7 Net-worth killers

Saving and spending aren't the only factors affecting your net worth. How you manage (or don't manage) your assets and liabilities can make a big difference, too.

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1. Ignoring your money
You call it buying and holding.

What you're really doing, of course, is "buying and forgetting" or "owning and ignoring."

Your inertia could be costing you. So, "look at everything with a fresh eye. And ask yourself, `What does this do for me?'" said certified financial planner Mari Adam.

Consider your stock and bond investments. Do they still fit with your investment plan? (Do you even have an investment plan?) Maybe you have old stocks whose growth days are past and which may be trading at a loss from when you got them eons ago. In that case, you might harvest your tax losses. That will offset your capital gains now and in the future, thereby reducing your tax bill. And it will free up money to be invested more profitably.

Next, consider your cash holdings. If you have tens of thousands of dollars, or more, sitting in low-rate savings accounts or certificates of deposit, "you're just giving money away," Adam said.

For your longer-term money, it could earn much better returns in a broadly diversified, low-cost index fund.

For emergency funds and money you'll need soon for upcoming expenses like a down payment, at least make sure you're getting a rate of 4.50 percent to 5 percent on it. Typically, Internet accounts offer the best rates, such as those at ING Direct.

CNNMoney.com's Loan Center can help you find the best accounts for you.


Ignoring your money

Buying too much house

Driving too much car

Paying the IRS, not yourself

Always getting what you want

Letting your assets linger

Letting your debt lie
Save early. Save often. And don't make these gaffes. (more)
You don't have to spend a lot of time to put your financial house in order. (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.