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Personal Capital Review | The Best Financial App Out There

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Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”) compensates Money Bliss  (“Company”) for new leads. (“Company”) is not an investment client of PCAC.


You are looking for the best investment app to help you save money, but all of them seem too complicated. You want something that is simple, easy to use, helpful, and even better if the app is free.

Personal Capital is an online service for tracking your finances. The company began in 2009, and to this day it has been growing exponentially with a user base of over two million people.

The app works on desktop as well as mobile devices, giving users the ability to track their spending easily wherever they go.

Personal Capital also offers a suite of tools that help you get out more information about how you are using your money so that you can make better financial decisions.

On this Personal Captial review, we will focus on what they do well, how it works for those who use it, and where Personal Capital could improve.

Don’t forget… here is a list of all of the budgeting apps on the market.

If you are looking for an easier way to monitor your financials and see how healthy your finances really are, then you may want to check out what Personal Capital has to offer.

Personal Capital Review is a free financial app that allows users to monitor their net worth, investments, and expenses.

What is Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is an online tool for tracking your finances.

It has been called the best financial app out there, and I agree with that statement. But, I personally use it as one of the money management tools to help guide our financial decisions.

I have used Personal Capital to track my investments for over four years now, which probably makes me a bit of an expert on this topic because I use it on a regular basis.

Overall, Personal Capital is a financial planning and wealth management tool that users can use to manage their net worth. The product offers tools for managing investments, retirement, debt payoff, and other personal finance goals.

How does it work?

First of all, Personal Capital is a FREE app that helps you keep track of all your accounts. It can help you to invest better and did we mention… it is free to use!

To get the most out of this app, you’ll have to link each of your financial accounts one by one so that Personal Capital can learn how you spend money.

It takes a couple of minutes to create an account and verify your identity.

The longest step is linking accounts to the Personal Capital app. Just make sure you do this step within 7 days to get the most out of the app.

Features of Personal Capital

The features of Personal Capital include the ability to visualize your overall financial picture, keep track of your investments in a dashboard, and see which companies you are invested in.

Most people associate Personal Capital as one of the best tools to help with investing, like a stock screener and an investment calculator.

But, there are many great features available for free including:

  • Net Worth Planner
  • Retirement Planner
  • Fee Analyzer
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Savings Planner
  • Budgeting
  • College Savings Planner
  • Investment Checkup

Pros and Cons of Personal Capital

First of all, Personal Capital is free to use. So, you might as well test drive the system and check out if the Personal Capital app fits what you are looking for.

Just like any of the personal capital reviews will tell you, there are positives and negatives with every type of money management app available.

You just have to decide the most important features for you. As well as what you are willing to pay.

Pros of Personal Capital:

  • Free portfolio management tool.
  • Good for new investors who want a free-to-use tool with minimal features.
  • Easy to use and can be accessed on multiple platforms.
  • Can track investments across multiple accounts.
  • Tracks over 23,000 securities and over 1,000 mutual funds. – check
  • Offers a free app for on-the-go access.
  • Offers in-depth analysis and investment research on stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
  • Cloud-based platform
  • Free to use!

Cons of Personal Capital:

  • Sales call from Personal Capital staff
  • Wealth management service is more expensive than a traditional advisor or simply investing in index funds.
  • High wealth management fee
  • Unable to reconcile your bank statements with Personal Capital, but since they are coming from your bank directly, they should already be in sync.
  • No credit health information
  • Budgeting Tool needs improvement
  • Limited transaction management and budgeting
  • No import option for transactions from any platform including YNAB, Quicken or Mint
  • Cloud-based platform

Many people report that the personal capital app requires $100,000 in investment assets to be eligible. That is untrue. In fact, it works best for those who have at least $100k in some form of investments – 401k, IRA, brokerage accounts, or even cash!

Personal Captial is incredibly easy to use and has helpful financial planning tools.

Overall, it is one of the many great tools to help further push you to financial freedom.

Personal Capital Pricing

While Personal Captial is free to access personal finance tools, it does come at a small price of annoyance.

Personal Capital is free

Personal Capital is a free online portfolio platform that helps people save and invest their money. It offers tools to track net worth, create investment plans, compare retirement accounts, view savings goals and cash flow, and more.

This is the great part of using this app!

The downside is to make these dashboards free is they are trying to entice you to move to their wealth management services.

You do not need to invest your money with Personal Capital to use this platform.

It is best to keep everything invested where it currently is and use their free tools to analyze and make the necessary changes.

As such, once you sign up, you will receive calls on a reoccurring basis offering you a free analysis. There is no pressure to do this. Once you have said no enough times, they will stop calling you.

Wealth management services come with fees

Personal Capital offers fee-only financial advisory services.

For those under $1 million in investable assets, their fee is 0.89%.

As you can read in this book, there are many ways to invest yourself without paying that fee.

In fact, this is my favorite book explaining how much harder and longer you have to work by paying someone a 1% wealth management fee.

However, for a small percentage of people, this may be a more cost-effective way of receiving professional advice, as it eliminates hidden costs from this type of service.

Personal Capital Tools

Personal Capital is a financial management platform that provides tools to help individuals manage their personal finances. The platform offers tools for portfolio tracking, performance analysis, and retirement planning. The company also provides its users with educational resources on financial topics.

Under their free dashboard, these are the tools you can use for free.

Net Worth Calculator

This simple tool will keep track of your net worth. Very simple and always available.

Know where you stand, by downloading the free app to see your true net worth in real-time.

Picture of using personal capital net worth feature.

Savings Planner

One of the most asked questions is how much do I need to save for:

  • Retirement
  • Emergency Fund
  • To Pay Down Debt

Calculate how much to save each year with a 70% chance of reaching your retirement goals. Learn how much you are currently savings and how much you need to start saving.

Picture of using personal capital saving planner feature.

Cash Flow

Cash flow is the amount of cash available for expenses at a certain time. This term used in personal finance describes the rate at which one’s income and expenses change over time.

The Cash Flow tool is easy to use because Personal Capital automatically tracks deposits and spending. The time saver feature allows users to see their cash flow, balance sheet, net worth, asset allocation over a period of time.

Cash flow is a budgeting tool that offers limited information on spending. It provides a second check when using another program that gives you more details like Quicken or Simplfi.

Retirement Planner

This is the #1 reason I recommend Personal Capital especially if you are looking to stay away from a financial planner.

Trying to figure out how much you need for retirement by yourself seems like picking a random number from the sky.

The retirement planner is used by millions of people to figure out how on track they are for retirement. Plus get tips on what they can do to improve their chances of success.

Picture of using personal capital retirement planner feature.

Budgeting

Budgeting is a method of allocating financial resources by identifying and evaluating needs, prioritizing them in order to meet goals, and monitoring the achievement of those goals.

Personal Capital includes a budgeting section to help you set monthly spending targets and track your spending. They automatically import the information from linked accounts such as checking, savings, credit card statements.

Using their free online financial dashboard, allows you to track your spending and investments. There are interactive charts, graphs, pie-charts, and even widgets. All to make sure your budgeting is on track.

Investment Checkup

This portfolio analysis is the process of measuring performance and risk in order to develop a strategy for capital allocation. The goal of portfolio analysis is to improve return on investment, which can be achieved by increasing return on assets, decreasing the risk of losses, or reducing the variance.

The Personal Capital app lets you explore your entire portfolio visually. It also provides asset allocation tools and tax optimization tools to help manage a person’s financial life.

Picture of using personal capital investment checkup feature.

Fee Analyzer

A fee analyzer helps people to determine the annual fees they are paying in their retirement plan.

401K Analyzer also calculates how much your retirement is costing you and provides a breakdown of any hidden fees that may be present within mutual funds with which it has been linked. This Retirement Planner tool uses assumptions about account holdings and investment behavior for calculating expenses against an estimated portfolio value.

Consequently, these fees add up over time and will drastically put a drag on your portfolio and reduce your retirement savings.

Picture of using personal capital fee analyzer feature.

Personal Capital Dashboard is Free

Just remember, you do not need to hire a Personal Captial advisor to use the platform.

Personal Capital is a free tool for individual investors.

Personal Capital provides users with access to all of the above-mentioned advanced tools for free. In addition, they offer free financial advice through their blog and social media pages.

It allows users to track their investments and get a personalized financial plan. The service also offers apps for iOS and Android devices, which makes it easy to manage finances on the go.

Personal Capital Wealth Management Review of Services

In addition to offering free financial tools, Personal Capital provides wealth management services.

You get to work one-on-one with an advisor who will give you personalized advice based on your situation.

They help you to invest, save money and track your financial goals.

Their advisors start by determining your risk tolerance and goals in order to construct the best personal financial plan for you.

If you are interested in getting a better understanding of your financial situation, Personal Capital is an excellent option. It gives users the tools to understand their investments, budgets, and cash flow all with one app.

All it requires is that you sign up for free without any obligations or commitments from them whatsoever. You do not have to agree to use their wealth management program.

Personally, I cannot comment on a Personal Capital advisor review as I have not used this service personally.

Personal Capital Investment Strategy

The Personal Capital investment strategy is a simple way to invest your money for the long-term.

This means that you will be able to retire and live a comfortable life without any concern about how you will be able to live.

They employ the tactic called Smart Weighting because they invest equally across all sectors and industries, which can provide diverse returns with minimal risk. The best part of this strategy is it’s easy to use as Personal Capital has created an interface that makes portfolio management simple for users on any device or platform.

Personal Captial’s software is able to identify tax-loss harvesting opportunities (opportunities where the investor sells an investment after it has fallen in value and pays fewer taxes than if the sale had occurred earlier) than investing on their own.

In addition, Personal Capital invests passively for cost efficiency which means that they don’t take any active management into account.

The best part about Personal Capital and one of the key areas I prefer, is they include socially responsible investments as well as an investment strategy to fit any budget.

They identify which companies are doing good work for society and invest in them accordingly. This feature makes personal finance much more interesting and easier than ever before!

Wealth Management Tiers

Many people invest in various financial services and products, such as mutual funds or stocks. They are promised that these investments will generate a good return, but they do not always make the best choice. Wealth management services are a way to help people manage their personal investments. They may charge fees for their service, but that is not always the case.

Depending on your level of assets, it will determine the amount of services you will receive.

Investment Services:

This is the most basic level to receive financial and retirement planning guidance from their team of experts.

  • $100K in investment assets
  • Unlimited advice from any of the available financial advisors
  • Managed ETF portfolio

Wealth Management:

This is where you can receive more personalized services and dedicated support to manage your money as you move through new financial challenges.

  • $200K minimum in investment assets
  • Two dedicated financial advisors
  • Access to specialists in real estate, stock options, and more
  • Regular reviews on your customized portfolio
  • Tax optimization

Private Client :

This is the most exclusive level at Personal capital to help you receive comprehensive financial planning. They will help build a customized investment plan to reach your lifestyle goals.

  • over $1 million in investment assets
  • Two dedicated financial advisors
  • Priority access to specialists
  • In-depth retirement and wealth planning

Wealth Management Fee Structure

Personal Capital charges only an all-inclusive annual management fee at a fraction of the cost of traditional financial institutions. In addition, they do not charge hidden fees, trailing fees, or trade commissions.

  • First $1 million = .89%
  • First $3 million = .79%
  • Next $2 million = .69%
  • Next $5 million = .59%
  • Over $10 million = .49%

Overall, if you want a financial advisor or a second opinion, using Personal Captial wealth management services may be for you.

Even if you don’t join, you can still use the tools for free, no questions asked.

My Personal Capital Review from Experience

I have had a lot of experience using Personal Capital in the past. They provide snapshot financial pictures of your personal situation that are very informative.

Plus it is a free tool to use, which is always a bonus.

Personal Capital is one of my favorite online tools to see all your finances in one place.

It is eye-opening to see the overall picture. Also, tracking investments across multiple accounts can be overwhelming, but they make the process seamless and help you stay on top of things.

Personally, my favorite tools are the net worth, fee analyzer, and retirement planner.

I use Personal Capital in conjunction with Quicken. Read my Quicken review.

My Personal Capital dashboard is my overall financial picture whereas Quicken tracks all of my day-to-day spendings and helps me remember when we purchased something for a return.

The app has a convenient interface that makes managing your personal financial situation easy, even if you’re not familiar with finance jargon or investing terminology. With this tool at hand, keeping track of where everything stands financially becomes easier than ever before!

Just to note… to get the best financial picture, you must include all of your accounts. The more time you spend in the Personal Capital dashboard, the more helpful analysis you will get from the tool.

Personal Capital Alternatives

In addition to Personal Capital, there are other financial apps that can help you allocate your portfolio.

These include Betterment with Wealthfront also being a viable option for those who want the best of both worlds by tracking their investments in stocks and bonds. However, these alternatives have much higher fees than what is charged by Personal Capital which makes it an appealing alternative if the fee does not bother you.

Also, if you are looking for budgeting capabilities you may want to look at Quicken, Mint, Qube Money, YNAB, or Simplifi.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what your goals are and what you are looking for.

Best Budgeting Apps

From all of the free and paid budgeting apps, here are our top budgeting apps to check out!

Is Personal Capital right for you?

Picture of trees growing from money for this personal capital review.

Personal Capital is a company that offers tools for personal finance management. This app has more than one hundred different tools to help you with your finances, including monthly budgeting and investing tracking.

Personal Capital also helps people manage their credit card debt, establish emergency funds, track retirement savings progressions, calculate their net worth, and much more!

The smartphone app integrates locations, bank accounts, and credit scores which allows users to access current information on their financial situation.

The online portal allows comparing available investment options.

This tool allows people to plan out the future of their money as well as provides them with valuable financial information in an easy-to-read format so they can make informed decisions.

As stated before, Personal Capital is a financial app that can help you manage your investment assets. It has many features and it’s not perfect, but it’s the best out there in terms of value for money.

You can always test drive it and see what you learn about your personal finance situation.

Now you can try it free (no credit card required!) at www.personalcapital.com/reviews.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

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