Saturday, 15 May 2010

Net-Worth Obsession

The New York Times had a fascinating article yesterday about a number of things of that interest to me - keeping records, investing, tracking net worth and seeing how these compare with others. 

One guy is referenced with: 

"His highest achievement in record gathering, however, is contained in a Quicken file, where he has tracked his personal finances for 16 years". "There was the $3.38 he spent on chips and dip on March 16, 1996. A birthday card for a friend a few weeks later cost $3.18". 
I can identify. For years when I was into running, cycling and triathlons, I kept a record of miles run / biked / swum and the time spent, weight, alcohol consumption (Yes or No). Nowadays my focus is more on money, and for several years I've maintained a spreadsheet with my finances being updated on (almost) a daily basis, for the same reason as I maintained my fitness records - it's motivating.

Although I haven't yet signed on to any of the websites that apparently allow you to compare yourself with others, it's something I might do. I enjoy competition whether it's running, betting or investing. 

As someone in the article is quoted as saying: She admits that some of her pleasure is fueled as much by competition as self-satisfaction. "I'm not that far off from the person right above me" on the NetworthIQ list, she says. "I can probably catch them this month. And maybe next month I can get to the next one." That attitude I can identify with.

My Betfair spreadsheet only goes back to January 2006 when I decided to get serious and not only is it a comfort to look back on when times are hard, but it's motivating to see the numbers climb, and try to reach the next target.

Anyway, I'm sure this keeping records and tracking spending, investments etc. isn't for everyone, but I suspect many of us can identify with some of the article, at least in part, and I also suspect that accurately keeping records is a pre-requisite for being successful on the betting exchanges.


Anonymous said...

Considering plenty of blogs out there are willing to post up pnl statements on a regular basis I'm sure you've already compared yourself but happy to keep that to yourself :)

Anonymous said...

It is healthy to know ones own finances. It is also fascinating to see the fetishisation of networth.

Its the things we cant measure which matter.

According to a study documented in the June 2006 issue of the journal American Sociological Review, Americans are thought to be suffering a loss in the quality and quantity of close friendships since at least 1985.[1][2] The study states 25% of Americans have no close confidants, and the average total number of confidants per citizen has dropped from four to two.

According to the study:

* Americans' dependence on family as a safety net went up from 57% to 80%
* Americans' dependence on a partner or spouse went up from 5% to 9%
* Research has found a link between fewer friendships (especially in quality) and psychological and physiological regress

NetWorthy said...

NetworthIQ is actually only one of the tool. There are plenty of other which are really useful such as