Personal Capital Review – Investment Version of Mint

Personal Capital Review
  • Review of: Personal Capital
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: August 21, 2015
  • Editor Rating

    Rated 4 stars

As I’ve discussed in my Mint review, I think Mint is great as a budgeting tool but inadequate for investment planning. Mint is targeting people who are just starting out with their finances.

As I mentioned previously, I wished for service that focused more on the investing side of personal finance; retirement, asset allocation, and taxes. I discovered Personal Capital over three years ago, and it appears to have answered most of my wishes. Personal Capital has been awarded CNBC’s Disruptor 50 for the second year in a row.

Personal Capital is two services in one, the free to use portfolio aggregator, and their paid advisory service.

Personal Capital History

Bill Harris is the founder of Personal Capital and has a long history in the personal finance app space. In case you don’t know, Harris is the former CEO of Intuit and PayPal. Also, Personal Capital’s portfolio recommendations are powered from another five-year-old company he co-founded MyVest. MyVest has raised $52.3 million in venture capital.

From my research, many of the Personal Capital employees are former Intuit employees – including the product manager I interviewed for this review. Oddly enough, many parts their service has a “Quicken like” feel.

Currently, over 800,000 users are now using Personal Capital and have in excess of $150 billion assets being tracked on the platform. Personal Capital is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) with the SEC, and recently passed the $1.5 billion dollar mark in accounts under management.

Personal Capital is targeting aspiring wealthy people whose net worth is from $100,000 to $2 million in liquid assets. A market that is traditionally under-served by Wall Street.

High enough in net worth to have complicated finances, but previously not profitable enough for Wall Street to target. This is where companies like Personal Capital, Wealthfront, FutureAdvisor, and Betterment are targeting. In my opinion, this is the future of financial management.

Traditional financial advisors only target individuals in the ultra high net worth category. Individuals below that threshold typically have to fend for themselves. With Personal Capital and technology they can offer the personalized service at a much lower price point than previously possible.

Personal Capital - Your Personal Financial Dashboard
Display all your accounts in their Personal Financial Dashboard

Testing Personal Capital

To give Personal Capital a complete test, I created a free account. I then added over fifteen accounts: bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage and investment accounts (which I especially focused on). For the review, I used accounts that contained: taxable investments, IRA, 401(k), 403(b) and alternative investments such as peer-to-peer lending service Lending Club.

Just like Mint, the process is quick and easy. I had no issue syncing up the accounts in Personal Capital.


Personal Capital’s free service is focused (not surprisingly) with investing and retirement planning.

  • Budgeting – Follow weekly, monthly, and yearly income and spending habits with their Cash Flow tool.
  • Retirement Planner (New) – Find out if you are on target for retirement. Currently this feature is only available on the web site and not via their mobile apps.
  • 401(k) Fee Analyzer – This useful feature tells you how much your retirement plan is costing you. For many, the amount lost to fees is surprising.
  • Investment Checkup – This tool has been recently improved. Get high-level recommendations to your investment asset allocation. By determining your risk profile, Personal Capital will recommend an asset allocation that right for you.
  • Asset Allocation Target – Are you overweight or underweight in any of the major equity categories?
  • Upcoming Bills – Shows a report of upcoming bills and their due dates.
  • Email Notifications – Get daily and/or weekly notifcations about your accounts.
  • Mobile App – The Personal Capital App is available for Apple iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) and Google’s Android operating system.
  • Apple Watch app – As if using their iPhone app isn’t enough, Personal Capital was one of the first services to add Apple Watch app functionality.
Personal Capital - Cash Flow
Track your income and expenses with ease

Personal Capital recently improved their cash flow feature. This makes their service is more in-line with Mint though still not as powerful.

Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner

With Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner, you can finally answer the question whether or not you have enough saved for retirement, and with a good degree of confidence.

This free feature allows you to access spending goals, income events, and project future portfolio value. Then the Retirement Planner pulls all this together and tells you what kind of shape you’re in for retirement.

There aren’t many good retirement planning tools out there. Even the paid tools I’ve seen lack many features. The multitude of variables available in Personal Capital’s tool is perhaps one of the most comprehensive I’ve seen — free or paid. You can play many what-if scenarios with your finances.

Betterment has a decent retirement tool as well, but you must enter all of your financial data in manually.

Unlike Betterment, Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner makes this process automatic since you are syncing your accounts. So you don’t have to enter your assets and accounts manually.

Personal Capital - Retirement Planner
Enter your future income and expenses to determine if you are on track to retire

Personal Capital vs. Mint

  • More Reliable Synchronization – uses their own in-house system to sync with the financial institutions. At times, Mint has been unreliable where synchronization stops working. Personal Capital uses Yodlee to perform the syncing, which has been a much more stable service from our testing.
  • Customer Service – This has been a sticking point with many users — no customer service. Every time I’ve contacted Personal Capital, I’ve gotten a quick response (less than 24 hours) to my questions.
  • Investment Focus – More focus on investing and retirement planning with Personal Capital, rather than just budgeting.
  • Ad Free Service – Besides offering their advisory service (see below) there’s much less up-selling of products and services. Mint continually recommends third-party services to you. This can be somewhat annoying with Mint’s service.
  • Better Reporting – The interactive investment graphs in Personal Capital break down your investments with ease.
  • Security – Personal Capital has two factor authentication, does not. Personal Capital’s iPhone app supports fingerprint security for login.
  • Budgeting – Both services can budget and help plan monthly outflow. Though service is better for determining if you are going over budget or set predetermined spending limits.
  • Retirement Planning – does not offer a retirement planning overview, projected portfolio value, or any other investment-related features. This makes Personal Capital stand out from Mint.
Personal  Capital - 401k Analyzer
Find out how much your 401(k) is costing you over it’s lifetime


  • Holistic View Of Your Personal Finances - Encompasses all of your finances in one easy to use service. While I use Betterment's service for investing, it doesn't include the big picture. Personal Capital, on the other hand, gives you access to all your finances in one location. Personal Capital calls it a "360° View of Your Financial Life."
  • Integrated Investment Portfolio - With retirement accounts with one broker and taxable investments with another, it's hard to have a complete picture of your asset allocation. Personal Capital imports them all into one central location.
  • Great Reporting - Similar to Morningstar's X-ray tool, Personal Capital offers a great way to drill down into asset allocation and performance.
  • Apple iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Android support - The app features are similar to the desktop edition and can be used on the go.
  • The You Index™ - It's a performance metric of all of your current stock, ETF and mutual fund holdings extrapolated backward. It does not include your cash, money market funds, individual bonds, options or other alternatives. Basically showing how your stock portfolio is performing over time.
  • Powerful Investment Checkup - It's a decent starting point and should be adequate for most individuals. Though it doesn't give concrete and actionable items, and I suspect, the reason is to upsell you on their advisor service.
  • Easy To Use - Account setup is brain-dead simple. Their user interface navigation and reporting is well laid-out.
  • Custom Allocation of Unknown Assets (New) - Personal Capital now allows you to categorize unknown assets.


  • Asset Allocation is Not Customizable - Personal Capital has predetermined asset allocation models. This is adequate for most, but not if you want to vary from their recommended allocations.
  • No Full Out Budgeting Tool - You can monitor cash-flow, but you cannot create estimated weekly, monthly and yearly income and spending goals to compare against. Though as I've stated in the past, I'm not a fan of actively budgeting and believe it's usefulness is overblown.
  • Category Customization - You cannot create customize categories, and stuck with the ones they've already created. Though the ones created should be sufficient.

Personal Capital - Target Allocation
Get recommended asset allocation changes from Personal Capital

Is Personal Capital Safe?

The security is similar to Mint’s service, but overall more secure. Unlike Mint, Personal Capital requires you to register each computer you use. You must authorize the device you are using. Personal Capital will send you either an Email or phone call to verify.

Personal Capital’s registration process is poor man’s version of two-factor authentication. There’s nothing wrong with this, and in fact I applaud that Personal Capital has this feature. I wish this level of security was available with all financial institutions.

Once your computer is registered, you will not need to go through this process again. All of these features, in my opinion, are needed with Mint but isn’t available.

On iPhones that support the fingerprint scanner, login to Personal Capital’s app is via a swipe of your finger. It’s not foolproof of course. Though it’s a nice touch, and an added layer of security.

The account information you enter within Personal Capital isn’t stored in plain text. They store a one-way encryption token to gain future access to your account.

You cannot perform any withdrawals or transfers from within Personal Capital’s service. All information via their service is read-only.

Lastly, unless you enter your account information into comment fields (which you shouldn’t do), your account information is not displayed anywhere.

Personal Capital’s Wealth Management Service

Their website, of course, is free to use (following the freemium model). You are under no obligation to use their fee-based advisor service. Personal Capital Advisors help manage your financial portfolio. Their annual fees for investment services are as follows:

Fee Schedule

Personal Capital recently introduced a new fee schedule and lower than previous. For individuals with less than $1 Million the annual fee is now 0.89%. Originally the fee started at 0.95%.

  • $1 Million or Less – 0.89% Annual Fee
  • $1 Million to $3 Million – 0.79% Annual Fee
  • Next $2 Million – 0.69% Annual Fee
  • Next $5 Million – 0.59% Annual Fee
  • $10 Million or More – 0.49% Annual Fee

Personal Capital is obviously trying to go after higher net-worth individuals and squarely compete against the high-fee financial advisors.

The fees are much lower than traditional financial advisors. Wealth management, trade costs, and custody fees are included — you do not pay trade commissions.

Every account gets a dedicated advisor, even if you don’t use their wealth management service. It’s been reported each advisor within the firm handles approximately 200 clients.

The asset allocation with them get interesting though. Personal Capital uses baskets of individual securities and ETFs to create a model portfolio. Personal Capital is well aware that annual fees can decrease the performance of your investment for the long haul. The logic is using index funds with their high annual fees adds on top of Personal Capital’s management fee. Therefore, using index funds decreases your annual return.

By investing in individual securities your portfolio is more tax efficient as well (of course if your investments are in a taxable accounts). So while their basket of funds won’t mirror an index fund exactly, it will come very close, and should be lower in fees and taxes. Also with individual securities, Personal Capital can better manage the taxes you pay via a process called tax loss harvesting (TLH).

They also offer “Personal Funds” which target a specific investment objective, but unlike a mutual fund, you own the individual securities rather than a mutual fund.


Personal Capital service is free to sign up. You have no obligation to use their wealth management services. Personal Capital’s investing section is currently the best online service to monitor your portfolio. It does right with investing that Mint does not. This is why Personal Capital is on our list of recommended investment tools.

I like Personal Capital so much I have replaced using Quicken for managing my finances.

Their investment checkup tool is very useful for high level recommendations. For me personally, I’m not sure I would use the wealth management service. Though there is a valid argument why someone would want to use their service instead of doing it themselves. I actually enjoy researching and managing our investments.

I could see for others, Personal Capital is a godsend because they have no idea how to properly allocate their investments. If this describes you, then you should consider their lower than average cost financial advisory service.

Readers: Have you used Personal Capital? Please make your comments below.

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Reader Comments

  1. Oren @ Oren's Money Saver says

    I have both Personal Capital and Mint and I use Personal Capital. I think it is a big upgrade because it is much easier to see everything in front of you on one screen as compared to Mint. I am looking forward to the changes that may or may not come.

    • Aaron says

      I switched from Mint to Personal Capital after enjoying the comprehensive dashboards for all of my investment accounts. Although there is no budget function, I keep this in my own Excel file and really like the cash flow section of Personal Capital.

  2. T says

    Personal Capital has no way to upload transactions from a spreadsheet. So if it is not January February or March, and you start with this product, forget about using it for the whole year. Banks only offer 3 months of transactions. If you knew this and did monthly downloads from your banks, it will not help you with Personal Capital.

    I did 8 emails with their tech support to verify there is nothing they can/will do to get earlier transactions loaded. Even if you have your transactions in .XLS .CSV or .QFX files – Personal Capital can not help you get the transactions into their database.

    • says


      I agree if you have any legacy application (Mint included, but I’m thinking more like Quicken) you cannot import it into Personal Capital. This isn’t only an issue with Personal Capital though. All of the web 2.0 personal finance apps have this limitation.

      While what you request as a feature is not impossible, it wouldn’t be easy to implement and time consuming to implement as well.

      I suspect these services will eventually get around to implementing such a feature, but I can assure you it’s way down on the priority list.

      Most of these services are read only anyways and really meant for syncing all of your data into one location so you can get a collective analysis.

  3. Alex Badgley says

    Investor Junkie,

    Question, if you change the description or category of a transaction on Personal Capital or does it change it on that specific bank’s website too? Just doing my research before I decide which to utilize. Thanks, love the website. Cannot seem to get off of it.


  4. Alex Badgley says

    For the life of me I could not figure out which to use, or, so I created an account with both. was extremely easy to use, however, alerts pop up like crazy, so I immediately changed my settings. Another issue was that I had to answer security questions over and over again for specific banks, which is kind of annoying. Overall, good website. got me excited because of the professional vibe I got from Investor Junkie’s video review, however, many problems occurred. Upon creating my account I searched for the banks I utilize, only one was available for use. Also, it was missing a 401k company I currently use too. For me there is no point to Personal Capital if I cannot have all my accounts in one. Kind of disappointed.

    For both: I noticed this for both, maybe there is a way and I am just missing it. Why don’t they utilize widgets? I think it would be nice to see what you want, minimize what you do not and be able to move the charts around. I think this would be great for both websites to look into.


    • says

      Hi Alex,

      I would contact Personal Capital to see if support for your banks are on the way. Both use their own systems to sync up with the banks so it’s no surprise the bank support is different.

      Though I agree if the service does not support your bank, it becomes somewhat useless. Since there are so many banks, credit unions and financial institutions there’s no way for us to personally to test them all. I’ve only tested the major institutions that we personally have, which all worked very well.

      We have an account in a small local credit union, and still does not have support via either service.

      Mint does have a desktop app available for OS X here:

      Both also have mobile apps which are quite good. Though I agree both aren’t perfect and need improvements. Quicken also has a mobile app for it as well.

  5. E Investor says

    I’m new to any kind of financial tracking. After inheriting between $1M to $2M (not all immediately, some in laddered CDs, 3 properties, a delayed trust, inheritance IRA, etc), I began some “cautious” investing. By “cautious”, I mean according to my thinking but others might disagree.

    For example, I have no financial advisors though I consulted one with which I was very impressed but they require $250k min. There is a friend of the family insurance agent who is simply holding the inheritance IRA in about 6-7 American Funds. To hedge, I’ve personally bought 10% precious metals. And I’ve got another 10% for personal investing (5% in speculative stock, 5% day trading) and 5% in a spending acct).

    I’m in the position where I need “All of the Above”… tracking, budgeting, investing, etc, etc. I’m a fast learner but I need to find out what would be the optimal application or combination of applications to track it all and give me that commander’s “birdseye view” I want. I’ve read this review and the Mint.Com review and both, while pretty capable, seem to have their shortcomings. Is there anything else you can recommend for someone in my situation?

    Or, in my situation, would you just recommend I pay a professional. If so, what kind of professional can handle all of the above and what do they generally charge?

    Thanks for your reviews and your help,
    E Investor

    • S says

      Hi E Investor,

      A little disclaimer first: I subscribe to personalcapital financial adviser service and am happy that I made the move. I did not know about them until I was reading an article in wsj.

      Let me put myself in your shoes first and if I were you, I would give personalcapital a shot. Their minimum investment to get their adviser’s attention is 100k which is below 250k compared to the adviser you met (I would bet my money that your adviser’s fee are higher than personalcapital). A fee of approximately 1% makes it 1k a year to manage 100k – this to me is by far the cheapest compared to other financial adviser’s fee, no surprises. IF YOU HAVE THE NEED TO MEET YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISER IN PERSON THEN DO NOT DEAL WITH PERSONALCAPITAL (PC) UNLESS YOU LIVE AROUND PC OR INTEND TO FLY OUT THERE.

      I have met many financial adviser’s and they all have impressed me and are good people. When you meet with traditional adviser they impress first and then talk about fee structure (I hate surprises, I don’t mind someone charging me for something even if it is high and I don’t expect any free service but I need to know that upfront rather than later and I expect them to grow my portfolio – period). PC talked about their fee structure first (go check out their website) and then impressed me why they were better than traditional financial adviser’s. PC is meant for people who have some savings/inheritance or are on track to prove that some savings are made consistently over the years but not as huge as high net worth individuals.

      PC will solve your investing and tracking problem. Budgeting on the other hand is a behavioral problem – remember computer systems (PC, mint, others) will not solve the problem they just track and tell you where you are spending, if you don’t have budgeting issue then PC will track this as well. So what if you had to use multiple systems that pulls information from your accounts and give you two separate bird’s eye view. It would still be a winning situation for you to know where the money is coming from and where it is going.

  6. Chris K says

    You mentioned that PC’s security is better than Mint’s, and from what you wrote it sounds like that is at least true from a log-in standpoint- but what about on the back-end?

    My bigger concern is that hackers are targeting these sites systematically to gain access to everyone’s data. LinkedIn was famously hacked last year, resulting in thousands of accounts being divulged. What are Mint and PC doing to protect themselves from this kind of situation? And how do they stack up to each-other in that respect? I think that would be a more telling indication of relative security.

    • says

      Hi Chris,

      I am referring to the backend as well. Most desktop computers are compromised because of visiting a web page that attacks a known security flaw, or open services on the computer itself. Both are mainly because the software isn’t updated, or properly secured. From my IT experience, unfortunately this is all too common.

      Though your question is still valid. At least my vantage point – security is their biggest business risk (for adoption and if it were to occur could hurt future business). So I would think they understand this issue and put security at the top of their list. Do keep in mind Mint is owned by Intuit, who already has years of experience with security (Turbotax, online bill paying via Quicken, etc.). I guess it comes down, what vendors can you trust with your data?

      • slug (@sunkcosts) says

        PC uses Yodlee for the back end. It’s as solid as any. Used by a cornucopia of banks for their back end.

        Thanks for the review. Many thanks to commenter “S” who is paid user. I’m considering it.

  7. Dave Wood says

    I have been testing/playing with PC, Mint & Sig fig. As expected, they all have issues. I have a Principle account that PC & SigFig would not connect with, Mint did. In contacting customer support, sigfig was the quicker to repsond initially, but 2 weeks later, PC has finally fixed the issue and SigFig has not.

    My biggest concern right now with PC is the allocation method(s) noted in the main article. They have allocated many of my funds to “unclassified”, when they are clearly mixed funds with their allocation makeups readily available. The fact PC blows this completely is bad enough, but not having you the ability to at least adjust the allocations manually is a minor disaster. They boast about their feature of comparing your allocation to one of their models, and giving you regular updates and advise on how to re-allocate your portfolio. Which would be wonderful if they were even close to what your allocation mix really is.

    You can put all your eggs in this one basket and have a single point to check holdings, performance, spending, etc. But true portfolio tracking/management with an incorrect allocation mix is futile.

    Just my $.02, which according to PC, is all I have allocated to bonds :-/

  8. PG says

    Can you explain this comment: “.. using index funds with their high annual fees adds on top of Personal Capital’s management fee. Therefore, using index funds decreases your annual return…”
    Index funds are the least expensive funds there are! Many index ETFs cost less than 10 basis points. How is that a “high annual fee”? What are you comparing it to?

    • says

      The average cost of a mutual fund is over one precent. Yes there are cheaper mutual funds and ETFs available. Though there are costly indexed based mutual funds as well.

      In addition, with a mutual fund you do not get any investment guidance.

      Also owning individual stocks you have much less of a tax issue than with mutual funds which you cannot control the buying/selling of the underling assets which then cause you to pay taxes. Owning ETFs and individual stocks is much more tax efficient (assuming it’s in a taxable account).

      • PG says

        Agreed that ETFs are more tax efficient. But don’t forget that most people invest inside of tax-deferred (401K/IRA) or tax-free (Roth) accounts to begin with, so capital gains are usually not an issue. Owning individual stocks is extremely risky (even if you own a bunch of them), plus the transaction fees add up quickly. All of the evidence favors of buying and holding well diversified, no-load, low-cost index funds.

        • says

          With Personal Capital, the individual stock transactions are already included in the management fees. Previous studies show to mirror an index approx. only 30-50 stocks are needed, so I’m not sure if I understand your risky statement.

          Personal Capital can rollover your existing 401(k) and they do offer 401(k) service for companies who are wanting to use them directly.

          If you are one to “do-it-yourself”, then Personal Capital’s advisor service might not be the right fit for you. Though you are in no obligation to use it if you use their web site.

          • PG says

            Owning 30-50 individual stocks is risky because you’re putting 2%-3% of your money into each individual company. All you need is a few Enrons, WorldComs, or Kodaks in the mix to feel the pain. Not to mention the commissions on purchasing (and rebalancing) 30-50 stocks.

            I view the study you mention from the opposite perspective, as if it had been worded as follows: “Instead of having to hold 30-50 individual stocks, you can mirror the same performance by purchasing a single index fund.” So I’m still not sure why anyone would invest the time, effort, expense, and guesswork to purchase 30-50 individual stocks when you can just buy an index fund and get the same performance in one fell swoop.

            If you want to make some bets on individual companies around the edges, that’s fine. All I’m saying is that you’d be well-advised to use an index fund as your core holding.

            • says

              PG, you are aware a S&P 500 fund is not equal weighting of each stock right?

              See Vanguard’s VOO for an example:


              So per your description of owning individual stocks an AAPL or XOM failure could dramatically hurt a S&P portfolio as well. So don’t think just because you own a index fund, you are completely safe from risk either.

              What makes sense is to make sure you are well diversified, via index funds or via other means. A financial advisor like Personal Capital should be able to assist, if not them then using tools like Morningstar’s X-Ray service you should do the similar guidance yourself.

  9. PG says

    I’ve used Morningstar’s X-ray service and found it to be very insightful, although it did make some dubious recommendations, such as telling me I was underweighted in Technology, which indicates to me that the market as a whole is underweighted in Technology since I own the entire market.

    I am aware that a pure S&P 500 index fund is cap-weighted. That’s why I would not hold an S&P 500 index fund as my sole equity holding (in fact, I only own one S&P 500 fund through my 401K, which accounts for less than 6% of my portfolio). On that note, I also wouldn’t recommend investing more than 10% of a portfolio in any single fund. A broad-based “total market” fund should be the core equity holding (e.g. SCHB, VTI, etc.), with other satellite holdings rounding out the equities. I also wouldn’t put more than 50% of a portfolio in equities, with no more than 20% of that in foreign funds. The rest should go into bonds (with a healthy dose of long-term T-bonds), physical gold bullion, and short-term T-bills. Sort of a modified Permanent Portfolio, if you will.

  10. Lora says

    Thus far in my life, I track everything via Excel. I do not invest in the stock market although I do have some 401k savings that took a hit from the recession. My main investment strategy revolves around residential real estate. So far I’ve done well and currently own 2 homes, one is rented and that rental income pays for both mortgages. I’ve bought the second as FHA, plan to live in it for 2 yrs and then do it again, rent it out and buy another. Does PC have the ability to track or provide analysis on this sort of investment? If so, to what degree? And do I have to pay for that portion of the software? Also, can PC do everything Mint can do including the budget, tracking bank transactions, etc – just better? Does it make sense to just use one of them OR should a person use Mint for budget/bank transactions/bill pymt tracking and then use PC for investment-related “stuff”? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Lora,

      Currently no online application does what you looking for. Overall Personal Capital can do better what offers. Budgeting within is better. Though there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t signup for both services.

      • JPsDad says

        Lora should look into Yodlee for her needs. They have recently added real estate with a Zilow pricing of your real estate. They also have some capability to change spending categories, create a variety or reports and exporting the results to spreadsheet. I can still access many years of my account’s information better than on some bank’s and broker’s sites.
        Larry, I think you should review Yodlee for your own needs as well as for your readership.

  11. Junkie says

    All mutual funds carry expense ratio annually. If you want to buy and hold, buying baskets of stocks would have least expense overtime. If you want to trade relative frequently(or high number of stocks), try FlioInvesting; One fixed anual fee with almost unlimited trading. If you need advice/assistance, PC sounds ok. Asset allocation does not prevent you to own the whole market with individual stocks/bonds.
    Junkie suite

  12. mary says

    Have you tried Fidelity’s Full View? How does it compare?

    Does Personal Capital successfully separate cash from securities in imported 401k’s? I think Fidelity lumps all in to one category or the other.

    • says

      Like Personal Capital, Fidelity Full View uses Yodlee to connect to the other accounts. While Yodlee itself is ok, I personally find Fidelity’s interface to Yodlee somewhat clunky and confusing. Though if you like using Fidelity as your central location for your finances, it’s OK for that purpose. As I’ve mentioned previously, there’s nothing preventing you from using multiple services.

  13. tll2013 says

    I am considering signing up with Personal Capital and using their Personal Advisor service. Is anyone in this forum using this service? Or do you know anyone who is? If yes, do let me know what is your experience with them. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

        • tll2013 says

          1) What kind of returns are you experiencing under their service? YTD and the last 3 months.
          2) Are you happy with the way your portfolio is being managed? If yes, give some examples of things you are happy with. If no, what are you unhappy about.
          3) How long have you been with the same advisor? How often does he update you about your investment portfolio?
          I will be making a decision next week on whether to use PC or someone else, so I will appreciate your feedback.

          • says

            Hi tll2013,

            Sorry I thought you meant their free service.

            Not using the paid service, and your returns depend upon your goals and asset allocation you work with your advisor. So I would suspect each person’s return is different and not a good measurement.

            I did talk extensively with them. I don’t think the service appears to be bad and similar to other financial advisors. In my case I prefer to keep managing my portfolio myself as it’s something I enjoy doing.

          • S says

            As of End of June.
            YTD = 5.68%
            Quarter = -0.86%
            Things happy with = transparency
            Been with same advisor since joining PC last Dec. Get updates every month and quarter.

            • S says

              Here is another set of numbers that just came in as end of July.
              This Month (July) = 3.95%
              YTD = 9.54%

            • Tom says

              I assume you are happy with the service from the PC Advisor? I’m on the fence if I should give up a couple thousand a year to go with them.

            • Hunter page says

              that’s interesting I signed off sometime around June July I was down 7% now I’m down about 3 percent

  14. Margot Knight says

    I am a fan of the site. And I was impressed by the overview and recommendation for my portfolio. I am seriously comdering moving all or part of my portfolio (half is an IRA, half taxable investment account; my 401k is separate). I never hear anything from my current company. If PC serious about regular communication with clients, thats a real plus. And the fees and investment approach makes sense. I, too, am curious about the experiences of others and look forward to hearing more.

    • S says

      You will be in for a surprise. I would recommend call PC and talk to their advisor. For fees – I did math on how much it costed me to leave money in my previous 401k plan (buried deep down in condition apply statements) and how much it would cost me going forward with PC.

  15. Topher says

    I’m thinking of rolling my 401K over for PC asset management also. I’m changing jobs in a few months, so I’ll have to find some way of dealing with it. PC looks like a reasonable option to me.

  16. Anton Ivanov says

    One of the biggest negatives for me is lack of budgeting and financial goal setting tools. If Personal Capital added those, I would use it exclusively for all my finance management needs. Until then, I will keep using Mint for my personal finances.

  17. says

    I really like the aspect of a 401(k) Fee Analyzer. Like you said, for most people the amount of money they lose to fees in astounding. It sounds like a really helpful tool that is formatted to help you make the most of your money.

    The quick response from customer service sounds amazing!

    • says

      The fee analyzer is a fantastic tool, and a real eye opener for many. Far to few 401k participants have reviewed their 404(a)(5) participant fee disclosures forms to see just how much their investment options may be costing them over time. And letting your employer know of your findings is not a bad thing, as they often have the most to lose as they have the largest balances. The analyzer on the PC site is a great alternative to reviewing your disclosure forms.

      • says

        The Fee Analyzer was a huge eye opener for me. Seeing those results (fees in aggregate and by individual fund) got me to start taking action pretty quickly to dump underperforming funds with high expense ratios.

  18. David says

    “Incorrect Allocation of Investments” This is a huge problem for me. Particularly, Cash. Personal Captial adds up all the cash in funds and uses that as your total Cash… even if you can’t use that cash as cash… but ignores the cash in your bank accounts. Mint adds up all the cash in your bank accounts, but ignores cash in funds. I think they are both wrong. All cash and equivalent should be counted, but separated into short and long term. You can just use the cash portion of an index fund or CD.

    • Jason says

      This is a good example of where a bit of human understanding/common sense is needed with any type of automated service. Their intention is to illustrate that cash, whether held directly or through a fund, has the same effect on your portfolio. What I would look for is whether any funds are raising your overall cash allocation. Also, every fund must hold a little bit of cash, so there could be opportunities to reduce your cash exposure by merging a few holdings that are too similar and don’t add value to your portfolio. Maybe PC could add a metric to illustrate how much of the cash in your portfolio is directly held by you, with an acceptable target range based on your profile.

  19. Tim says

    Like Lora, I have three houses rented, and want an analysis by project. In Mint, I use “tags” for each property, and I’d like to see a simple profit/loss by property/project/tag. Mint did just add the ability to identify a transaction as Personal or Business, which helps greatly. Does PC do that?

    I appreciate the informative review. Keep us updated if any of the finance sites add such functionality. Thanks!

  20. Ron says

    Hi Larry,

    Would you recommend closing out my American Funds account (about $100k) and transferring over to firm like PC? A family friend (advisor) recommended American Funds which has the front loaded fees. So is it worth closing it out at this point?

  21. says

    I just signed up to Personal Capital to find that they do not actually support two-factor authentication. They only require uname/pwd to login to their website. They store a site cookie that keeps track of which types of browsers you login to your account with, by looking at your browser’s User Agent. I just deleted my cookie and changed my user agent in Safari to Internet Explorer and logged in. Sure enough under settings it shows up as IE. This is security by obfuscation. They need to implement Google Authenticator or send a text msg with code when logging into their website. To confirm I went to and sure enough, Personal Capital is listed as not having implemented 2fa.

    • says

      While Personal Capital doesn’t offer true two-factor authentication, I’m not sure how much it’s needed in their case as a service.

      They do offer registration of the device you are using, which is decent protection (granted not exactly the same as two-factor). More importantly all of the data on the site is read only. You cannot execute stock transactions or ETF transfers (or any other type of transfer for that matter).

      Not sure how much damage a hacker could get from login access to their service since it only stores transactions and not specific account data. So while a login hack isn’t a “good thing” it’s nowhere as bad as bank or brokerage access. Sadly most banks do not offer two factor but should, and is a whole other conversation.

  22. Lis says

    Not sure about the net benefit of registering the computer. Haven’t you removed a layer of protection that would still be there in the event that your computer is lost or stolen? (Or sold/recycled – many people don’t take the proper precautions to scrub the hard drive.)

    • says


      That is correct at some level. Though it is assumed you have some level of protection on the machine. Obviously if it’s a portable computer there is more risk with it. Two factor authentication is a much better option. Though in Personal Capital’s case all of the data is read only.

  23. Steve Ponz says

    Perhaps like another investor above I have substantial assets devoted to boutique funds, alternatives, and some new funds. The program constraints of having many uncatalogued funds & not being able to make manual adjustments may be a problem. Any advice under these circumstances? Thanks!

  24. JPsDad says

    Has anyone converted or added PC to a longterm Yodlee or Yodlee Labs account? Yodlee has many years of my records and I frequently used there search to find info that is no longer available on the bank’s or broker’s sites.

  25. Hunter page says

    they’re really into small cap and mid cap selections I’ll come down about 6 percent and it recovered back down only 2% now I can try listing all the stuff I copy pasting over by the website administrator hear clearly didn’t want to post all that I really think it would have benefited everybody, some of my holdings are down 40 50 percent I don’t really agree with their strategy of holding on to stocks that collapsed 50% I feel there should be some sort of stop losses but they seem to be very confident in their pics in my opinion I could take a dartboard of small caps and throw darts at them and do the same thing and I probably wouldn’t be down 50% on many of my holdings

    • socrates says

      Even though you pay a fee verses comissions, they are average to below average on stock picking. I know of brokers out there that would have never sold you small caps or mid cap stocks in this market, because they have been crashing for the last eight months. With Personal Capital equal weighting in all sectors and style in stocks, many of their portfolios have taken a serious beating. I recently heard that if you stayed out of small and mid caps and financials at the start of this year, and only were in the big caps and ex-large cap stocks you would blow away any index out there including the s&p500. You would have seen gains greater than sixteen percent. Now hind sight being what it is; I wish you the best of luck with PC wealth management.

  26. Hunter Page says

    To continue from my last post, CRR is a small cap down 62% and falling. They refuse to acknowledge loosing picks, have no stop limits, ect. There are a few +20% small holdings but the negative loosers that keep falling reck the rest. I spoke to them and they are convinced in their picks. I dont see it as the best way to go. If a stock pick drops 25% that needs attention. Recognize your mistake and move on.

  27. Shana M says

    I have just signed up to go with PC and will try to remember to keep you posted regarding my experience. I have previously been with Wells Fargo Advisors for almost 3 years and before that another known firm. I have not been impressed with the lack of information I receive (never heard from them). I do like that my accounts are linked when I pull up my banking info. and can also see my investment accounts, etc. I am not sure what fees I have incurred as they are hidden and obscured. I like the fact that Personal Capital is up front about this and you know ahead of time. I was impressed with the free consultation and decided to give it a try. It is not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out and I will just change to Vanguard, etc. My main problem with Wells Fargo Advisors is that most of my profits are paid in fees and it pretty much stays the same or goes down (way down) when the market goes down. I am in my fifties and need to be in lower risk. The PC advisor said it was interesting and concerning that WFA had 23% of my money in energy. As we all know, that goes up and down with the prices of fuel but right now it is down or they should have moved it.

  28. George says

    I tried the PC website for a couple of months but was disappointed because it was apparent that their goal was to sign you up for their advisor service. All I wanted was a place to consolidate my investments. I told them from the very beginning that I wasn’t interested in their advisory/management service but they wouldn’t let go. It was apparent that they knew a lot about me but I knew very little about them – no published track record. Their allocation approach was to simply spread the funds evenly amongst the major sectors through ETFs and rebalance over time as needed. That would cost me approximately .75% in fees. That approach is something I can very easily do on my own and doesn’t require the insight of a “trained financial advisor”. I finally deleted my account and went back to a spreadsheet approach to consolidating investment accounts.

  29. Stephen says

    I’m a long time Quicken user.
    Does PC track Basis? Does it have a “Home & Business” module for light invoicing and Accounts Receivable? And finally, how does it handle alternative (k-1) investments. Quicken is flexible in that you can create securities and re purpose fields…I would love if the 2.0 PFP’s could offer that functionality.


  30. N.C. says

    The tool is great as a portfolio aggregation, but I constantly get voice mails asking me to talk to an adviser about their wealth management service. Would the phone calls stop if I simply answered the phone and told them No? Or will they not take no for an answer and continue to bother me? I do my own investing and don’t want their service.

    • Will H says

      If you answer the phone call and let them know to take you off of the calling list you will no longer receive the calls.

  31. says

    Excellent review. I set up Personal Capital a few months ago and have been impressed by it so far. The human touch is very valuable, too, as I’ve just gotten a phone call to speak with an advisor. After coming into some money after the sale of my home, I’d like to be able to manage it effectively. I’ll see if PC is right for me soon.

  32. says

    I was wondering if this software would work for tracking canadian investments? RRSPs TFSAs etc.