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If you're looking for a budgeting platform that provides investment products and services, Personal Capital is arguably the best out there. The company offers a variety of financial tools, including a budget, savings planner, retirement and education planner, an investment checkup and more.
For high-net-worth individuals, Personal Capital also offers investment advisory services, with a customized financial roadmap, employer retirement plan analysis and more.
If you're thinking about signing up for Personal Capital, here's what you need to know.
How Personal Capital Works
Personal Capital is essentially a robo-advisor with free financial tools, including a budgeting app. If you have a high enough net worth—the wealth management platform has a $100,000 minimum—you can get the full slate of features the platform provides.
Whether you're using Personal Capital for its free budgeting platform or its wealth advisory services, the list of features is impressive. Here are some of the major tools you'll get access to:
- Budgeting: Users can link all of their financial accounts, including investment accounts, and see up-to-date balances and transactions in one place. You can set spending goals, view reports on your income and expenses, track your cash flow, view your net worth in real-time and more.
- Retirement planning: Most budgeting apps stick to budgeting, but Personal Capital leans heavily into investing. The service offers a retirement calculator that can help you see whether you're currently on track to achieve your long-term savings goals, an education planner to do the same if you're saving to pay for college, an investment checkup tool to see how your portfolio is performing and whether it can do better, and a fee analyzer to help you determine if your investment accounts are losing money to hidden fees.
- Wealth management: For high-net-worth individuals, Personal Capital offers a customized financial roadmap to help you set, track and achieve your top financial goals. The company will also help you develop a personalized strategy for your investments, analyze your employer retirement plan to ensure it's the right allocation for you and help you figure out how to withdraw your money in retirement in the smartest way possible.
- Robo-advisor: For an annual fee, Personal Capital offers a professionally managed portfolio. You need at least $100,000 in investment assets to qualify, and the more money you invest with the service, the more benefits you'll get. Higher tiers include access to dedicated financial advisors, tax optimization, customized portfolios and more.
- Cash management: Personal Capital also offers a cash management account that functions similarly to a bank account.
Personal Capital's budgeting and other financial management tools are free for all users, so you don't need to worry about meeting the company's account minimum.
If you want full access to all of the services the platform offers, you'll pay a 0.89% annual fee on the first $1 million in assets. If you qualify to be a private client, which starts at a balance of $1 million, there's a tiered fee structure:
|Assets||Annual Fee (As a Percentage of Assets)|
|First $3 million||0.79%|
|Next $2 million||0.69%|
|Next $5 million||0.59%|
|Over $10 million||0.49%|
These fees are lower than what you'd pay a traditional investment advisor, but they're higher than what most robo-advisors charge.
Personal Capital uses multiple layers of security to keep your personal information safe, including multifactor authentication, AES-256 data encryption with multilayer key management, constant security testing and regular improvements to match the latest technology.
The company also operates a security bounty program, offering ethical hackers rewards for finding security vulnerabilities. Finally, Personal Capital doesn't sell your data to other companies.
Pros and Cons
As with any other budgeting software, Personal Capital has both advantages and disadvantages for users. Here's our assessment of the platform's pros and cons:
|Free budgeting tool with reports.||High minimum balance requirement for premium tools and services.|
|Free investment tools.||High management fees compared to other robo-advisors.|
|Investment management and customized roadmaps for eligible users.|
Accessibility and Ratings
The Personal Capital app is available on your web browser, as well as on iOS and Android mobile devices. The company's mobile app has 4.7 stars across more than 36,000 reviews in the Apple App Store and 4.3 stars over more than 16,000 reviews in the Google Play Store.
Is Personal Capital Right for You?
Personal Capital can be an excellent choice if you're investing-minded and want more than just a standard budgeting app. While the platform's budgeting tool may not have as many bells and whistles as some of the competition, it makes up for it by offering other services to give you a more comprehensive look at your personal finances.
It can be especially worth considering if you have enough assets to invest with Personal Capital. While the fees are high compared with other robo-advisors, Personal Capital's tools and dedicated advisor support may help make up for the additional cost.
Because Personal Capital's budgeting tools are free, you can open an account and give it a try without needing to make a commitment. Before you do so, though, review other top budgeting apps to determine if another one may provide a better fit for your needs.
The Bottom Line
Managing your money with budgeting and investing tools is crucial to developing a strong financial foundation. Another part of that foundation is building and establishing a good credit history.
With Experian's credit monitoring service, you'll get free access to your credit score and Experian credit report. With these resources, you'll have the information you need to build and maintain a solid credit profile.
Experian also offers other tools, including Experian Go™, which can help consumers with no credit history to get started, and Experian Boost®ø, which can help strengthen your credit by adding phone, utility and streaming service bills to your Experian credit file.
As you work toward your financial goals, focusing on your credit can help you take advantage of more financial opportunities and save money along the way.