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Personal Capital Review: Helping or Hurting Your Retirement?

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Personal Capital logoLooking for a holistic view of your personal finances? Personal Capital gathers all of your finances into one easy-to-use service. Personal Capital specializes in two things: personal financial aggregating and advisory service to manage your money. The free service specializes in investment planning, which it does a great job at. With the ability to track every aspect of your finances you get (what Personal Capital calls) a 360° View of Your Financial Life.

Visit Personal Capital’s Website

Review Overview

Price
Reporting Features
Retirement Tracking
Budgeting Tool

4.04/5.00

Personal Capital excels at tracking your retirement and has great reporting features. Where they could improve is their prices for the advisory service to manage your money and its budgeting tool.

Key Features

  • Dashboard shows your net worth, cash flow, portfolio balances, portfolio allocations, key holdings, top gainers and losers, account balances and transactions, spending by account and category, income reports, spending reports and upcoming bills, investment returns and projected investment fees
  • Personal Capital app has 3.5/5.0 stars on the App Store and 4/5 stars on Google Play
  • Keep track of your finances including: checking and savings accounts, investment and IRA accounts, mortgage, home equity loans and credit cards
  • Fee Analyzer shows you the fees for you mutual funds, investing and retirement accounts, so you know where you’re losing too much money
  • Investment Checkup tool suggests where you can maximize returns while minimizing risk
  • Apple Watch functionality
  • Daily or weekly email notifications of your finance summaries
  • Report of upcoming bills and their due dates
  • Retirement Planner helps you see if you’re on target for retirement

Pros

Cons

  • Email, phone and FAQs support
  • Integrates all of your investments so you can see them in one central location
  • Great for tracking your retirement information and planning it out
  • Access through your browser or app
  • No software to install
  • Automatically updates your accounts when you sign in
  • Easy to add accounts
  • Great reporting features
  • Cannot create your own categories
  • Not the best budgeting tool
  • Spending feature is only available on the mobile app, not through the web browser
  • Predetermined asset allocation models

Pricing

Want to know what Personal Capital costs? The personal financial aggregator is free but there is a fee associated with the advisory service to manage your money. The fee is paid monthly and is based on a percentage of assets managed with Personal Capital.

  • First $1 million: 0.89%

For clients that invest more than $1 million:

  • First $3 million: 0.79%
  • Next $2 million: 0.69%
  • Next $5 million: 0.59%
  • Over $10 million: 0.49%

Here are some examples of the fees you would pay:

  • $10,000 invested = $89 fee/month
  • $100,000 invested = $890 fee/month
  • $1,500,000 invested = $11,850 fee/month
  • $6,000,000 invested = $35,400 fee/month

Customer Reviews

Positive Personal Capital Reviews

Aggregates most financial accounts (you can manually add others and see if you can work with PC to get your financial institution added), and backed by strong customer service. Easy to use interface with a wealth of information displayed in tabular and graphic formats. Best of all it’s free and runs on all sorts of portable devices. Retirement planner is by far the most comprehensive you’ll see anywhere. – JIL1952, App Store 4/15/2016

Great for tracking accounts Love the ability to have a quick handle on all my investment accounts in one place. The widget gives me a quick overview on my home screen. – Dana H., Google Play 5/12/2016

Negative Personal Capital Reviews

I like the app overall, but I’m confused as to why my 401k balance is always under reported here versus at the Vanguard site and mint that I also use to track my investments. The balance is listed correctly in the prior balance, but not in the actual balance, even when there are no market changes to account for the discrepancy. Please fix. – Nattice, App Store 4/28/2016

Can’t link accounts Personal Capital is about the 5th “single pane of glass” personal finance app I’ve tried this month, and the only one that could not link my accounts. I’ve tried linking two different bank accounts using both the app and website so many times that one bank locked my account. So far, the only thing this app does is tell me I can’t enter credentials correctly! – Sheree G., Google Play 1/18/2016

Is Personal Capital Safe?

Below are some precautionary measures Personal Capital takes to keep your information safe.

  • Personal Capital security requires you to authorize each device you use to login to your account. You will be sent an email or phone call to verify each device.
  • Personal Capital has a version of two factor authentication. On iOS devices with fingerprint scanners you are required to scan your finger when you login. Your account information isn’t stored in plain text instead, it is stored in a one-way encryption token.
  • The information on Personal Capital’s website is read-only — meaning you cannot withdrawal or transfer any funds.
  • Account information is not displayed anywhere.

Why Do You Need Personal Finance Software?

It’s easy to put off planning for retirement or telling yourself you’re just gonna “wing it.” However, that doesn’t always work out in the end. In fact, only 55% of millennials are saving for retirement.

Is Personal Capital for You?

We think Personal Capital’s services are great for those of you who want to track your retirement and plan it all out. Its reporting features help you see if you’re on track or need to step it up. If you’re looking for a budgeting tool, we feel like there are better options out there.

Have you used Personal Capital?

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

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