PersonalCapital: A Comprehensive Review
Personal budgeting and investment management should not be taken lightly. Both are very important, and people used to pay top dollar to retain financial advisors for advice in both these areas. Nowadays, you can just use an app.
There are many apps for finance management but Personal Capital stands out as one of the best. Of course, desktop users can sign up at the official site and use the same features as found in the app.
There is a free version which gives you budgeting tools as well as investment tools. The paid version is a high-level investment managing service, which is similar to a Robo advisor, but it has support from actual financial advisors.
Personal Capital Basic Info
Personal Capital was founded in San Carlos, California, in 2009. Millions of people use Personal Capital, most of which are free users. Many people who start out as free users soon upgrade to the premium wealth management version of Personal Capital.
The free version is absolutely worth having for the numerous investment tools at your disposal. You can download PersonalCapital from the official Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The base service will always remain free and nobody is forcing you to get the premium package.
Personal Capital Financial Dashboard
The financial dashboard is the budgeting part of Personal Capital and is totally free. Although it is best paired with Wealth Management (the paid service), it works well enough on its own. There is an abundance of investment tools in the free package as well.
This dashboard serves as a big safe where you can bundle together all of your assets. You can link your savings/checking, credit card, investment, and loan accounts under one roof. Also, you can add any retirement plan sponsored by your employer if you have one.
Financial Dashboard Features
There are many free features within Personal Capital Financial Dashboard. Here’s a brief explanation of all the features:
Most people who use the free version of Personal Capital are only looking for a free personal finance management tool. This is easy to do because you can track your expenses and income, both on a global and an individual level.
There are monthly summaries to let you know how you spent your money. There is a bill alert feature that lets you know what bills are due. Unfortunately, you can’t pay your bills using Personal Capital.
Even though this service is free, you have the option to contact a personal financial advisor. They can’t help you with investments, but they can give you some advice and thorough information on any topic regarding Personal Capital.
Financial Dashboard can also help you make financial goals. Since this service tracks your spending and income, it can also help you with long-term goals, such as paying off debt or retirement plans.
The cash flow analyzer can give you financial strategies for reaching goals that seem difficult to achieve. You can think of this as a free Robo advisor tool.
Lots of people have 401k plans, but they may be unaware of the hidden fees.
The 401k analyzer can help you see clearly where your money is going, i.e. how much are you paying for what whatever funds that you elected to park your money. Also, this tool will give you advice for switching to a fund that has lower management fees.
There is also a Retirement Planner tool which takes other factors into account regarding your retirement (e.g. job changes, childbirth, college funds).
Investment Checkup Tool
This is an amazing free investment tool. When you link your investment accounts with Personal Capital, this tool will analyze them to create a balanced portfolio.
It tries to create a balanced mix of assets in your portfolio. Overall, it may tell if your overall portfolio is too risky and growth-oriented or too conservative.
Net Worth Counter
You are not the only one who would like to know their exact net worth. With Personal Capital, you can calculate your net worth based on your liabilities and assets.
Wealth Management Features
Although the premium service in Personal Capital is top-notch, it is not exactly cheap. It is a mix of Robo advisors and personal financial advisors. Wealth management helps you build your own portfolio with respect to your investment goals, timespan, and risk tolerance.
It’s based on MPT (modern portfolio theory), where your funds are invested in diversified asset classes. They include international bonds, US bonds, US stocks, international stocks, cash, and alternative investments (e.g. gold).
You should know that wealth management is reserved for those who can put up at least $100,000 in initial investments.
Improve Your Personal Capital
Anyone can benefit from Personal Capital’s free budgeting and investment tools. Frankly, they are too good to be free. Obviously, the company is using it as a way to attract qualified investors.
Are you only looking to control your budget or are you an aspiring investor? It is best to contact Personal Capital directly for the premium services. Let us know if you have any thoughts or comments on this financial software.