Personal Capital Financial Tools: Are They Really Free?
If you budget your money, analyze your investments, and save for retirement, you’d likely benefit from being able to track your finances in one place.
That’s where Personal Capital can help. Personal Capital is a digital wealth management company that provides investment advisory services for a fee. Personal Capital also offers a secure, complimentary, online financial Dashboard. And yes, Personal Capital’s financial tools are completely free. The range of tools — from the Net Worth Calculator to the Retirement Planner — are available to anyone wanting a clearer picture of their financial life.
“I’m an amateur personal finance geek, and I love watching my net worth grow,” shared Melanie L. in a Personal Capital tool user’s testimonial from February 2021. “Your tools have helped me become a smarter investor and helped me be more motivated to save for the future.”
Here’s How Personal Capital Can Offer Tools for Free
Millions of people use the Personal Capital Dashboard to stay on top of their finances, on their own time and without charge. This offering is core to the ethos of Personal Capital: Getting clarity on your money should be easy, accessible, and free.
Read More: How I Use Personal Capital
How can Personal Capital afford to offer this resource?
The company makes its money by providing wealth management services for a fee via a team of fiduciary financial advisors.
Read More: What is a Fiduciary? Here’s Why It Matters in Money Management
If you have over $100,000 in investable assets, you are eligible for Personal Capital wealth management services. These services are fee-only, meaning you won’t get stuck with expensive investments hidden with commissions.
Instead, wealth management clients pay an annual fee based on the size of their investment portfolio. In exchange, Personal Capital’s investment advisory services team manages clients’ investments using a proprietary indexing approach called Smart Weighting and other financial planning services, such as tax optimization, estate planning, and employee equity guidance. Learn more about investing with Personal Capital.
Now let’s get on to the free financial tools.
Overview of the Free Financial Dashboard
Personal Capital’s free tools are consistently recognized as a top financial resource for people who invest in the stock market.
Read More on CNBC: The Best Budgeting App for Investors in 2021
But there are many ways you can use Personal Capital’s free tools.
To get started, you link one or more of your bank and investment accounts. For instance, people commonly aggregate data from their checking account, savings accounts, IRA, and 401k accounts, as well as their home mortgage, art, and — newly — cryptocurrency.
Syncing up all of your financial accounts is a process that takes minutes and pays off in two big ways:
You get a complete picture of your financial life in one place.
You can take full advantage of the suite of award-winning financial planning tools.
Safety Comes First for Your Data
Like any website with access to sensitive financial information, security is essential.
Personal Capital secures your data with AES-256 encryption, the same rigorous standards used by the U.S. military.
It also has multi-factor authentication (MFA), meaning that whenever you login from an unknown device (or clear your browser cookies), you’ll be required to enter a one-time code sent to your registered device. If you want to up-level your account security, you can update your settings to make sure you MFA before every login.
Read More: Is Personal Capital Safe? Our Financial Security Explained
Top Financial Tools Within Your Dashboard
When all of your financial accounts are aggregated, you can use the tools to budget your money for short-term goals and prepare for the long haul. Following are five popular free Personal Capital tools.
1. Investment Checkup
This tool shows you how well your investments are performing – and how they could do even better. You can compare your current portfolio allocation to the ideal target allocation designed to minimize risk and maximize returns for your financial goals.
2. Fee Analyzer
You could be paying hidden fees in your mutual funds and 401k. This tool uncovers hidden fees in your mutual fund, investing, and retirement accounts. Financial institutions frequently charge annual fees, and over time, these fees add up and can dramatically reduce your lifetime savings.
Get a step-by-step plan for minimizing investment fees.
3. Savings Planner
This tool shows you how much you’re saving, plus how much you should be saving. You can use the Savings Planner to budget your annual retirement savings, figure out your emergency fund, and make progress toward paying down debt.
4. Net Worth Tracker
Your net worth is an equation: every significant thing you own (assets) minus what you owe (your debts and other liabilities).
Each time you log in to the Dashboard, on desktop or mobile, you’ll see a complete view of your net worth. Over time, you can ensure that your net worth is trending positively by adjusting your spending and savings habits.
Read More: Why It’s Important to Know Your Net Worth
5. Retirement Planner
Millions of people use this tool to ensure they’re on track to the retirement they want. And if they’re not, they can find out how to improve their chances of retirement success.
You can use the Retirement Planner to compare different scenarios side-by-side. If you like a new retirement option — like saving more and retiring early — you can even turn the scenario into your actual plan.
The tool also provides peace of mind. You can see how your retirement plan would have fared in a market event like the Dotcom Crash or the 2008 Financial Crisis.
And if you’re wondering how much you’ll be able to spend in retirement, this data-driven feature tells you just how much you’ll be able to afford each month.
Best of all? The tools in the Personal Capital Dashboard are secure, visual, and — yes — free.