If you spend any time here at all, you will quickly realize that I am a numerical, financial dork of the 1st degree.
To wit, I've been tracking my net worth. In a formal balance sheet. For the past 7 years.
Now, just out of curiosity, what have my net worth numbers looked like, by year, during that time?
2000: $ 60,100
2001: $ 68,950
2007: $727,800 (estimated as of 3/31)
Interesting thing here is that I've been working & saving since I was 9.
I dutifully saved the vast majority of my money from paper routes, lawn jobs, and the many other positions I held between age 9 & 18.
While I certainly blew some of the money ($3,000 for a desktop back in '91, thank you very much), I also saved quite a bit, only to spend it, first for my undergrad degree (graduated without debt) and my graduate MBA (also debt-free).
So, by the time I was a young Turk entering the post-MBA job market in '99, I was making about $70,000 a year with no debt... and no real savings or net worth, either. I can only wish that I had thought to track my net worth going back to my college days!
I estimate that, at the point I started working, my net worth consisted of 1) a brand new 1999 Honda Civic, bought with my sign-on bonus (yes, this was a stupid financial move that still haunts me today) and 2) a (very) modest cash reserve, probably $3,000 or so.
Given that I exclude depreciating assets from my net worth (so no cars, thank you very much), as closely as I can tell, my net worth in 1999 was around $5,000 and in 2000 was probably (thanks to hard-core savings & 401(k) participation) up to $25,000.
Anyone who has done similar data gathering and is willing to share, please do so.