Have you ever wondered what the average net worth is of your peers? It’s probably impossible to know for sure unless they show you a spreadsheet and tell you. However, it’s possible to make an estimate based on their income, age, real assets, and spending habits. People always say that you’re the average of your five peers, so it might be good to do some calculations to see if the theory holds true.
I’ve put together a list of five friends and five acquaintances. Their respective net worths are rough estimates based on what I know about their visible assets and how long they’ve worked.
See how they compare to the median 2007 net worth of all US households at around $109,000 based on a Federal Reserve survey.
NET WORTH ESTIMATION OF FIVE PEERS
* Nancy. Age: 40. Job: Investment banker. House value: $3 million. Equity: $1.5 million. Income: $800,000. Savings: $800,000. Two cars: $60,000. Other assets: $1 million. Estimated net worth: $3.5 million. Nancy is a friend I’ve known for 10 years. She has three kids in private school and therefore has a high operating nut.
* Lyndon. Age: 34. Job: Strategy consultant. House value: rents Savings: $400,000. Assets: $600,000. Income: $300,000. Estimated net worth: $1,000,000. Lyndon is a buddy I’ve known since New York City in 1999. He wants to leave his job and be a photographer.
* Greg. Age 34. Job: Unemployed. House value: $1 million. Equity: $400,000. Savings: $1 million. Estimated net worth: $1.4 million. Greg is taking time off after cashing out from his tech firm.
* Linda. Age 32. Job: Sales manager. Income: $120,000. Rents. Savings: $230,000. Small Business: $200,000. Estimated net worth $430,000. Linda is a fellow San Franciscan who is looking to do something new before age 35.
* Peter. Age 33. Job: Construction engineer. House value: $250,000. Equity: -$100,000. Savings: $150,000. Estimated net worth: $100,000. Peter is my tennis buddy who enjoys dating online.
After adding up all five net worth figures and dividing by 5, I get: $1,286,000.
THE NET WORTH OF FIVE ACQUAINTANCES
* Casey. Age 48. Job: Fund manager. House value: $7,000,000. Equity: $5,000,000. Savings: $5,000,000. Vacation house equity: $5,000,000. Other assets: $10,000,000. Estimated net worth: $25,000,000.
* Mustafa. Age 35. Job: Blogger. House value: rents. Operating Income: $70,000. Rental house value: $250,000. Equity: $50,000. Assets: $250,000. Estimated Net worth: $300,000.
* Gustavo. Age 34. Job: MBA student. Rents. Savings: $15,000. Assets: $20,000. Car: $30,000. Debt: $15,000. Estimated net worth: $50,000. Gustavo is another tennis friend of mine.
* Jim. Age 40. Job: Finance. House price: $700,000. Home equity: $0. Savings: $150,000. Assets: $300,000. Car: $50,000. Zero debt. Income: $250,000. Estimated net worth: $600,000. Estimated net worth with inheritance: $2 million.
* Tiffany. Age 27. Job: Personal trainer. Rents. Assets: $8,000. Car: $6,000. Student Loans: $30,000. Estimated net worth: $-15,000.
The average net worth of the following five acquaintances is around $5 million dollars. The net worth average is obviously skewed by my friend Casey. If we take out Casey, the average net worth is $230,000.
NET WORTH CONCLUSION
Net worth is a function of age, income, occupation, luck, and savings rates. Most of my closest friends are in their 30s. A couple of them plan to retire or do something else shortly, leading to a decline in their respective incomes. That said, I suspect all their net worths will continue to increase due to their good savings and spending habits.
I’ve got poor friends and I’ve got rich friends. Tennis and other common interests are what keeps us together. The level of wealth just so happens to be of something fun and interesting to discover. Net worth doesn’t matter between friends. Based on the following examples, the average net worth of my peers is not statistically close to my own.
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Updated for 2016 and beyond
Photo: Occupy SF