Personal Capital Review – Taking Investing To The Next Level Comments16 Comments

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Hey everyone and welcome back for this week’s review. I’m on an investment hype for the past couple of weeks so, I figured I’d keep that going with this week’s review of Personal Capital.

Personal Capital is definitely a company to watch at the very least. Being backed by a well established, successful entrepreneur and investors with deep pockets, I don’t see this company going anywhere any time soon. Now, there is one bad thing about them and I’ll get to that later. For now, let’s jump right in…

Personal Capital Short Review

Personal Capital Pros: – Personal Capital has all kinds of great things that you can enjoy for free! That being said, I won’t have the space to get them all out in the short review. My favorite things about Personal Capital are…

  • Ease of Use
  • Tax Benefit Tools
  • Free Analyzers

Like I said, there is a lot more to their service than that so, if you’ve got the time, don’t waste it, just jump right to the long review! I’ll get into the juicy details there!

Personal Capital Cons: – There is honestly only one thing I don’t like about the services they provide and that’s the cost of investment management. Let’s face it, wherever we go to invest, we will find ourselves paying investment management fees. Truth be told, their investment management fees aren’t necessarily the highest in the world, but they’re also not something that I would personally want to pay. It all boils down to how bad you want their tools.

Personal Capital Overview – Overall, personal capital is a great company to work with. They’ve helped tons of people to achieve financial stability and I’m sure that they can help you. However, the perfect candidate for their programs would be a large investor. If you’re not a large investor, chances are you’re better off going with Betterment or even OptionsXpress.

Personal Capital Long Review

OK, since I usually talk about fees in the beginning of the long reviews, I figured that would be a perfect place to start for this review as well. Just like Betterment, Personal Capital charges an annual fee for investments based on your balance. Their five tier pricing structure is very simple to follow…

  • $0 – $249,999.99 invested = .95% Annual Fee
  • $250,000.00 – $499,999.99 = .90% Annual Fee
  • $500,000.00 – $999,999.99 = .85% Annual Fee
  • $1,000,000.00 – $4,999,999.99 = .80% Annual Fee
  • Greater Than $5,000,000.00 invested = 0.75% Annual Fee

At the very least, I admire the straight forward, easy to understand pricing structure.

Now, let’s talk about the tools and, yes, there is a lot to talk about here! So many in fact that to make it easy to read, I’m going to have to share them in bullets. Otherwise, this would turn out to be a pretty long paragraph. Anyway, here the tools Personal Capital has to offer…

  • Tax Benefit Tools – One of my favorite features that Personal Capital has to offer is their tax benefit tools. These are a series of tools designed to help gauge the tax benefit that your investments can provide to you. If you’re a big investor, chances are, you’re also a big earner that can really benefit from tools like this.
  • Universal Checkbook – Another mind blowing tool that Personal Capital offers is the Universal Checkbook. It’s an easy to use app that allows you to transfer any amount money to anyone, anywhere without paying a fee. That’s just really neat stuff if you ask me. There are a few more fun features too like the ability to deposit checks into your bank account with a picture taken on your smart phone, balance management and more.
  • Net Worth Updates – Every week, Personal Capital will email you with a short and sweet reminder of your net worth. So, if you don’t have the time to sit and watch your balance every day, making sure things are going smoothly is as easy as checking your inbox once a week!
  • Fee Analyzer – Let’s face it, when it comes to investing, it’s incredibly easy to overlook fees that you may be charged as a result of your investments. Personal Capital offers fee analyzers that dig deep to tell you how much money you’re paying to invest!
  • Asset Allocation Tools – This is a pretty nifty tool that explains how asset allocation works and why it’s important. With simple to understand tools, great asset allocation is only a few clicks away.
  • Performance Checker – Of course you want to know how you’re doing in comparison to the rest of the marketplace. The performance checker allows you to take a look at the performance of your investments in comparison to the closest related stock index.
  • Availability Tools – With all the available tools, it would be a surprise if they didn’t have these. What I refer to when it comes to availability tools are things like I-Pad, I-Phone and Android friendly mobile apps. Of course there are online apps that also make your investments management process a bit easier.

Personal Capital Overview

Personal Capital is a great company with incredible tools. However, their pricing structure does leave a bit to be desired. When it comes to pricing, the top notch investors pay the least which, is expected. But, with this model, I would say that Personal Capital is really designed for the big timers. If you’ve only got $5,000 or $10,000, you may want to start with a Betterment or OptionsXpress account. If you’ve got less than $5,000 to start, you’re probably best starting with Betterment. However, if you are a big investor, they have the tools and expertise to make your dollars work harder!

Personal Capital Review

Rating: 4.4 / 5
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Personal Capital Reviewed by Clarkgym on .

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By : Josh Rodriguez | 23 Aug 2013
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16 thoughts on “Personal Capital Review – Taking Investing To The Next Level

  1. SavvyJames

    I have briefly considered using sites such as Betterment or Personal Capital; however, the fees make me incredibly leery. Thanks for the review and something to chew on.

    Reply
        1. James Molet (SavvyJames)

          A always, it comes down to value. Any money that is not invested, or is paid out as fees from an investment, is not benefiting from compound interest. The question is, does the service or advice you are paying for exceed the value of what that money would have earned in an investment or x number of years? For anyone that hasn’t watched PBS’ The Money Gamble (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/retirement-gamble/) and is not familiar with John Bogle (founder and former CEO of Vanguard), I highly recommend. It is also available for streaming at Amazon.

          Reply
  2. No Waste

    If you’re heavy into scrutinizing your investments on a regular basis, I can see the desire to go with Personal Capital over Mint.

    I’ve become decidedly hands-off so I stick with Mint due to all the spending history I have there.

    If there’s a good migration tool, maybe I would think about a switch?

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I thought Mint was more for day to day budgeting and not for investing. Either I just don’t know all the features of Mint or maybe you’re mixed up. For budgeting software it does seem that you get committed to using one tool once it’s all setup and history builds up.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy

        I’m not sure if they are relatively new or just haven’t done much marketing. I hadn’t heard of them until recently, but they sound like a good option for someone who wants decent returns on a managed portfolio.

        Reply
  3. Sam Gill

    Definitely their price structure is for big investors and probably we need to find other alternatives which can work with our lower budget. A very good detailed review

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      It does make sense that they would specifically target bigger clients with more favorable rates for them. There’s a lot more potential gain with less hassles when dealing with that demographic.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yeah it’s not for everyone. Each investment service does seem geared toward specific people. I guess it’s tough to create an investing product that really satisfies everyone.

      Reply
  4. Joel Zaslofsky

    There are a few more things that I don’t care for with Personal Capital. For example, their 401(k) fee analyzer and investment checkup tools look pretty, but don’t offer up any actionable guidance. They also lack in daily money management functionality as much as they shine in the investing side of Personal Finance.

    With that said, I still really dig Personal Capital. Their interactive site and Apple/Android apps plus their dazzling visuals (with drill-downs, no less) are enough to make even a minimalist like me appreciate what a great graphic can do.

    Reply
  5. Steve Burgess

    Personal Capitals has all kinds of great things that you can enjoy for free like ease of use, tax benefit tools and free analyzers. But personal capitals do not manage the investment management fees. Overall, personal capital is a great company to work with. They charges five tier pricing structure to follow. There are various tools offered by Personal Capitals like Tax Benefit Tools, Universal check books, Net Worth updates, Fee Analyzer, Asset allocation tools, Performance Checker, Availability tools etc. It is a great company with incredible tools. For big investors they have the tools and expertise to make your dollars work harder.

    Reply

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