Personal Capital is definitely still my favorite net worth tracker by far. I love it for its incredibly intuitive interface, the fact that it allows you to aggregate all the different accounts that you have, and because it’s absolutely free!
If you take some time to think about it, you may realize just how spread out your investments really are.
Maybe you have a 401(k) with your employer and a taxable account with Vanguard. You might also have a traditional or Roth IRA at Fidelity. And what about those stocks that are just orphaned over at M1 Finance?
Maybe you’ve had multiple employers over time and you haven’t rolled over your 401(k)s, so they are all just sitting there with your previous employers. Then you likely have multiple banks that you do business with, all of which have several accounts.
Without a service like Personal Capital you have to visit a lot of websites to keep track of all of those separate accounts. You may have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets of information, all tracking your different investments. Instead of surfing all over the internet, why not combine all of your data into one easy-to-use net worth tracker?
Personal Capital is the best net worth tracker because you can keep track of your entire portfolio in just one place. You don’t even have to move your accounts. Leave them exactly where they are and Personal Capital will consolidate them in one place. Not only that, but it also has other important features like cash-flow tracking, a retirement fee analyzer, and an allocation checkup. The best part? It’s totally free!
Although it’s fundamentally a net worth tracker, Personal Capital is so much more than that. Here are all of the different ways that Personal Capital can serve you and help you keep track of every piece of your financial portfolio.
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Personal Capital’s Net Worth Dashboard
As soon as you set up Personal Capital, you’ll get a personalized net worth dashboard. It pops up when you log into your account and allows you to see all your accounts in one place. It combines all your accounts into a single clean chart that gives you a great visual representation of your current net worth and your progress over time.
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Financial Tracking Made Simple
When it comes down to it, simplicity is everything for me. I don’t want to be logging in to 30 different sites just to get an update on where I stand financially. Not when I can use a site like Personal Capital that just takes care of all of it for me.
I still play around with Excel sheets just because I like to do more like future value calculations and tweak different things at the margins. So I’m not saying that you’re never going to look at your Excel sheet again. But Personal Capital does all the heavy lifting for you.
Better Tracking Of Cash Flow Month To Month
You can add your monthly expenses to your Personal Capital dashboard to see how they’re factoring into your spending and net worth. This is a great option for a lot of people who want to have a truly holistic picture of where they stand financially. Some people choose not to use this feature, myself included. That’s not because it’s not a good feature, but because I prefer to avoid adding the noise of monthly expenses to my overall net worth tracker.
For my month-to-month expense tracking, I actually still prefer and use Mint, so I have two different platforms set up. But Personal Capital is my favorite tool for all of my investment tracking.
Tracking Real Estate Investments With Personal Capital
You also have the option to put it in your home, rental property value(s), and mortgage balance(s) as well.
Personal Capital will pull estimated market values from Zillow and the mortgage balances from your lender. You can also add the market value of your properties manually if you aren’t a fan of Zillow’s estimates. That is just incredibly convenient!
You’ll link each individual account that you want to set up and then from there it kind of takes care of everything for you.
The investment checkup tool that Personal Capital has can actually take a look at your portfolio and allow you to see whether or not you’re overweight in any particular category in that particular portfolio.
Retirement Fee Analyzer
If you are just starting to pay attention to your expense ratios, Personal Capital has a feature that allows it to look at all the expenses that you’re paying on your various accounts. It will highlight any of them that are exorbitant.
Now, I don’t have a ton of mutual funds that can trick me with some of these higher fees. Not anymore, anyway! But if you’re just now starting to pay attention to your fees, this is a very beneficial tool.
If you have accounts with past employers, you may find that they have some monstrously high fees. This is a quick way for you to assess that. After all, knowledge is power. Once you identify that you’re paying too much in fees, in many cases you can choose to course correct and get into a fund that has much lower fees.
The difference in the fee percentages can be millions of dollars over your working career, so it’s well worth looking into.
Allocation Against The Efficient Frontier
Personal Capital can show you where your allocation is on the efficient frontier curve. This is a type of risk modeling. Basically, it assesses where you are on this curve in terms of being able to expect a higher return without substantially increasing your risk. The implication is that there is a point of diminishing returns, where you’re really taking way more risk than you need to for very little in returns. It’s good to know where you stand so you can take action on your accounts if needed.
It’s a pain to have your accounts spread out all over the internet. What’s more, it could be dangerous to your bottom line if you can’t get a clear view of your allocation. Personal Capital fixes this for you with its allocation checkup tool.
This tool looks at all your investments and gives you a breakdown of exactly what you are holding. In turn, this breakdown allows you to look at your cap weight and your allocation models. You know how much are you weighted in various sectors and U.S. stocks. This is a fantastic feature.
For example, let’s say you are aiming to have 80% stocks and 20% bonds. If you have mutual funds or EFTs in several different accounts, say your Roth and your 401(k), it’s very difficult to know exactly what you are holding in each fund, and how that relates to your allocation goals.
But with the Allocation Checkup, you can see exactly where you stand and can then decide if it’s time to take action.
Retirement Planning Calculator
Personal Capital has a wonderful retirement planning calculator. It allows you to put in projected monthly spending and projected investments, and then actually allows you to determine whether or not you’re going to be able to pull off this retirement.
You can actually input scenarios to see if they are viable or not. I tried “I want to be able to spend $60,000 a year and I plan on living off of my portfolio at the age of 40 can I pull this off?” It runs 5,000 different calculations and then finds the median on how likely it is that your plan will be successful.
This calculator is incredibly flexible and will allow you to play with all the variables.
It can tell you pretty precisely whether or not you’re going to be able to accomplish your goal. Beyond that, you can actually add extra features like your Social Security estimate, your spouse’s Social Security Estimate, and allowing you to make your retirement planning as accurate as you want.
They continue to improve this tool, so continue to watch it for changes so you can keep going deeper into your retirement planning.
Ultimately, the reason that I love Personal Capital so much is the simplicity of being able to track my net worth in one single place. I highly recommend you check it out. You will not regret it.
Originally posted at https://www.choosefi.com/personal-capital-review-the-ultimate-net-worth-tracker/