Full Review of the Personal Capital Platform

UTC by Adedamola Bada · 8 min read
Full Review of the Personal Capital Platform
Photo: Personal Capital / Facebook

Check out the full review of Personal Capital platform – online financial advisor and personal wealth management company designed not only for big investors, but also those looking ahead to plan post-retirement life.

Personal Capital is a private firm that mainly deals with wealth handling and financial advising to its customers. The establishment was set up in 2009 by Rob Foregger, Paul Bergholm, Bill Harris, and Louie Gasparini in the United States of America with branches located in 5 states of the federation.

At the time of the founding, the firm was widely called SafeCorp Financial Corp., but it was changed a year later; with the renaming completed in 2011. The organization is currently headed by Jay Shah and Charles Goldman, people who serve as the current CEO and Chairman respectively. Over the years, the firm has recorded major success, having over 2 million users, and having a present net worth of over $12 billion.

Personal Capital Full Review

Personal Capital platform offers two variants: the free finance platform, and the wealth handling platform. The first variant mainly deals in budgeting and provision of investment tools and tips, while the second is a round-the-clock investment service, with constant assistance from the firm’s finance experts.

To sign up, one can either log on to the website or download the mobile app. Once that is complete, you will be required to fill out personal information about yourself, like name, date of birth, email address, phone number, and retirement goals.

It is advisable to begin patronage by making use of the free platform before upgrading to wealth handling. Its free platform has many tips for investing, such that many are content without having to upgrade, which is why there are only about 20,000 customers employing the use of the wealth management option, out of the over 2 million subscribers. The free platform is an amazing way to analyze all your finances in one place. It offers a wide range of services, some of which are:

Allocation: via Personal Capital platform, a customer is able to keep up with incoming and outgoing funds in their life. You can have an idea of how much you are able to save at the end of each month once the bills have been paid. While it analyzes and tracks, the platform will not automatically pay the bills, the customer will have to make use of their bank account for all payments.

Financial survey: this tool keeps track of how much you make and how much you spend per annum, using the accounts linked to the service. The service then helps in advising on how much t0 set aside for trades, settling incurred debts like student loans, and the proper retirement strategy based on current income.

Advisor: these days, a wide range of businesses set up retirement options for their workers. What most are not aware of are the expenses incurred in fees that come with such setup. This feature explains in detail how much every expense incurred affects you, using the below tools.

Planner: this tool makes use of more likely future events with respect to annual income to help you know if your current expenses will leave just about enough for after you are unable to work anymore. The tool can also be adjusted to fit new situations, such as the acquisition of a new car, married life, or even the addition of a child to your care.

Calculator and Checkup: these features simply compile the value of all your properties and shares, to determine personal net value; in order to know how high the accounts used in trading should be enhanced, to ensure that your future will be well taken care of.

Personal Advisor: another great benefit of employing this service is the ability to be in contact with an expert, aside from the free tips that come with using Personal Capital Corp. The expert will, however, be restricted from sharing trading tips and strategies with you, but will help with questions regarding employing the use of the service.

The wealth handling platform mainly employs the use of automated trading options, with the addition of on-site expert investors. The service takes into account many things, such as how much you can afford to lose if an investment does not pan out great, and how much profits one can realize over each period of time. The firm also divides all your investments across 6 different classes, to reduce risks of loss. The classes are:

  • Stocks in the US
  • Bonds in the US
  • Foreign Bonds
  • Foreign Stocks
  • Currency
  • Housing, Energy, Gold, and other unconventional assets

The division of finances into the various asset groups is heavily dependent on the investor’s choice, on how much of a risk-taker he or she is, and what targets he or she may have set for their finances.

This option ensures that all investments made are enhanced such that tax incurred on them is lowered to the barest minimum. Other than that, the option to trade in assets that are in alignment with your values and beliefs is also offered to investors. It is known as Socially Responsible Investing.

There is a subcategory in this option, known as Private Client. It is only available to people having over a million dollars to trade with.

The application has gotten a 9.5-star rating out of 10 stars from over a million reviews from customers. The firm bases all investments on a particular method, using previous and current trends to predict how a particular commodity will perform and how well to ratio your investments across asset classes in order to ensure optimum returns. The tax optimization techniques (allocation, loss harvesting, and efficiency) helps investors gain more and spend less.

The service is great for people of all branches of life, young people looking to settle college loans, invest and prepare their future, college students looking to comfortably afford tuition fees, and the elderly looking forward to enjoying the post-work life.

Personal Capital’s Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Personal Capital platform provides free services that enable users to manage all finances using one platform.
  • The service also equips users with great trading tips at zero cost, along with other investment strategies for paid subscribers.
  •  The Financial handling option for paid subscribers uses various methods to lower investment taxes, and 2 expert advisors, to assist you in managing your funds.
  • The service also offers you a chance to make investments based on sentiments, beliefs, and values.

Cons

  • To upgrade from the free option to the paid option, traders require a base fee of $100,000 as their first investment.
  • The free version constantly reminds users to upgrade to the paid version. The frequency of the reminder can be quite irritating.
  • The financial handling option charges a service fee of almost 1%, which is quite high as compared to other establishments that charge about half or quarter of what Personal Capital platform charges.
  • While the service helps in arranging and sectioning your income, it cannot function as well as other budgeting services.

 Best Things about Personal Capital

  • The service allows customers on both platforms nation-wide, the luxury of contacting the office all day, every day.
  • The service also has a mobile application, available for download on both android and iOS devices.
  • The platform makes use of two-factor verification, to ensure that your information is secure, in the unlikely event of password theft.
  • The service also requires users to register any device that is used to access the application, to ensure that devices with your stolen credentials can be tracked.
  • It also provides personal security for consumer data, encrypting all information to ensure that information cannot be stolen in case of a database hack.
  • An additional feature for customers using apple products to login to their accounts using the fingerprint sensor has now been added.
  • The service is now like a regular financial institution, offering over 2% interest on funds deposited in a savings account.

Things to Improve

While the service is near impeccable, with excellent customer service, great investing tools, and tight security measures in place, the service percentage fee is a little too high, charging almost 1% on the initial million dollars, almost 0.8% on $3 million, and almost 0.5% on 10 million; which is almost double of what other firms in the same business charges.

The budget feature should also be upgraded to include payments option, to meet or at least compete with other strictly budgeting-based applications out there.

Conclusion

It goes without saying that the current pandemic has affected a lot of businesses, not excluding this one. The stock market has been greatly impacted, with some stocks like tech-based stocks gaining values, and others, losing value. The pandemic has also seen may pull a portion out of their savings to feed themselves and the family, or even completely withdraw from the service; t is the hope that things return to normal in soonest.

While the firm offers an array of options, it is first and foremost, an investment service. As compared to other establishments offering the same service, Personal Capital platform is among those leading the pack. It is good not just for big investors, but also those looking ahead to plan post-retirement life.

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