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2020 Personal Capital Review: Wealth Management and Net Worth Tracking

April 21st, 2019 by 
CameronDaniels
Personal Capital review logo
Personal Capital offers wealth management and net worth tracking.

Personal Capital is an online platform offering net worth and spending tracking, financial advice, and personal wealth management. This Personal Capital review will cover all the important parts of using the service in 2019 - from tracking to projecting your retirement success.

Personal Capital's primary benefits include a detailed view of your portfolio's performance versus common benchmarks and an aggregated view of your accounts. As you gain more experience – and more accounts – Personal Capital will help you maintain organization.

Personal Capital is an amazing way to keep an eye on your spending with the goal of increasing your net worth. I've been using it for a while and wanted to break down my experiences with Personal Capital in 2019.

Sign-Up for a Free Personal Capital Account

Personal Capital retirement planner showing a successful forecast.
Personal Capital's retirement planner showing forecast success.

About Personal Capital: Measuring Investment Returns

A huge struggle of building wealth is maintaining a complete view of your entire portfolio. It's why I wanted to load up my own a

Owning or having:

  • A house
  • A 401(k)
  • Some IRAs
  • A brokerage account
  • Many credit cards
  • Student loans
  • Checking and savings accounts

and other accounts makes your net worth and spending difficult to track. When your spending is spread across so many accounts, or you have gains in only a few, how can you stay on top of your finances?

That's where Personal Capital comes into play:

Personal capital review screen of your portfolio versus various investing benchmarks.
Personal Capital compares your investment return against various benchmarks

The portfolio returns provide data on the investment returns of different assets in your portfolio:

Simple Asset Class Summary with Personal Capital's Allocation Targets
  • US Stocks
  • Foreign Stocks
  • US Stocks
  • Foreign Bonds
  • Alternative Investments

This is incredibly difficult to accomplish manually across multiple accounts – Personal Capital makes it easy.

Personal Capital Retirement Tracker: Easy to Use and Understand

Personal Capital retirement calculator
PC's Retirement Calculator shows likelihood of retirement success

Personal Capital’s Retirement Tracker tool is also very easy to use and understand.

You just need to input your annual savings, annual spending, age, and expected age at retirement and Personal Capital provides some estimated odds of success

This will help you gauge how likely your current trajectory is to lead you to success. Luckily for me, Personal Capital liked my own allocation and spending!

Signing Up for Personal Capital is Free and Easy

All you need to sign up for an account is a working e-mail address. It's that simple – I knew it was free, but that was still a delightful feature.

Linking accounts and tracking spending

After you signup, you will be prompted to link some of your additional accounts. Once you compile a few separate accounts onto your site, you can see more easily what the service provides.

Personal Capital provides estimates of your monthly income and your monthly expenses. They automatically categorize each transaction and provide summaries of spending by category.

Personal Capital spending and income aggregation showing cash flow.
Personal Capital automatically aggregates your income and spending to show your cash flow.

Personal Capital also breaks down the expenses and income from month-to-month to show how your spending changes over time.

Personal Capital also offers Wealth Management and suggestions for a cost

While you get everything I've shown you in your free account such as net worth tracking and cash flow aggregation, Personal Capital also offers Wealth Management. They both can manage funds for you and use the data from the account to pitch personalized products which can help you improve your situation.

I have received a couple cold calls as the cost for opening an account. You do not need their investment product to use the majority of the service.

Overall, I think this is a small price to pay for the free advice, calculators, tracking, and projections that they offer for free. They could even offer something you had overlooked before signing up.

👍 Pros:

  • Free!!!
  • Great for investment benchmarking
  • Fee tracker
  • Very easy to use and signup
  • Retirement projections
  • Provides high-level income and summary summaries (cash flow)

👎 Cons:

  • Sales calls
  • Some people prefer other spending tracking solutions

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