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What is Net Worth? (With FAQs)

Net Worth is the value of all the assets you own, both financial and non-financial assets minus any debt you owe. Net worth is equal to total assets minus total liabilities. It can be a positive or negative number when calculating net worth. For example, if someone owes more than the total value of their assets, that person’s net worth will be negative. The net worth calculation is one of the ways of assessing financial health. An asset is anything of value that an individual or business owns. It includes:

  • Cash or cash equivalents such as life insurance.
  • Investments such as stocks and bonds.
  • Real estate, automobiles, jewelry, collectibles, and other tangible assets.
  • Business equipment or inventory.

A liability is a debt. This includes:

  • mortgage
  • car loan or student loan
  • credit card balance
  • Accounts Payable (Corporate)
Net Worth
Net Worth

If a couple has $100,000 in the bank, savings, and retirement accounts, lives in a $300,000 house and drives two cars worth $15,000 each, the couple’s net worth is 43 million dollars. Let’s assume they own expensive jewelry, furniture, or other illiquid assets, and have life insurance of approx. $500,000. Then the net worth of a couple is $93 million dollars.

If you have a mortgage of $100,000, a car loan of $10,000, and a credit card debt of $5,000, you have a debt of $115,000. Therefore, their net worth is calculated by subtracting $115,000 in liabilities from their total assets of $930,000 which equals to $815,000.

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How Does the Net Worth Work?

Knowing your net worth is important as it can be a valuable measure of your financial health. Tracking net worth from year to year can show whether an individual or business is improving its financial well-being.

Once you have calculated your net worth, you can make a plan to increase it steadily. This can be achieved by saving more money, paying off debt, investing more, or increasing the value of assets like your home.

Your net worth is not calculated to compare your financial health to others, but rather to help measure your progress in increasing your net worth each year. After you retire, your retirement spending strategy can reduce your net worth year after year, as long as you have enough savings to last your life expectancy.

Calculating your net worth requires gathering a fair amount of information at first, but having all that information you keep in one safe place should make the years to come easier.

Did you know? The value of your home is an essential factor in calculating your net worth. Enter your address into an online home appraiser, ask a local real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, or hire a professional appraiser to get a current value estimate.

Types of Net Worth

You can calculate the net worth of households, businesses, industries, or government agencies such as cities, states, and countries. A company’s net worth is commonly referred to as “capital”. This is the total amount of assets owned by the shareholders after the company’s debts have been paid off.

Businesses and public bodies regularly calculate net worth for the same reasons households do.

It helps you measure your financial health, indicate when to take action to improve your financial health, and assess your progress in improving your financial health. Companies that are consistently profitable are likely to experience steady net worth growth, which often leads to an increase in stock price.

What Net Worth Means for Households

Net worth provides a means for individuals to assess their financial position and set goals for the future. Ideal for increasing wealth in old age. Negative net worth is not a sign of panic among young people who may be grappling with college loans, car loans, and everyday living expenses while earning their starting salary in their career of choice.

There is no “perfect” net worth to aim for. National averages are available to measure financial status. The average net worth of all U.S. households was $121,700 in 2019, according to the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Finance Survey.

Monitoring your net worth helps you make financial decisions and assess progress. Reducing or eliminating debt is a great way to increase your wealth, but it’s important to remember that investing while paying off debt is often part of a sound personal finance strategy.

What Net Worth Means for Business

A company’s net worth is the sum of all its assets minus all its liabilities, as shown on its balance sheet. Balance sheet information may be presented at the original value of assets or liabilities, which may differ from the available-for-sale value.

While net worth can be used to derive a company’s value, other factors can be included in guiding a company’s selling price, such as Brand and Intellectual Property Value. It is not a good indicator of a company’s liquidity because the assets that make up the indicator can be difficult to liquidate, such as Inventory and Fixed Assets.

A company can increase its net worth not only by the obvious way of making a profit but also by avoiding distributions to shareholders (such as dividends). This is to reduce the cash on hand that is part of the net worth in the net worth equation.

What Net Worth Means for Individual

A person’s net worth is total assets minus total liabilities. Information may be collected from many sources and typically includes:


  • Total Cash in the Bank account
  • Investments in Stocks & Insurance
  • House Resale Value
  • Vehicle Resale Value
  • Jewelry & Other furniture Resale Value


  • Loan
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Mortgage Debt

Example of Net Worth

A company has $50,000 in cash, $200,000 in receivables, $400,000 in inventory, and $650,000 in total assets. The company also has $80,000 debt and a $350,000 loan, bringing the total debt to $430,000. Therefore, its net worth is the difference between assets and liabilities, which is $220,000.

Negative Net worth

It is also possible to have a negative net worth. This occurs when liabilities exceed company or personal assets. In such circumstances, it may be necessary to initiate bankruptcy proceedings to eliminate or at least reduce certain types of debt.

Considering the above example, if that company has total debt of $700,000 and total assets of $650,000. So, the company’s total net worth is -$50,000 which is said to be negative net worth.


Net Worth is the total value of your assets minus your total liabilities. Net worth can be calculated for individuals, households, businesses, industries, and public institutions such as cities and countries. Net Worth provides a view of an individual’s financial health and helps determine whether they are progressing toward their financial goals over time. A company’s net worth is also known as its shareholder equity.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Net worth in simple terms?

Net worth is a concept applied to individuals and businesses as the primary measure of an entity’s value. A steady increase in net worth indicates financial soundness. Conversely, net worth may be depleted by an annual operating loss or a significant reduction in assets to liabilities.

How to calculate the net worth of a company?

Net Worth of the company = Total Assets – Total Liabilities; this is also called equity or book value.

What does it mean when net worth is positive?

A positive net worth means assets exceed liabilities and a negative net worth means liabilities exceed assets. A positive increasing net worth indicates good financial health, but decreasing net worth is cause for concern as it may indicate a decrease in assets relative to liabilities.

What is the tangible net worth formula?

Tangible net worth formula. The formula is expressed as:

Tangible Net Worth = Total Assets – Total Liabilities – Intangible Assets.

What are intangible assets?

Intangible assets include intellectual property, goodwill, patents, and copyrights. Anything that is not physical and cannot be touched or felt is an intangible asset.

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