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What is a Statement of Net Worth?
A statement of net worth provides a snapshot of a person’s or business’ financial wealth. Statements of net worth are calculated by adding the value of all non-financial and financial assets owned by them and then subtracting the value of all its outstanding liabilities.
A statement of net worth is essentially a snapshot of a person’s or businesses’ financial position at any given point in time.
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How To Calculate a Statement of Net Worth
There are four steps to writing a statement of net worth:
- Calculate value of your assets : List your assets on a net worth statement. Using the current market value for each item, calculate the total value of all assets owned by you. Items like insurance policy also have a cash value which can be found on a schedule in the policy. Similarly, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds also have cash values that can be found on their quarterly reports.
- Calculate your Liabilities : Your liabilities should also be listed on your net worth statement. The balance owed on debts or credit cards, principle owed on a mortgage or real estate loan is considered a liability.
- Calculate the value of assets after subtracting liabilities: You will need to subtract the value of your liabilities from the value of your assets to determine your net worth. A negative net worth occurs when the total debt is more than the total assets. It is a sign that the company or individual needs to reduce their debt.
- Monitor your net worth annually: Complete a net worth sheet annually as your assets and liabilities might change or the values might change over time.
What’s Included in a Statement of Net Worth
A statement of net worth largely includes assets and debts of an individual or business. Here are some types of assets and debts that might be included in a net worth statement:
- Savings & Checking Accounts
- Life Insurance Policy
- Retirement Funds
- Personal Property
- Real Estate
- Credit Card Bills
- Mortgage Balance
- Car Loans
- Unpaid Taxes
- School Loans
A statement of net worth will include balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.
- Balance sheets : Balance sheets provide detailed accounting of a company or individual’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity. Shareholders’ equity refers to the value that will be left if a company sells all its assets and pays off all its liabilities. This leftover money will belong to the shareholders of the company.
- Income statements : An income statement shows how much revenue a company made in a certain time period. In the case of an individual, it shows the amount of money earned by the individual in the time period.
- Cash flow statements : Cash flow statements report on a company’s inflows and outflows of cash. Cash flow statements can help determine if a company generated any cash. Cash flow statements can reflect the changes over time in income statements and balance sheets.
You can learn more about preparing your own statement of net worth here .
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Types of Statements of Net Worth
Types of statements of net worth can differ by entity. Companies, individuals, governments and countries use net worth statements in different ways. Here are how net worth statements are used by different entities:
Net worth in businesses is also known as equity. It is based on the value of assets and liabilities at the value expressed on financial statements. If items on the balance sheet do not express their true value, the net worth will also be inaccurate. If the accumulated losses exceed the shareholder’s equity in a company, the net worth becomes negative. Net worth here doesn’t express market value of the company as it may still sell for more if traded.
For individuals, the net worth statement refers to the net economic value or the individual’s total assets minus the liabilities. Net worth statements can help individuals determine their financial status and plan for their future financial goals.
A government’s net worth, or a balance sheet of all assets and liabilities, is used to measure a government’s strength. Most governments use an accrual-based accounting system to provide transparency. Some might utilize cash accounting to better predict future fiscal events. Consistent accounting is necessary to determine the total net worth of a government.
A country’s net worth is the total net worth of all companies and individuals residing in the company plus the government’s net worth.
You can read more on types of statements of net worth here .
When Do You Need a Statement of Net Worth?
A net worth statement can help you measure progress towards long term financial goals. It can also help you keep track of your debts. If you are building wealth, you will also see your net worth statement changing. Having multiple savings, investments and debts can be difficult to manage. A net worth statement can help see your total financial situation.
A net worth statement also contains the value of your home and contents and can help you decide the homeowner’s insurance you will need to purchase. The total of your liquid assets can also provide information on how prepared you are for an emergency. A statement of net worth can also help you analyze your retirement savings or create future financial plans.
Companies use statement of net worth to assess the value of the company. Governments and countries also use statement of net worth to assess government debt.
Statement of net worth can often be required by lenders or investors to assess risk in providing an individual or business a loan. Scholarships and financial aid applications can also require net worth statements to assess eligibility. For the deceased, net worth statements can be used to assess value of their estate when in probate.
You can read more on net worth statements here .
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