Several months ago, I signed up for a Personal Capital account so that I could try it out and let you know what I think.
In my best personal finances software post, I explain that your needs are the biggest factor in determining the best tool for you. Personally, I like to track my finances, but I do think there is such a thing as spending too much time and energy tracking your investments.
From the very start, there were a few things that attracted me to and impressed me about Personal Capital.
- It’s free.
- They track everything from bank accounts, to cash, to investments. It’s nice signing into one account and having a complete look at your overall financial situation.
- Convenience of online integration. With the influx of mobile devices, it’s harder to stick to a software that is downloaded on a single computer. This is especially important to me because I travel quite a bit.
There are, however, a few things you need to be aware of when it comes to Personal Capital.
- You will be assigned an investment adviser, and that person will call you to see if there is any way they can help you. It’s not a high pressure sales call, but it is still a phone call.
- Not all banks and financial institutions are available. Of course, if your bank is not on the list you can contact them, but there is a certain hassle factor involved in that. In my case, my local credit union wasn’t available under their banking options.
Personal Capital Homepage Layout Review
When you sign into your account home page, on the sidebar you’ll have a summary of your ‘net worth’. There are also drop down menus where you can see how much cash you have in each of your bank accounts, the balance of your different investment accounts, and the total balance owed on your individual credit card accounts. It’s a good way to see all your balances together in one place.
You get a good idea of everything that shows up on the Personal Capital landing page.
- Your net worth over the last 30 days
- Your portfolio balance over the last 30 days
- Your cash flow relationship between income and spending
- Your portfolio allocation
- You’ll see what’s been happening in the market on the day you sign in. You’ll also see your biggest losers and biggest gainers for the day.
Along the top navigation menu, you’ll also see tabs for the following:
Home: This gives you the drop down options of Dashboard, The Company, Mobile Apps, Safety and Security.
Accounts: You’ll have the option to see all your transactions. You can see all your transactions or isolate it to only the following categories – bank, credit card, investment, loan, or mortgage.
Banking: Offers options for My Cash, My Bills, and Savings. My Cash is the budget feature of Personal Capital. You can see all your transactions and re-categorize them as you wish. There is also a pie chart that shows you how much you’ve spent in each category. My Bills shows you the due dates for your upcoming bills. Savings compares your current bank interest rates with a new bank suggestion.
Investing: You’ll have the option to select – My Investments, Investment Checkup, 401k Fee Analyzer, and How to Invest.
Under My Investments, you’ll see a chart that highlights the balance of each of your investment accounts. In addition, you’ll see the percentage of each account along with the 30 day and 1 day performance.
If you choose to view Investment Checkup, Personal Capital will evaluate your investment holds (analyzes your asset allocations) and make suggestions for areas under or above their target area. This can be very subjective depending on your retirement goals, but you might find this feature helpful.
For the Smart Phone User
There is a free Personal Capital app, so you’ll be able to track everything on your smart phone that you can track on your computer.
It’s a great way to be able to keep track of your finances while you’re on the road.
Personal Capital Verdict
It would be hard to find another online tool that offers this much ad free value for free. Remember, they offer this for free as a way to generate contacts (you will be contacted by a financial adviser), and they also make new banking suggestions (only if you specifically access that part of the site).
I’ve been impressed with the functionality of the site, and I’m glad I signed up. I only wish that my local credit union was listed with their bank offerings.
Overall, I think this is a great way to organize your finances, track your investments, and get a quick overall look at your finances. I’ve added Personal Capital to my list of helpful financial tools.
I do have a financial relationship with Personal Capital and will receive a commission if you use my link to sign up for the product.
Are any of you currently using Personal Capital? What are your thoughts?