Personal Capital Review: Track Investments, Assets, and More!
January 9, 2013
There are a lot of budgeting applications out there. However, many of them fall short when it comes to really analyzing your cash flow, as well as tracking your investments. If you want a more complete personal finance software application, Personal Capital might be for you.
Overview of Personal Capital
Personal Capital is what is known as a freemium application. You get access to a number of powerful (and free) tools, but you also have the ability to upgrade to paid features. Personal Capital is one of the best applications for complete financial management out there.
Like other money management programs, you can link your accounts to Personal Capital. You can link your bank and credit card accounts, as well as your investment accounts. The ability to link your investment accounts is a real bonus, since many applications don’t have that feature. The idea is that you can add your investments to your total financial picture, and see exactly what you need to do. Here are some of the free tools that come with an account at Personal Capital:
- Ability to link accounts and track your income and expenses automatically.
- Cash flow analysis to allow you to see how your money is moving. This in-depth analysis can help you pinpoint money leaks and make improvements.
- Tax optimization strategies to help you legally reduce what you owe.
- Asset allocation ideas. You can learn how to allocate your assets depending on your goals, as well as receive hints when it’s time to rebalance.
- Investment strategies and tips to help you figure out what you can do to grow your money more effectively.
- Investment fee analysis provides you with suggestions on saving money on fees. By looking at your accounts, you can be steered away from high-fee investment products and pointed toward those that will cost you less – and boost your real returns.
Money Management Services
Not only does Personal Capital offer free tools, but you can also get personalized money management help. Personal Capital will manage your assets for you, and provide more specific advice from financial and investment professionals. However, in order to access this service, you will have to pay a fee.
Personal Capital is trying to provide money management services for those who have more accounts and a higher net worth than a majority of people, but still have a lower net worth than those that normally receive management services from the major players. The money management services are aimed mainly at those who might be considered upper middle class.
For most “regular” consumers, and for the DIY investor looking to get a better handle on the situation, Personal Capital’s free tools are more than adequate. You can track your net worth, see where your money is going, and, in general, better direct your financial resources. And, if you feel you need something more from your personal finance software, you can pay to have your assets managed for you.
Even though there have been some complaints about performance in the past, Personal Capital is, overall, one of the best options in financial management. There are plenty of free tools that can help you make better decisions, and learn from how you do things right now. Personal Capital can help you move from a budgeting mentality to a money management mentality.
Have you used Personal Capital before? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!
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