public I wouldn’t have had the honor of appearing in the New York Times, quite possibly the coolest thing that has happened since starting this blog, but I feel that the usefulness and “cool” factor of posting a net worth has been exhausted.

If you’re struggling through debt, posting the amount of debt you have gives you motivation to work harder at paying it off. As you pay, you watch that number shrink. As you pay, your readers celebrate your one step closer to debt freedom. But who celebrates when Random Joe Blogger adds another X% to his net worth? I know I don’t really care and I’m pretty sure no one else really cares either.

What people care about are the things you did, not the amount you saved, and so my monthly personal finance updates will now focus on any personal finance related decisions I’ve made in the last month and not on the dollar amounts. Do you think it is a mistake? Do you welcome this change? Do you not really care? Please share your thoughts!

{ 36 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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36 Responses to “No More Figures in Net Worth Posts”

  1. jim says:

    I love a good troll post, thanks Mark. And you should start a blog, you can make millions billions. :)

    In actuality, in addition to the reasons I gave above, Bryan C. Fleming hit the nail on the head with his thoughts.

  2. Madame X says:

    I do share my net worth on my blog… a post I wrote today actually explains a little bit of why I think it’s good when people do expose all the details.

  3. Jeremy says:

    It doesn’t affect me or my readership one way or the other. I never read personal progress or net worth updates on any of the sites I read. Of course my goal isn’t to track my own progress or seek inspiration from someone else’s progress. I’m just looking for information and entertaining content that relates to the financial world.

  4. moominoid says:

    I started my blog after I discovered Net Worth IQ. I wouldn’t write a blog otherwise. For many years I posted on investing and trading websites anyway. The only people who know who I am are my girlfriend, my brother, some random person in texas, and some hedge fund manager and he ain’t going to sue me :) As far as identity theft goes I don’t mention much or anything about which banks I have accounts with and never post the name of a bank next to an amount of money. I refer to specific investments rather than which accounts they are in – sometimes across more than one.

  5. jersey jen says:

    hey there, i like it when i see others’ figures. this way i could compare myself and see how am i doing. i think by seeing others’ figures, it gives me the most motivation to reduce my debt level and build wealth. i don’t have mine on my blog, since i’m still in the phase of debt-reduction and negative networth.

  6. The Chef says:

    no numbers fine, but it acted as a motivational tool for your readers if not yours. The idea to put decisions is great but the results again should be substantiated by numbers. Results without some numbers makes no sense even percentage improvement or gain will do.

  7. edgeworth says:

    I respect your decision because your identity is too tied to your blog. I have posted my net worth (on networthiq.com) only with the expectation that I am anonymous. I have two reasons for making public entries about my net worth (albeit anonymously): First, I can be part of a community that discusses a normally taboo topic, in an environment where comparisons are possible and are acceptable. Second, I hope that others who want to build their net worth can be inspired that they can save up a lot of money if only they follow a few simple personal finance principles (as I did). If my net worth figures lead even one person to cut up his or her credit cards and conclude that he or she, too, can build some wealth, then that revs me up.

  8. Chris says:

    If anyone wants to look at net worth of a lot of folks in one place, they can always look at NetworthIQ.com.

    FWIW, anyone can post whatever they want. Don’t forget that it’s just bits/bytes, and can’t be validated by anyone (nor should it … other than by yourself).

  9. James says:

    You know what guys…maybe its just me, but I tend to give more credence to people who have more money. I just kinda figure that they know what they’re talking about. So, the drawback to non-disclosure is that its sometimes hard to judge the quality of the content (e.g how do you know if the bloggers personal finance advice is any good?)

    Best,

    James

  10. broknowrchlatr says:

    I like to watch everyone’s net worth climb. If someonce says they are doing investment A and they have monthly growth rate that is beating mine, I get interested. It addes a lot of credibility to your posts.

    On the flip side, I discount the stuff I read from yahoo “experts” who are older than me and have much less savings. You have to be an expert at your own finances to be an expert at others’ finances.

  11. Kira says:

    I post my networth on my blog (thanks to NetworthIQ), but you are right – it really isn’t about bragging – it is about my progress. For example, a recent post I did talked about re-financing my car loan – dropping 4 percentage points, and cutting the payoff months from 48 to 36 (while keeping the monthly payment the same). This WILL have some effect on my net worth (It saved about $1700) – but not until 3 years from now when I get to use that $1700 on something else.
    I LOVE reading your blog – and if you don’t post your networth anymore – that’s not going to make or break my readership. Like lots of the PF bloggers out there, I’m more interested in your progress than your numbers!


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