Personal Capital Review – Investment Centric Version of Mint.com

As I’ve discussed in my Mint.com review, I think Mint is great as budgeting tool but poor for investment planning. Mint is targeting people who are just starting out with their finances (Generation Y and Z). As I mentioned previously, I wished for a web 2.0 app that focused more on the investing side of personal finance; retirement, asset allocation, and taxes.

I discovered Personal Capital over one year ago, and it appears to have answered most of my wishes. This review has been updated for 2013.

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. In addition, Personal Capital’s portfolio recommendations is powered from another four year old company he co-founded. 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 spoke with. Oddly enough, many parts of the application has a “Quicken like” feel.

Over 200,000 users are now using Personal Capital, and has in excess of $20 billion assets being tracked on the platform. Personal Capital is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) with the SEC, and recently passed the $200 million 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 under-served by Wall Street.

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

The high-end brokerage houses typically only target individuals in the ultra high net worth category. Individuals below that threshold typically have to fend for themselves. This is where Personal Capital, with technology, can offer the personalized service at a much lower price point than previously possible.

Testing Personal Capital

To give Personal Capital a complete test, I added over fifteen accounts: bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage and investment accounts (which I especially focused on). For the tests I setup 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 same accounts in Personal Capital.

Features

Personal Capital has a lot of features and focused (not surprisingly) primarily with investing and retirement planning.

  • 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?
  • Fund Costs – How much in annual expenses does it cost you with each fund you own?

Personal Capital vs. Mint

  • More Reliable Synchronization – Mint.com uses their own in-house system to sync with the financial institutions. At times it has been unreliable and breaks synchronization. Personal Capital uses Yodlee to perform the syncing, which has been a much more stable service from our testing.
  • Customer Service – This is a sticking point with many Mint.com 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 constantly recommends third-party products and services to you.
  • Better Reporting – The interactive investment graphs in Personal Capital break down your investments with ease.
  • Security – With their two factor authentication, security is more robust with Personal Capital.
  • No Budgeting – This is one area in which Mint is better. Mint allows you to create budgets with their service, whereas Personal Capital can only show cash flow.

The Good

  • 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 and Android apps – The app’s 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 – While not as powerful as services like Jemstep, it’s a decent starting point and should be adequate for most individuals.
Personal Capital - Target Allocation

Get recommended asset allocation changes from Personal Capital

The Bad

  • No Budgeting – As mentioned in the difference between Mint.com and Personal Capital there’s no budgeting feature available. For some this might be a show stopper. For me, personally, I’m more concerned about monitoring my investments. I already know our monthly outflows and Personal Capital shows this in one of their reports.
  • Unaware of Tax Deferred Accounts – This isn’t as much of an issue than previously. Personal Capital used to have a report that’s no longer available showing annual tax costs. The current report in the Investment Checkup section still shows tax costs for retirement accounts. Though doesn’t discuss their fees.
  • 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.
  • Incorrect Allocation of Investments – In my tests, some investments were not categorized for one reason or another. You unfortunately cannot manually change an unknown or incorrect to it’s correct investment sector.

Security

The security is similar to Mint.com’s service, but overall much better. Unlike Mint, Personal Capital requires you to register each computer you use. To authorize the device you are using, Personal Capital will send you either an Email or text message to your cell phone.

So their 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. Like many banking sites, they also have a security image that you pick out from a list, preventing scrapped versions of their site from hackers. All of these features, in my opinion, are needed with Mint.

Personal Capital’s Wealth Management

Their web site, of course, is free to use (following the freemium model), so you have no obligation to use their fee-based services. Personal Capital Advisors help manage your financial portfolio. Their annual fees for investment services are as follows:

Fee Schedule

First $250kNext $250kNext $500kNext $4 MillionRemaining
0.95%0.90%0.85%0.80%0.75%

The fees are much lower than traditional financial advisor fees. Wealth management, trade costs and custody 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 (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. In addition with individual securities, Personal Capital can better manage the taxes you pay via a process called tax loss harvesting.

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.

Summary

Personal Capital service is free to sign up. You are at 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.com does not. This is why Personal Capital is on our list of recommended investment tools.

For some, a lack of a budgeting tool within Personal Capital is a showstopper. For me personally I’m not a big fan of budgeting tools, and their usefulness is overblown. Once you know your monthly expenses it should be pretty straightforward. If you really need budgeting — signup for Mint.com as well and use both services simultaneously.

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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.

  2. T says

    Personal Capital has no way to upload transactions from a spreadsheet. So if it is not January Feborary 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 email 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

      T,

      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 Mint.com 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.

    Alex

  4. Alex Badgley says

    For the life of me I could not figure out which to use, Mint.com or PersonalCapital.com, so I created an account with both.

    Mint.com 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.

    PersonalCapital.com 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.

    Alex

    • 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:
      https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-quickview/id533491939?mt=12

      Both also have mobile apps which are quite good. Though I agree both aren’t perfect and need improvements. My primary method to manage our finances is still via Quicken, which I’m still finishing up the review of the 2013 version. 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?

  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:

              http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/holdings?t=VOO&region=USA&culture=en-us

              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 Mint.com offers. Though budgeting within Mint.com is better. Though there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t signup for both services.

  11. Junkie says

    PG,
    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%

  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

      Margot,
      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!

Leave Your Comment

*