Personal Capital Review: Is It the Right Financial Management Platform for You?

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our take: All services except for wealth management are fee-free, and the fees that Personal Capital does charge are transparent. However, while the personal finance tool has great reviews, customer reviews indicate some level of dissatisfaction with the wealth management offerings.
  • Customer Service
    3.0
  • Price
    5.0
  • Security
    5.0
  • Service Offerings
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Here’s a brief look at the pros and cons of using Personal Capital to manage your finances.

Pros

  • Great reviews for the personal finance account aggregator
  • Impressive security offerings
  • Strong retirement planning tool

Cons

  • Customer dissatisfaction with wealth management
  • Investing isn't hands-on for consumers

What Is Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is a financial management platform that provides you with the opportunity to see your complete financial picture. Connect bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts, or choose the individual services you want to use. The platform has:

  • $20 billion in managed assets for clients who use the wealth management offerings
  • More than 28,600 investment clients across all 50 states
  • More than 3 million people using the planning tools in some capacity

Who Is Personal Capital Best For?

Personal Capital has four main categories of offerings, with each one appealing to a different demographic:

  • Wealth management is best if you’re looking to invest over $200,000 because you get two dedicated financial advisors to work with your account.
  • The retirement planning tool is great if you want to uncover hidden fees in your current 401(k) offerings.
  • Personal Capital cash management is helpful if you want to manage all your cash accounts in one place while taking advantage of a higher aggregate FDIC insurance limit of $1.5 million.
  • The personal finance aggregator is great if you want to see your entire financial picture to compare your spending to saving and improve your budget.

Personal Capital Features

Each of Personal Capital’s tools offers features that make it stand out from the competition.

Wealth Management

Whether you invest less and work with a team of advisors or invest more to enjoy the attention of dedicated advisors, you benefit from:

  • Smart Weighting to diversify your balances
  • Optimizing your accounts so you pay less in taxes
  • Account rebalancing to take advantage of current stock market trends
  • Dynamic allocation so your investments adapt to your changing financial life

Retirement Planning

Review your current retirement accounts for efficiency and plan for the future by:

  • Reviewing different retirement scenarios to see how you can improve your savings to meet future needs
  • Customizing your retirement plan to take big expenses like paying for your kids’ education into account
  • Planning for other retirement income like Social Security benefits or a pension
  • Creating a spending plan for retirement so you’ll have an idea of what you can afford

Cash Management

With Personal Capital Cash, you can manage your income in a single place with no minimum balance requirements:

  • Wire up to $1 million without any fees.
  • Set up direct deposit.
  • Manage bill payments by linking a checking account.
  • Make unlimited transfers each month.

Account Aggregator

Take a look at your finances in a single place and:

  • See your net worth.
  • Create a yearly savings plan based on your income and spending.
  • Create a stronger budget by reviewing your spending categories.
  • Monitor your cash flow and stick to your goals.

How It Compares to Competitors

Personal Capital stands out from competitors in both price and array of offerings.

Personal Capital Mint  You Need A Budget
Budgeting Yes Yes Yes
Retirement Planning Yes No No
Savings Planning Yes No Yes
Cost Free Free $11.99 monthly; $84 annually

Personal Capital Fees

If you use Personal Capital advisors to help with wealth management, you pay a flat fee based on the amount you invest. Investing up to $1 million incurs a fee of 0.89% that’s billed monthly. If you invest over $1 million, tiered rates are available to reward higher investments:

Amount Invested Fee Incurred
First $3 million 0.79%
Next $2 million 0.69%
Next $5 million 0.59%
Over $10 million 0.49%

Advice

Compare Personal Capital fees to your current investment program. Because you’re not charged a fee for every trade you make, Personal Capital may save you money over time.

Security of Your Personal Data

The team at Personal Capital knows that you’re trusting it with your private financial information and personal identifiers. There are multiple layers of security so you can feel confident in using the platform:

  • The company doesn’t sell your information to anyone else.
  • Users must have multifactor authentication set up to log in.
  • After you link your accounts to Personal Capital, your login information (including passwords) is deleted from the system.
  • Qualys SSL Labs, an internet security authority, rates Personal Capital an A for encryption.

Customer Service

If you need to get in touch for assistance, Personal Capital offers service at five locations across the country, plus a number you can call to learn about advisory services.

There’s also a dedicated support portal for platform users. You can use the chat feature, although it’s an automated system and not a real person. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, you can submit a help request through the portal.

Keep in mind that customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs and Trustpilot indicate some dissatisfaction with financial advisors in the wealth division.

Is Personal Capital Right for You?

Personal Capital may be right for you if you’re looking for a way to manage your budget across multiple financial accounts for free. While there are other similar solutions available, the free platforms don’t offer as many tools. Platforms that do have comparable features charge a monthly or annual fee.

Give Personal Capital a test drive with a single solution to see if the platform offers the features you need. Once you get an idea of how the platform works, you can connect more accounts and utilize more of the tools as you go.

If you plan on using it for wealth management, call to talk to an advisor about your personal investment strategy and ask questions before jumping into investing with Personal Capital. Define your expectations and get your plan outlined in writing so you can refer back to it as needed in the future.

Personal Capital FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Personal Capital.
  • Is Personal Capital Cash a bank account?
    • No. It's an account management tool that requires you to open accounts with UMB Bank, a program member.
  • Are investments managed by a single person?
    • No. Personal Capital has a research team that makes investment decisions, although you may have a dedicated advisor depending on the amount of money you invest.
  • Where can I see my investment accounts?
    • You can monitor your investment portfolio through the Personal Capital dashboard anytime.

About the Author

Katy Hebebrand is a freelance writer with eight years of experience in the financial industry. She earned her BA from the University of West Florida and her MA from Full Sail University. Since beginning to work full-time as a freelance writer three years ago, she has written on topics spanning many fields, including home building, families and parenting, legal and professional/corporate communications.

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