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Complete guide with pros and cons


Personal Capital is an interesting platform that could do a lot to simplify your financial life. Like many new software platforms, Personal Capital uses a freemium model that allows you to use parts of it for free, while others will require you to request the service and have a substantial amount of money available to invest.

If you are looking for a way to keep track of all your accounts, expenses and investments, Personal Capital is probably the best option you have. The platform is excellent and offers all the tools you need at zero cost.

For people who don't mind making their own investments, learning more about Personal Capital is probably a very good idea. Personal Capital takes the ideas that developed previous platforms like Quicken, and takes them to a completely different level.

If it's pretty good, Personal Capital has other services that may be interesting. While the vast majority of Personal Capital tools are free to use, your estate management service will require a minimum deposit of $ 100,000 USD.

Don't let that large number scare you, because anyone who saves and invests can take advantage of a very deep set of features that Personal Capital offers people for free. You will have to connect your accounts to your platform to use it, but once everything is connected, Personal Capital simplifies the administration of your money.

Visit Personal Capital

Personal capital offers people a lot for free

Personal capital has grown rapidly to manage more than $ 8 billion. That does not include all people who use their platform for free and manage their money with a super easy to use platform.

Personal Capital website

Before moving on to how to set up an account, or what the company's Wealth Management service is about, let's look at all the features that Personal Capital will allow anyone to access without absolutely no money.

  • Budget Personal Capital offers some amazing budget tools that will help you keep track of where your money is going almost in real time. The Cash Flow Analyzer spending tool is only available in the free application, but it will give you a complete overview of how you spend money every day.
  • Education planner If you plan to pursue a higher education, Personal Capital can help you compare the cost of education at numerous universities in the United States. It will help you save enough money to reach your educational goals so that you have sufficient funds while attending a university that can pay.
  • Retirement planner If you're wondering if you're on track to reach your retirement goals, the Personal Capital retirement planner can help you a lot. The retirement planner is available in the website interface, as well as in the iPad application. The planner takes into account numerous factors, so he has a good idea if he is doing the right thing to retire on time.
  • Withdrawal Check Once you have your retirement accounts together, you should withdraw the money in the most efficient way in terms of taxes possible. Personal Capital created the Retirement Paycheck tool so you can find the best way to withdraw money from your retirement accounts and meet your financial needs.
  • Rate analyzer 401 (k) While most of the features that Personal Capital provides are free, your 401 (k) plan will surely have associated fees. If you want to know how much the fees charged by your 401 (k) provider are costing you, the 401 (k) rate analyzer will be of great help. For people who have complex 401 (k) plans, this tool is a great way to make sure that their retirement savings grow as efficiently as possible.
  • Investment Check If you want to ensure that your investments match your risk preferences, Personal Capital's investment verification tool will help you find the right combination of risks for your portfolio. The investment verification tool will learn about your investment objectives and then review your portfolio. If you discover that your investments do not fit your risk profile, you will be informed!
  • Asset Allocation Objective The Personal Capital Asset Allocation Objective tool will analyze all your capital holdings and ensure that you are not overweight or underweight in a category that may compromise your risk profile. This tool is really useful for people who have a wide range of capital holdings and cannot keep track of all of them at once.
  • Upcoming invoices Personal Capital will inform you about any invoice that must be paid so you can reserve some money for them. It can be difficult to be aware of all the expenses you make monthly, and this tool will give you time to prepare for regular expenses.
  • Email Notifications You can choose to have Personal Capital send you email updates about your portfolio on a daily or weekly basis. Super practical if you want to monitor the performance of your portfolio.
  • Exclude from the council As we will explain below, Personal Capital must be synchronized with any account that is pending. After adding accounts, they will be used in all the functions listed here. If you do not want the platform to use an account in your analysis, you can close it with Exclude advice, which is a good option.
  • Personal cash capital Personal Capital offers its users a savings account secured by the FDIC that will yield 2.25% per year. There are no fees, limits or minimum deposits. The FDIC insures this account at $ 1.25 million, which is more than most bank accounts. If you are looking to park cash in a safe place, it is worth considering this account.

Ok, so how do I use Personal Capital?

The great part of using Personal Capital is that it is very easy to download and configure. All you have to do is choose a device, download the platform and start linking accounts.

You can link all your retirement cards, investment accounts, checking, savings, mortgage and credit accounts so that the platform can create a detailed view of your financial life.

The free version is 100% free and provides a range of tools that can help you become your own financial planner. These tools are geared towards people who have been saving for a while, but they can be useful for younger people who also want to start saving for their future.

Personal Capital Registry
Sign up for a free account

Synchronizing accounts with the platform is very easy, and most accounts will be automatically completed within the platform. If you have any questions about how to do it, Personal Capital has created extensive support information, but you are unlikely to encounter any problems.

Excellent tools for life-long financial planning

No matter where you are in your financial life, Personal Capital has tools that can help you. The platform is especially good for people who have a more developed portfolio and need to think about how to optimize it in the long term.

The rates that investment companies charge for retirement can consume much of their potential to earn over time, and it is important to pay attention to how much you spend on investment management. Most people are too busy earning the money they need for retirement, which is one of the reasons why many people pay too much for their tax-efficient investments.

The 401 (k) plan replaced the pension for most people, but the way a 401 (k) is administered varies from company to company. Unlike a pension, the amount you will receive from a 401 (k) plan when you retire will vary based not only on the performance of your assets, but also on how much you pay for the administration of the plan.

Link your accounts

My costs 401 (k) How much …?

Recent research has shown that, in many cases, a 401 (k) plan can actually lag behind regular brokerage accounts, although they can grow without taxes. The reason for this is simple, the fees charged by managers 401 (k) seriously erode returns over time.

The amount of money that US investors have in the 401 (k) and 403 (b) plans has increased by about 75% in the last 11 years. There are more than USD 5 billion in these plans, but one third of plan holders do not believe they are paying any fees for their investments.

I am sorry to say it, but fees are certainly charged on any 401 (k) and 403 (b) plan. These rates can cost you up to a third (or maybe more) of the money that your retirement plan could have earned, and you will not understand how this works unless you deepen how the fees are charged in the retirement accounts.

Taking your money off the table

Personal Capital can help you understand how much you are paying for your retirement accounts and the possible losses that these rates generate over time. The fees charged by plan managers can be divided into three categories, but you should check your individual plan to make sure there are no additional fees.

Investment rates

It may seem strange, but all 401 (k) and 403 (b) plans will charge you an investment fee. Rates will generally be broken down into sales charges, expense rates and additional costs, but your plan manager can charge almost anything you want, so be sure to keep an eye on the results.

Passive funds tend to be cheaper than active management, although both are generally more expensive than low-cost ETFs. In most cases, these fees will be charged as a percentage, so if you have a lot of money in your retirement plan, the overall cost of these rates can be considerable.

Retirement planning

Plan administration fees

In addition to the investment fees you pay to any financial institution that manages your retirement account, you will be charged for accounting, record keeping, fiduciary and legal services in the form of plan administration fees.

Plan administration fees are often charged as a percentage of your total holdings, so the more you have, the more you will pay.

Investment management institutions say that these fees help provide clients with educational seminars, customer service representatives and electronic access to plan information, the reality that the plan's administration fees are a goldmine for Business.

Individual service rates

If you decide to take advantage of the additional services of your 401 (k) or 403 (b) provider, such as a loan from your account, financial advisory services or transferring 401 (k) investments to an IRA, you will be affected with individual service fees .

Individual service rates depend on what you want from your investment manager, but rest assured that they will add a fee for everything they can.

Personal capital charges

So … How much does this cost me?

Most of the fees charged by your 401 (k) or 403 (b) provider are based on the amount you have in the account, so it is impossible to enter a specific figure.

Research suggests that an American with an average income will pay about $ 135,000 USD in fees to their 401 (k) or 403 (b) provider, which represents about a third of the overall returns (assuming there are no fees).

During a life of savings of 401 (k) or 403 (b), a person can expect to earn about 7% of their investments, with compound earnings as they grow. The problem is that rates absorb an average of 2.2% of these earnings, with some plans consuming up to 5%.

If you want to eliminate some or all of the fees that you are currently paying to an investment manager, using a platform like Personal Capital can help you save a substantial amount of money. Instead of giving more than $ 100,000 to a 401 (k) or 403 (b) management company, you can use that money to fund your retirement.

Using a platform like Personal Capital can help

How much difference can 1% make in the rates in a retirement account?

How important is a decade of retirement?

A recent investigation by Tom Zgainer shows that a 1% difference in rates equals approximately a decade of retirement. For someone who invests $ 100,000 when he is 25, that same 1% is worth around $ 140,000 when he retires.

In other words, if you are paying 1% in fees, you will have about $ 280,000 more than you are retiring than someone who pays 3% during the period of their working life, and even more, if they can start with an amount more money

Modern retirement planning is based on two assumptions: first, tax-efficient accounts will lead to greater amounts of money when you retire, and secondly, modern portfolio theory (MPT) is the way to save long term.

MPT has been fine for savers in recent decades, but the assumption that accounts managed with fiscal efficiency may be wrong. The problem is that once your money is locked in a managed account, the fees could be causing more damage to your financial health than the taxes you would pay.

In addition, a 401 (k) or 403 (b) may not be the ideal structure for retirement planning, since normal IRA or brokerage accounts have some advantages, especially when it comes to fees. If you work for a company that will spend a large amount to match your 401 (k) contributions, that's excellent, but those offers are increasingly rare.

A platform like Personal Capital can help you see where your money really goes and take advantage of the low-cost ETFs that exist today. Many of these ETFs can track the performance of the main equity indexes, and at a cost much less than 0.5% per year.

You will have to do a little more work to keep track of your wallet and change the funds as needed, but the difference in the value of your wallet when you retire is well worth it.

For people who are about to retire, the free Personal Capital platform is also worthwhile, as it will help them withdraw money from their retirement accounts in the best possible way. Your 401 (k) management company is likely to do the same, for a small fee, of course.

Plans offered

Personal capital assets management

If you have $ 100,000 USD or more, you can choose to request the Capital Capital Asset Management service. The service is between a robbery advisor and a financial planner, and it is worth learning more about whether you have some savings that you do not want to manage yourself.

Like many of the automated investment platforms that have reached the market, Personal Capital Wealth Management will begin by assessing your risk tolerance. Once the service understands your financial goals, you will receive a series of investment recommendations.

Personal Capital uses the following asset classes for its wealth management clients:

  • Cash
  • US government debt UU.
  • International Bonds
  • Shares in the international and US market
  • Alternative investments, such as real estate investment trusts (REIT) and commodities

Capital investments made by Personal Capital will be distributed among numerous individual companies or made through low-cost ETFs. It also presents "Tactical Weighting", which has been shown to exceed the S & P500 by 1.5% per year through supporting tests.

Although Personal Capital does not overlap a single company in its capital holdings, it does buy shares, so it is possible to sell with a loss of taxes.

The purchase of shares individually is part of its capital strategy optimized for taxes, which also includes maintaining ETFs that will not generate large capital gains, as well as dividing asset classes between tax-efficient accounts and regular accounts to limit taxes. to the greatest extent possible.

Personal capital wealth management: the summary

If you have a minimum investment of $ 100,000, you can choose to invest with Personal Capital Wealth Management. It offers its clients low rates, especially in large amounts of capital invested, as well as a high degree of human management.

All funds will be retained by the custodian Pershing Advisor Solutions, who acts as custodian of more than $ 1 billion in wealth. The accounts are covered by deposit guarantees of up to $ 500,000 USD for shares and cash, with an FDIC guarantee covering $ 250,000 USD in cash.

Personal Capital also breaks down the range of $ 100,000 USD to $ 1 million USD into 4 groups, all of which offer greater access to human wealth managers, as well as some other benefits. The large profits in the service start at $ 1 million in assets in deposit, with the level of "Private Client".

Rate structure

  • Up to $ 1 million dollars – 0.89% per year
  • First $ 3 million dollars – 0.79% per year
  • Next $ 2 million dollars – 0.69% per year
  • Next $ 5 million dollars – 0.59% per year
  • More than $ 10 million dollars – 0.49% per year

Personal Capital Wealth Management has a wide range of investment options, and the human advisors that are available to any client with more than $ 200,000 USD invested in the company are a great asset.

One of the most important things to consider is the importance of access to human advisors, since there are many other services that are essentially free for investors who deposit millions of dollars.

Other options to consider

Personal Capital is a great platform, but it has some limitations. Part of what makes it difficult to analyze is its two-level platform, since the free program fills a very different niche of its heritage management service.

Depending on what you are looking for, one of the other platforms listed below could be better. Especially for people who want to use an automated investment platform and do not have $ 100,000 USD allocated to an account.

Best Theft Advisors

Read: What are Robo Advisors and which ones are the best?

Speed ​​up

If you are looking for a budget planning platform that offers many useful extras, Quicken remains one of the best. Quicken is not an investment management solution, but it can be easily compared to the free Personal Capital platform.

Unlike the free Personal Capital platform, Quicken is designed to create budgets and offers customers a wide range of financial planning tools. It has some characteristics that Personal Capital lacks, such as a bill payment service and access to a credit score similar to the FICO score.

The only real drawback for Quicken is that it is not free.

The Quicken starter package will cost you $ 34.99 per year, and more advanced plans can cost up to $ 89.99 per year. You can shuffle a large amount of financial data with Quicken, and it can be a better platform than Personal Capital if you are looking for budgets and financial planning.

Wealth front

Wealthfront is one of the most popular automated investment platforms (theft advisor) for good reason. Although the platform does not offer any type of budgeting or analysis tools, it has a low minimum investment, as well as super low administration fees.

Like most thefts, Wealthfront will evaluate your investment objectives and risk tolerance, and then help you invest your capital in a variety of asset classes. You can open an account with the company with a minimum investment of $ 500 and receive access to its automated investment service.

In addition to creating solid returns for its customers, Wealthfront offers its services for only 0.25% per year. ETF rates add up to an additional 0.09% per year, which leaves it with a general rate structure of less than 0.40% of the assets invested per year.

Clearly, Wealthfront is a good company to learn more about people who don't have a lot of money saved and want to start investing with the help of professional investment planners. Wealthfront also offers planning assistance for significant living expenses, such as homes, higher education and retirement.


If you have not heard of Betterment, it is one of the most popular ad theft platforms. With no minimum deposit and low management fees, it has quickly established itself as a leader in the automated investment sector.

Like most robberies, Betterment uses a combination of low-cost assets to create a diversified portfolio that is based on its risk tolerances. There is not much human support with the company's basic plans, but it offers consultation packages for an additional fee.

Betterment management fees start at 0.25% per year, and increase to 0.40% if you want premium services, and you have large amounts of money to invest (the minimum is $ 100,000 USD). It is an excellent platform for younger people who do not want to actively manage their portfolio or for anyone who wants access to managed investments at very low rates.

Is personal capital right for you?

The free Personal Capital platform has no parallel in the world of personal finance. Its Wealth Management service is attractive, but there are many other platforms that are cheaper and require a much smaller minimum investment.

If you want to start managing your money with the help of a first level digital assistant, the free Personal Capital platform is probably your best free option. The Wealth Management platform should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, since high-equity investors should be aware that there are more profitable options in the market.

In general, Personal Capital brings a lot to the market and can really help you control your finances. It is probably worth taking the time to learn more about how it can help you save money and keep track of the fees charged by your current investment management companies.

Visit Personal Capital

Personal capital

Personal Capital Review


  • Advanced retirement planning
  • Free to use
  • Good money management tools.
  • Full view of your finances
  • Cheaper than traditional consultants.


  • $ 100,000 minimum investment
  • Higher rates than other Roboadvisors


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