Personal Capital was founded by Bill Harris, the former CEO of PayPal and Intuit. They provide a managed service that is primarily targeted towards clients with large balances. They also offer a range of free financial management tools.
Looking for a financial planner? Take a look at SmartAsset, which is free to use.
Their managed approach is a blend of professionally certified human advisors combined with robo-advisors.
If your account has a balance of $200,000+, then you will have the pleasure of two dedicated Financial Advisors. If your balance is between $100k-$200k, then you still get access to this support. However, it is provided by a team of Financial Advisors, as opposed to dedicated and named individuals.
What Are Personal Capital’s Credentials?
With more than 1.6 million users and managed assets of more than $6.5 billion, they operate a successful business in this market.
Personal Capital delivers a host of free products, such as their investment management tools which can also be accessed via a handy app. Their free financial tracking tool is pretty good. You can link any existing accounts which will then allow you to keep track of your overall portfolio performance, net worth, overall retirement progress and fees. You can add bank accounts, IRA, 403(b), 401(k), taxable investments, mortgage, credit cards, and other investments such as the peer-to-peer lending services offered by LendingClub.
One of the first points to note about Personal Capital is the rather high account management fees that come with the service. They charge 0.89% annually, which is higher than robo-advisors like Wealthfront and Betterment. It’s only when your account balance is at least $1 million do you get discounted rates.
Who Is Personal Capital Suitable For?
Personal Capital lends itself to those who prefer a hands-off approach to the management of their Investments. And, for those who are looking for assistance with tax optimization strategies.
If you’re a DIY Investor who is looking for free tools to use to help you with your financial management strategy, the range of free services they offer is pretty impressive as well.
Personal Capital is suitable for high-net-worth individuals who through a large amount of invested capital, can access dedicated personal Financial Advisors. It also delivers a comprehensive range of tools to help DIY Investors analyze their own portfolios without needing to buy-in, or pay for portfolio management services.
Summary Of Personal Capital
First of all, the free services are actually quite good. For the comprehensive level of analysis you get, albeit, by a computer, it is fantastic value.
Comparatively speaking, when you compare their somewhat higher than average management costs to those of a qualified Financial Advisor, you are still getting a great deal. That said, there are other providers who can provide you with this same service at a fraction of the cost.
The tool they offer for retirement planning is great. It is easy to use, and you can play out a number of different scenarios with ease. If you are a DIY Investor, their investment checking tool is also very handy for getting high-level recommendations as well. The retirement planner is second to none; I found it very useful to perform a number of role-playing situations.
With regards to their somewhat expensive Wealth Management Services, it would probably suit those who need regular Financial Advisor Support, in order to make it worthwhile in terms of your return on investment where the fees are concerned. Looking at the robo-advisor scene alone, they are a little less competitive.
See the list of the current best Robo-Advisors here.
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