March 13, 2009

Am I the Wealthiest personal finance blogger?

That title isn't a serious question. I know I'm not.

The blog Suburban Dollar wrote Sunday’s Sites - The Wealthy Blogger Addition They have put together a list of net worth figures for personal finance bloggers and I have the highest total.

I am certain that I'm not actually the wealthiest personal finance blogger. There are undoubtedly some folks out there with higher net worth who either weren't found by Suburban Dollar or simply don't publish their net worth.

Still its interesting to see how high I come out on that group. What does it mean that I have a relatively high net worth? Not a whole lot. It doesn't mean I'm an expert or anything like that.

I don't know if you can even get any usable lessons from my success. Most of my net worth is from real estate and retirement savings. I don't think my real estate success can easily be emulated for most people in most markets. Real estate is very local business and every state and city has different market. I am lucky that the real estate market in my area has not lost nearly as much value as most of the country has seen. Of course this is not to say I don't think real estate can be a very good investment. One key in my success is that I'm not leveraged much at all. We own a couple properties outright and have about 50% equity in another. One of our rentals is near a 100% LTV (in other words theres no equity). If you were highly leveraged in real estate recently you could be in very big trouble right now. We've avoided being hurt severely by the real estate downturn by keeping our leverage low. The other key reason for my high net worth is that I have a very good paying job. I owe my high income to my education. Stay in school kids.

Am I rich? Yes I think I am rich. I think that virtually all Americans are rich by global standards. Its important to step back and realize how good you actually have things. TO see how your income level compares to the rest of the world, check out the Global Rich List. My income level puts me in the top 1% of the world. If you are a single person at the federal poverty level of $10,400 income for 2008 then that would put you ahead of 86% of the world.

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