How to Find Someone’s Net Worth
Nancy Patterson - October 7, 2019
Trust but verify. It’s always in your best interest.
Do you have a business partner or romantic partner who claims to have deep pockets? If you’re the trusting type, you can take their word for it. But this might not be wise since many scammers use this approach to win the trust of others before exploiting them.
As a precaution, we recommend that you find someone’s net worth before entering any meaningful or long-term relationship with them. We especially recommend this if your new connection may lead to providing access to your funds.
But trying to find someone’s net worth can be a tricky process. Don’t make the mistake of assuming a person is well off, merely because of the cars they drive, or the clothes they wear. To help, we’ve put together a more surefire way to help you determine a person’s net worth.
There’s an old saying, “An ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure.” This article will guide you on how to find and verify someone’s net worth.
What Assets Contribute to a Person’s Net Worth?
The first step to finding someone’s net worth is to identify what assets and liabilities they own. Assets add value to a person’s net worth, while liabilities reduce that value.
Consider the following asset types when calculating a person’s net worth:
- CashAvailable cash is the number one asset that determines a person’s net worth. How much cash do they have in their bank accounts? Naturally, the more money they have, the higher their net worth.
If it belongs to the individual and isn’t under any form of lien, it is an asset.
- InvestmentsFinancial investments are also considered an asset. Investments may include shares of stock, pension funds, bonds, and any other financial instrument with the potential to appreciate. Each time the value of an investment increases, that individual’s net worth increases.
- PropertyProperty such as collectible art, real estate, cars, jewelry, and other valuables that owned and clear of debt are also assets that contribute to a person’s net worth.
On the other hand, liabilities such as bank and credit card debts, and mortgages, or other loans, negatively affect a person’s net worth. If an individual’s liabilities exceed their assets, that individual is considered to have a negative net worth.
Now that you know what is considered an asset that contributes to an individual’s net worth, the next step is identifying where to find a person’s assets to calculate their net worth.
Where to Look for Assets?
To find what assets a person owns, take your research to the following places:
- The DMVVisiting the state DMV where the person resides will reveal what sort of cars and how many they own. All you need to do is run a name search on motor vehicle records, to find what vehicles they own.
Watercraft or boats that aren’t larger than 27 feet will also show up on the DMV search. To find out whether they own a yacht, which is larger than 27 feet in length, you’ll have to check the US Coast Guard database.
- Real Estate To find out how much real property a person owns, visit the county assessor’s office to do your research. Make sure to visit the assessor’s office closest to the property’s location. Easier still, you can run a property owner search on CheckPeople.com.
This research will reveal which homes, vacant lands, and other real property an individual owns.
- Divorce Proceedings In states where divorce filings are publicly accessible (California, Connecticut, Florida, and others), you can search these records to find assets an individual owns.
- Aircraft Registrations To verify if the brag of owning a private jet is the real deal, check out the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). The FAA requires registration of all privately-owned aircraft in the US.
- Probate FilingsIf the person of interest has inherited any assets from a deceased relative, probate filings can offer useful information.
- Corporate FilingsSome people purchase assets in the name of their incorporated business rather than in their name. They may also use the name of an LLC or limited partnership. The truth can be discovered by viewing corporate filings, especially if the person of interest is a considered shareholder in the company.
- SEC FilingsThe SEC requires that all publicly traded companies disclose stock holdings, executive stock options, agreements, and other details that indicate an individual’s net worth.
- Patents and TrademarksThese are possible assets that can be verified by checking the person of interest’s name on the USPTO website.
If searching through all the above seems like too much work, a more convenient way to discover a person’s assets would be to use CheckPeople.com.
A quick background check with this tool will reveal what businesses, properties, or other assets an individual owns in the US. Obtaining this information will give you a rough estimate of their net worth and confirm whether they are lying about their financial status or telling the truth.
How to Calculate Net Worth?
After identifying the assets, a person owns, the next step is to calculate how much all these assets combined are worth. After calculating the value of all the assets, subtract the total of all their liabilities. The figure remaining is a rough estimate of that individual’s net worth.
For example, if “Mr. Big” owns cars, houses, valuable art, shares of stock, and cryptocurrencies worth a total of $6 million, and combined liabilities of $2 million, his estimated net worth is $4 million.
Determining someone’s net worth before entering a relationship with them can minimize the risk of you getting involved with a scam artist or a liar.
It also helps ascertain the creditworthiness of an individual before investing or entering into some other business transaction with them.
But keep in mind that you should not attempt to find someone’s net worth with mal intent. Such an act may count as a federal crime, even if you get someone else to do it on your behalf. Also, avoid using illegal means, such as bribery or coercion, to locate a person’s hidden assets.