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January 10, 2022

Does it matter how much your friends are worth?

Growing up, I had very little idea how much my parents were worth (although I knew it wasn’t much) nor where any of their friends stood.

AdNow, however, there are stacks of web sites like NetworthIQ and Mint that allow just about anyone to post their net worth (the number you get when you subtract what you owe from what you own) and compare it with others.

Some do it anonymously, while others post more details along with a history of their spending to provide a bit of context.

But their major purpose is the same: To draw attention to their nest egg, highlight any progress they’ve been making, and help the less fortunate do a little reflective benchmarking. Here’s a recent example.

But is your own magic number more useful to you when you have someone else’s to compare it with? Or does seeing it in front of you lead to pointless striving in search of some ever-elusive target? And who’s to say any of those numbers are accurate to begin with.

Curious to see where you stand? Here’s one quick snapshot, although it’s American. Here’s another ‘lucky you’ global look.

This Royal Bank calculator offers some general on where Canadians might expect to find themselves at certain points in their lives.

Do you think comparing your net worth to others online is helpful or hurtful? If you've done it, where do you fit in?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...