Personal Capital Review

Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.

According to Personal Capital, it considers itself “the next-generation financial advisor.” It is a company that prides itself on having a customer-centered approach that helps people make better investment decisions with their money. They provide free tools and software to allow customers to see the “big picture” when it comes to their finances.

Personal Capital also prides itself on its transparency. There are no hidden fees; they simply charge you once a year based on the amount of your portfolio. The CEO of Personal Capital, Bill Harris, was the former CEO of both PayPal and Intuit.

Overall, Personal Capital seems to live up to what it stands for — a transparent customer approach. It’s all about you managing your financial life with the ease of their tools, software and simple dashboard. At times, however, the website and app experience glitches that can be frustrating for users. It’s a great service to use because it’s free, as long as Personal Capital continues to work on getting the glitches out.

How Does Personal Capital Work?

To start with, open a free account with Personal Capital. After you’ve done this, you have to link all of your financial accounts with the online interface. This is an easy process that requires minimal effort; you simply specify the type of account you want to link and then fill in the required information. After your accounts are linked, they are updated daily in real time.

From here, you can explore your finances through an abundance of graphs and charts that give you a better sense of your financial health, such as income, debt, expenses, net worth, asset allocation, investment returns, investment fees and more. There is also a Personal Capital Budgeting feature, which allows you to create a budget for spending. You can use their tools to stay on top of bills and much more. They will even send you friendly updates and reminders when your net worth changes, for example. You can customize alerts that remind you to pay bills, for example.

From your Personal Capital dashboard, you’ll be able to see all of the following:

  • Net worth
  • Cash flow
  • Portfolio balances
  • Portfolio allocations
  • Key holdings
  • Top gainers and losers
  • Account balances and transactions
  • Spending by account, category
  • Income reports
  • Spending reports and upcoming bills
  • Investment returns
  • Projected investment fees

What Makes Personal Capital Stand Out?

There are four areas where Personal Capital really stands out: its customer service, use of Smart Indexing, lots of free tools and fees.

  1. When you invest with Personal Capital, you really get that “personal touch” because of their excellent customer service that includes dedicated financial advisors who help manage your portfolio.
  2. As for Smart Indexing, this reduces investment risk while increasing returns — exactly what every investor wants.
  3. The free tools offered by Personal Capital really make them stand out, and you don’t have to be an investor to use them. In fact, all you have to do is sign up for a free account, and you will have access to all of the free tools.
  4. When it comes to fees, Personal Capital stands out because their fees are higher, on average, than the competition. They do make up for these high fees by offering superior service, lots of free tools and the approach by which they help to invest your money. Their goal is to help your money grow — every day.

Common Reviews of Personal Capital

Of 271 people who reviewed Personal Capital on, the majority of the reviews were positive, earning Personal Capital a rating of 8.8 out of 10 stars, which translates to “Great.” Overall, the customers were happy with free tools and the ease of using the website. This was especially appreciated by beginner investors. One customer said, “Excellent resource. Great for the beginner investor who’s learning about what they’re invested in and what their net worth is. I check it daily and use it for goal setting.”

Many of the positive comments were short, sweet and straight to the point, summing up what they love about Personal Capital. For example, one customer said, “Simple, and all under one umbrella, free and trusted.”

Another customer said, “Excellent software to keep track of your income, expenses, and investment accounts. Easy to use, clean interface, regularly updated and improved.”

And another said, “Very good mobile app and online dashboard for keeping track of personal finances (especially investments). I check it every day.”

While another customer said, “Exceeds my expectations! Works smoothly. Easy to use and the extra security features are impressive. I’ve come to use it daily.”

On the other hand, there were some unhappy customers. These negative complaints tended to focus on customers having problems linking their accounts to Personal Capital. One unhappy customer said, “I used to like Personal Capital before they grew beyond their operational capacity of their resources. I have several accounts that are not updating and have heard no response from their support representatives in months!”

Another customer said, “It’s been easy to sync my investment and mortgage accounts, but near impossible to keep my BECU accounts synced. There seems to be a miscommunication between BECU and personal cap. Hoping it improves and I’ll be able to leave a better review soon.”

While the positive reviews certainly outnumbered the negative ones, some people did have a bad experience with Personal Capital. To be fair, however, most of these issues were technical issues.

Can I Get Deals on the Personal Capital Site?

Personal Capital is always free to use. There is no fee to sign up, and most of the tools are free. There is no obligation to invest with them, but if you do, there isn’t much room for deals, since they only charge one fee per year. The best way to get a deal on the percentage charged to your account, if you decide to invest with Personal Capital, is to keep your balance above $1 million at all times. Here the actual breakdown of the percentage you will pay according to your account balance:

  • $0-$1,000,000: 0.89 percent of account balance
  • For clients that invest $1 million or more:
    • First $3 million: 0.79 percent of account balance
    • Next $2 million: 0.69 percent of account balance
    • Next $5 million: 0.59 percent of account balance
    • Over $10 million: 0.49 percent of account balance

As you can see, Personal Capital is an investment opportunity to individuals with high net value. However, the rest of their services are free to anyone who wants to take control of their financial lives.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Versus Reviews. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.