Personal Capital Reviews 2017

Product Introduction

Personal Capital provides a free automated financial and investment advice for clients. Instead of being a mere digital advisor, the service allows you to link allyour existing financial accounts online and track them in real-time. Personal Capital has 1.3 million users and manages $312 billion in monitored accounts.

Many Personal Capital reviews consider it to be an all-around financial app similar to Mint.com, and not just an automated advisor. The company also prides itself on a “people plus technology” approach, differentiating itself from other players in the automated investment field.

Types of Accounts Supported/Facts

You can open any of the following account types with Personal Capital:

  • Individual and Joint Accounts
  • IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • Trusts
  • Taxable accounts
  • 401Ks
  • 529 College Plans

With an account minimum of $100,000, Personal Capital caters to high-income investors. Fees depend on your balance

$1,000,000 or less: 0.89% of assets

First $3,000,000:    0.79% of assets

Next $2,000,000:    0.69% of assets

Next $5,000,000:    0.59% of assets

$10,000,000 or more: 0.49% of assets

An account balance of $200,000 or more entitles clients to two personal financial advisors for personalized guidance. Advisors help clients with retirement planning, getting a mortgage and other financial goals.  They’re available via Live Chat, phone or email. A balance between $100,000 and $200,000 gives you access to a team of account advisors.

Pershing Advisor Solutions serves as the clearing house for Personal Capital’s client accounts.

You can take advantage of the investment management feature if you have accounts totaling $200,000 or more and use Personal Capital’s paid service.You’ll have a dedicated personal financial advisor. As an investment management client, your securities include bond EFTs, single stocks and alternative asset classes.

How the Product Works

Set up your online profile and connect your accounts in minutes. Once you’ve synced your accounts, you’ll have free access to Personal Capital’s free financial tools.

Your accounts stay connected until you unlink them or change your login information or other settings. The digital advisor updates all linked accounts daily. Your financial information is ten delivered to you in charts and graphs on your dashboard so you can track and improve your investments.

The system tracks all your spending so you can see exactly where your money goes. It records every purchase by category and merchant and lists every credit, bank and debit card transaction.

The system includes deposit information for all your bank accounts as well and gives you an aggregate tally for all of them.

Click on an item to see more details. See a detailed list of upcoming bills by clicking on “Bills” in your cash flow chart; click on “Income” to see all sources of revenue.

Features

The free Personal Capital Dashboard includes the following financial tools:

  • Net Worth Calculator
  • Cash Flow
  • Portfolio Balances
  • Portfolio Allocations
  • Key Holdings
  • Top Gainers and Losers
  • Account Balances and Transactions
  • Spending by Account and Category
  • Income Reports
  • Investment Returns
  • Spending Reports and Upcoming Bills

Investment Checkup analyzes your portfolio and shows you how to improve it to reach your financial goals and reduce risk.

The Fee Analyzer helps you save money by providing full transparency into your mutual fund, investment and retirement account fees.

The Retirement Fee Analyzer shows you the fees you pay specifically for those accounts and shows you how to reduce them, giving you more money for your retirement.

Personal Capital offers clients with balances of $200,000 or more a customized portfolio that includes individual securities through a service called Smart Indexing. It invests equally in all sectors to reduce risk and increase returns.

The Spending Analysis feature gives you a look at your cash flow, dividing expenses into clothing, food, restaurants and entertainment. It also tracks bills due and income for connected accounts. Personal Capital compares your spending from week to week and holds it up to your chosen metric.

Personal Capital saves you money at tax time by using the following methods:

  • Asset location, or putting fixed-income and high-yield stocks in exempt or tax-deferred accounts. REITS (Real Estate Investment Trust) should be placed in retirement accounts because they pay non-qualified dividends.
  • Tax-loss harvesting. Since Personal Capital utilizes single securities, the system can sell a stock or bond to offset a loss.
  • Excluding less tax-efficient mutual funds from your investment portfolio.

Personal Capital also provides a YouIndex to compare your investments to benchmarks to show how your securities match up to what’s happening in the markets.

From the dashboard, you can see real-time data from your linked accounts. Determine if you’re on track for retirement or other savings goals by checking this regularly updated information.

Personal Capital utilizes several security precautions to keep your data safe.

  • Encrypted data with AES 256 and multi-layer key management
  • No one at Personal Capital has access to your information
  • Site encryption rated A by Qualys SSL Labs
  • Separation authentication required for every device you use
  • iOs Apps certified by NowSecure

Personal Capital offers additional services for its predominantly wealthy clients, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Home Purchases and Refinancing
  • Stock Options and Deferred Compensation
  • Legacy Planning
  • Charitable Giving

You can access all your accounts on your Personal Capital dashboard using your Smartphone, desktop computer or tablet. Pershing Advisor Solutions web platform also provides information on your account(s). Both Personal Capital and Pershing release electronic statements a few times a year.

Personal Capital uses Yodlee to performs syncing of your financial and bank information, which offers you an extra layer of protection over in-house syncing.

Within one to three days, you can receive cash for your securities if you need money for an emergency or another issue.

Potential Drawbacks

The $100,000 minimum account required for the paid advisory service may be high for some investors.

Several other digital financial services will offer you a dedicated advisor if you only have between $100,000 and $200,000 to invest.

You’ll pay higher fees with Personal Capital than you will with some digital only (no financial advisor option) companies.

Who Can Benefit from Using Personal Capital?

Personal Capital gives high net worth clients access to automated financial advice, along with an option to contact a financial planner by phone or email. Estate planning and other additional services offered by Personal Capital make this one of the best digital advisors/ online portfolios for wealthy investors.

Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest, Personal Capital’s online tools can help you keep track of your savings and investments for you. The Dashboard

does all the work for you, helping busy or number-phobic people stay on top of their investments.

Summary

Personal Capital provides an automated investment advisor and an online portfolio to track all your savings, spending and bank accounts. The company’s App covers every aspect of your financial life in one place, saving you the time and aggravation of checking separate websites or talking with different advisors.  Personal Capital provides the same all-in-one view of your financial accounts as Mint.com, but it also helps you make the most of your investments. You should read Personal Capital reviews on Forbes and MacWorld, then consider the app if you have $100,000 or more to track and invest.

About the Author HarryC

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