Thursday 29 May 2008

Benchmarking against 'The Joneses'

Apart from the more conventional Asset Class benchmarking I discussed in previous posts, I also compare my total net worth with comparable peer groups (the "Joneses"). The graph below shows my total net worth (and the stock, real estate and retirement components) over the past six years, and compares it to two relevant peer groups.

The first is the "top decile" (10%) of net worth for Australian's my age (based on the 2002 HILDA national survey results, adjusted for age effects and assumed inflation of 4%pa). By this comparison I'm doing quite well, slowly moving past the top 10% of individual NW and heading towards the top 10% "household" value.

The second comparison I like is to look at how I compare to the cut-off for the annual BRW "Rich 200" list (the 2008 list just came out). This year the cut-off has increased to $200m (up from $180m last year). The plot below shows 1% of the "Rich List" cut-off (to make it comparable to my NW). I'm quite happy if I can keep pace with this particular benchmark, as the cut-off is slightly inflated each year due to population growth - 200 people is now a smaller fraction of the total investor pool than it was back in 2002. One would expect the 200 richest people in Australia to be collectively quite skilled at managing their investments, so my aspirational goal is for my NW to eventually surpass 1% of the BRW "rich list" cut-off. I'm quite happy to leave it up to my sons to try to make it onto this list ;)

I think it's interesting that although new people regularly make it onto the "rich list" through very rapid wealth creation (often speculative business ventures that come good), and other's drop off it just as suddenly (when their business empire collapses), taken as a group the wealth of these "super-rich" increases at a rate typical for a diversified, high-growth asset allocation.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an interesting goal. I know that my husband would love us or the children to get onto the rich list. I am not quite that ambitious. I am happy to have enough passive income to mean that we can be happy and not have to work.