It used to be that one had to use the old checkbook and bank statement to reconcile their bank accounts, and track their spending. Now days, budgeting has gotten even easier with the ability to use technology to automate all the work for you.
Personal Capital does just that. You no longer have to spend hours of your time tracking your money, net worth, bills, payments and investment returns.
Personal Capital offers free financial resources that automate your budget, and offer expert investment and wealth management advice. Here's a detailed review of Personal Capital from firsthand experience.
Personal Capital Review
Product Description: A free budgeting software that automates your budget by linking to all your accounts, and putting it into one location with an easy to review budget. They also offer expert investment advice for those with a large net worth ($100,000+ of investable assets) at a fraction of the cost.
Features: Syncs with nearly every bank, investment account, credit product or financial product available. Personal Capital also puts together graphs of your investment returns, your spending amounts, income reports and more so you can visualize your spending and make changes as you see fit.
Benefits: Automates your budget, saving you time and money. Allows you to see your financial outlook both visually and by the numbers, giving you an overall clearer picture of your financial health.
What Is Personal Capital?
Personal Capital is an online financial software and wealth management service that offers free personal financial tools. They are one of the largest and most well trusted personal finance online software tools available today. They currently have nearly 2 million registered users, over $600 billion in tracked accounts, and $8 billion in assets under management (all as of this writing).
With Personal Capital, you can see all of your financial accounts in one location, making it easier for you to see your overall financial outlook. Their advanced technology allows you to gain insights to your financial behaviors, plan properly for upcoming life events, and save properly for retirement.
You can even set up “what if” scenarios to see how different ideas and goals will mathematically turn out.
Along with their free financial tools for everyone, Personal Capital gives you access to holistic wealth management advice from experienced and trusted financial advisors. They operate as fiduciary's, which means they are bound legally to only offer advice that is evident to be in the best interest of you, and not driven by their commissions made on a product.
Free Personal Finance Software Tools
The Personal Capital dashboard will link to all your financial accounts including checking, savings, investments, loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc. and allow you to see it all in one location.
Perhaps the most important metric overall when it comes to personal finance, is growing your net worth. The software calculates your overall net worth and shows you a graph that reports your net worth history.
By linking all your financial accounts to Personal Capital, you will get a detailed analysis of your account fees and account returns, allowing you to uncover many potential hidden fees that you were not aware of previously.
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When you link your investment accounts, you will be able to see how your overall investment picture looks, and Personal Capital will even find areas of opportunity to make improvements, resulting in an accelerated growth plan towards your goals.
You can see your current portfolio and mix of investments, and compare it to their recommended portfolios that maximize returns while minimizing your risk.
The “what if” calculator can show you hypothetical scenarios and compare to your current financial outlook, giving you a clear vision of how to achieve your goals.
Savings, Retirement & Investment PlanningPersonal Capital provides an “Investment Checkup” tool that will analyze your investments, and give you a second opinion on how you should be invested.
By comparing your current portfolio allocation to an ideal target allocation for someone with your risk tolerance and financial goals, you can see how your portfolio adds up to their advice, and make changes as you see fit.
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If you feel you need some help or adjustments on your target investment allocation, you can receive an investment allocation strategy that has the ideal mix of investments to reach your desired investment return.
You will get a detailed analysis on your past investment performance viewed in graph form, and compare it to the target allocation for your financial goals.
One of the most misunderstood and hidden facts are the hidden fees found within an investment product. It is not uncommon for a financial advisor to give you the advice that will pay him the most (not in all cases, mind you).
However, with Personal Capital, you can rest assured that your advice is given in your best interest. By acting as a “fiduciary”, Personal Capital is bound to only recommend you take actions that have your best interest at it's heart, not their commissions.
Their help with retirement and investment planning will help you avoid common tax traps, and apply what's called “tax loss harvesting”, or, reallocating your assets to tax-deferred accounts. This helps you pay less in taxes and results in an overall higher net rate of return.
Get Educated From The Financial Experts
Daily Capital is Personal Capital's resource center that provides you with expert knowledge on personal finance, savings, retirement and investments.
With their help and access to free resources, your knowledge base will surely grow and allow you to make even more informed and wise investment decisions.
Common articles and education offered on the Daily Capital resource center are things such as:
- College Planning
- Market Insights
- Investment Insights
- Retirement Planning
- Legacy Planning
- And Much More…
If you're not sure where to get sound investment education and updates, you now have a trusted place to get all you need to know to stay informed and educated on your investments.
Is Personal Capital Worth It?
My overall opinion of Personal Capital is simple: They are second to none! I use Personal Capital and have more peace of mind knowing where my money is, how my investments are doing, and whether i'm in the right investment vehicles for my financial goals.
If you're looking for a way to save time and money while also keeping track of your finances better, then Personal Capital is a great starting point.
What is your biggest priority in choosing a financial planning and investment budgeting tool? Post your answers, questions and comments below and I'll personally respond to you!