Check out NetworthIQ, a website to keep track of your personal net worth.
Signing up is easy. Afterwards, you will be prompted to do you first net worth update. This involves filling out a form asking how much assets (many assets?) you have in cash, stocks, bonds, annuities, retirement accounts, real estate, cars, personal property, and “other”. You also fill out numbers for your debt – covering mortgages, student loans, credit cards, car loans, and “other”. These values can be made public or kept private.
NetworthIQ will do the simple (though scary) math to calculate your net worth for you and also track your progress on a graph. You can ask for reminders to update your net worth every month. Changes are tracked and can be compared to other users based on your age, salary, or job area.
You can also tag yourself to be included in ad-hoc categories. Start your own tag, and in true competitive style you can see which one of your friends is doing the best financially. The idea of making public your financial situation is not really socially acceptable, even if you are a CEO. Still, there are some like personal finance bloggers who may be motivated to advertise how well they are doing.
Check out my net worth profile. I’ll try to convince the others here at IG to sign up. We can start an InvestorGeeks tag and see which one of our founders (or users) is doing best.
NetworthIQ has tremendous potential as a way to track your assets and motivate you to do better financially. At the moment though, the site may seem to under-deliver. The immediate impact (great I’m worth -$14k) isn’t as strong as how useful the site could be after keeping your profile up to date over a period of time. On the reporting side, the statistics and comparison won’t be too useful until they attract more users. And even so, they will always have honesty issues (did that guy really make $100k last month?).
At its best, the site could usher in a new era of fiscally responsible citizens. In the least, you’ll be able to keep tabs on my financial growth. Give me another year to get out of the red. My net worth may not impress you now, but let me wow you with my % growth.