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Net worth (sometimes called net or wealth) is the total assets minus total outside liabilities of an individual or a company. Net worth is used when talking about the value of a company or in personal finance for an individual's net economic position.
Put another way, net worth is what any asset owned minus what any debt owed. Net worth can be a minus number if any conditions that one's debt owed are more than total worth of all asset that owned.
Net worth in business is generally based on the value of all assets and liabilities at the carrying value which is the value as expressed on the financial statements. To the extent items on the balance sheet do not express their true (market) value, the net worth will also be inaccurate. On reading the balance sheet, if the accumulated losses exceed the shareholder's equity, it is a negative value for net worth.
For a company, this is called shareholders' preference and may be referred to as book value. Net worth is stated as at a particular year in time.
For individuals net worth or wealth, refers to an individual's net economic position; similarly, it uses the value of all assets (long term assets) minus the value of all liabilities.
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