What kind of features do you look for in your personal finance tools?
Are you looking for white-glove service when it comes to investing?
Are you more of a DIY type who just needs help tracking a ton of diversified investment accounts?
Or maybe you’re a tech-obsessed investor who loves the affordability + functionality that today’s robo-advisor platforms offer?
No matter what you’re looking for when it comes to investment and money management, we know there’s a great-fitting tool out there for you — you just have to find it.
And that is precisely what we’re going to help you do today in our comparison of LearnVest (now Northwestern Mutual), Personal Capital, Kubera, and several more products.
Why It’s Important to Diversify Your Investment Tools
(Very) generally speaking, a bear market occurs when the value of securities or commodities on the U.S. stock exchange consistently drops in value, or stays at a lower value than usual for a longer-than-normal amount of time.
Whether we’re in or just on the verge of a bear market, the sentiment is the same: investors are pessimistic and risk-averse.
This attitude understandably leads to a slowdown in investing. Together with a slowdown in spending — something we’ve seen lately thanks to soaring inflation and the growing interest rates that aim to cool it down — the conditions are just right for an even bigger market shift.
We’re talking recession.
The White House says the U.S. is not currently experiencing a recession. But the vast majority of investors believe one will be upon us very soon.
What’s all this have to do with your investment tools?
The fact of the matter is that one of the best recession-proofing tactics for investors is taking stock of your entire portfolio of assets.
This is because it’s practically impossible to wisely manage a bunch of assets when you can’t clearly see how they’re performing. And wisely managing them may become very important if a recession does happen and you have to make calculated decisions around what to sell, what to double-down on, and everything in between.
On their own, most financial tools can’t give you the full picture of your entire portfolio, give you the information you need to actually manage that portfolio, and provide smart investment advice that aligns with what’s currently going on in the market.
That’s why tool diversification is just as important as portfolio diversification!
When you have the right blend of platforms that help you see and control all your investments, you’ll be prepared to ride out anything the bear market, and even the possible recession, throws your way.
Let’s explore some key ingredients for that blend now.
Kubera: All-in-One Wealth Tracking for Modern, Diversified Investors
Kubera gives diversified investors the first part of the puzzle whether prepping for a downturning marketing or making their next great investment — visibility.
We’re a team of diversified, DIY investors who noticed something was missing: a platform where we could see all the assets that made up our portfolios and our wealth.
So we built it.
Bank accounts, website domain names, real estate holdings, stocks, crypto portfolios, collectibles, cars, NFTs, precious metals, DeFi coins, and Fiat money — those are just some of the assets Kubera handles. In fact, check out the thousands of banks, crypto exchanges, and other financial institutions with which Kubera integrates.
When you add your account credentials to Kubera, our platform keeps your account-based assets updated in real-time. And our spreadsheet-like interface makes it simple to keep everything else accurate.
In addition, we work with asset assessment platforms such as Zillow and EstiBot and have even built in custom stock and cryptocurrency trackers. And Kubera’s automated currency conversion means you can view the value of all your assets, no matter where they’re from, in your preferred currency. But if you do want to track assets in their native currencies, or maybe just organize them by different goals, you can always build out separate portfolios!
Once you’re accurately tracking your assets inside Kubera, it’s time to determine how they’re working for you.
Kubera automatically calculates IRR for investments, aka internal rate of return. All we need is an asset’s current value, price, and cash flow. Kubera will add in holding time and automatically display an asset’s return — all in your preferred currency.
This feature is key to quickly understanding how your individual assets are performing so you make insightful decisions around where to sell and where to buy in pre-recession times.
Now, how about a complete overview of portfolio performance over time?
Kubera’s Recap screen uses aggregation to crunch all your data. Then, it can show you daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even yearly changes in net worth and investable asset allocation and value.
With all our features combined, Kubera provides modern portfolio tracking that enables investors to wisely double-down on the portfolio diversification that will help keep them afloat no matter what the future brings.
Try Kubera Now
Sign up to see for yourself now!
Work with a financial advisor or wealth manager? You can still use Kubera! All your financial pro has to do is use our white-label solution to upgrade the experience they provide for their clients — yourself included.
LearnVest (Now Northwestern Mutual): White-Glove Financial Planning and Investment Advisorship
LearnVest was originally a suite of educational resources and investing and budgeting tools founded by Alexa von Tobel. At first a financial planning platform just for women, LearnVest eventually adjusted its focus to serve everyone in an attempt to make expert financial planning more approachable for the non-rich.
In 2015, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual. In 2018, their offerings were discontinued. And today, the LearnVest website simply features a succinct list of written resources providing financial advice.
Which brings us to Northwestern Mutual.
Over the years, Northwestern Mutual has expanded from an insurance provider to a supplier of managed investment products and services, including:
- Brokerage services
- Investment advisory services
- Private wealth management
- Variable annuities
In addition to investment management, Northwestern Mutual also has a team of financial planners offering a variety of advice when it comes to:
- Private wealth management
- Estate planning
- Retirement planning
- College planning
- Long-term care
- Business services
Northwestern Mutual also produces a wealth of articles that anyone can read to learn more about current market conditions, the basics of money management, and lots more.
For investors who desire professional assistance when it comes to their investment, financial, and insurance decisions — or want a hands-off money management experience — Northwestern Mutual may be a good addition to their wealth management toolbox.
Personal Capital: Combining DIY Wealth Management with Hands-On Advice
Personal Capital is probably a name you’ve heard, because they offer something for a few different types of investors.
As for free tools, Personal Capital lets investors connect bank and investment accounts, credit cards, and loans to their platform. Once your credentials are in, you’ll be able to see how these assets and liabilities are performing — and impacting your net worth — over time.
In addition, Personal Capital offers several more tools aside from its basic wealth dashboard:
- Cash flow view
- Budgeting help
- Savings planner
- Retirement account planning
- Fee analyzer for finding hidden payments
- Quick investment checkup for checking on your risk, performance, etc.
- Lots of calculators that provide insight into net worth, debt payoff, budgeting, 401K contributions, etc.
As you can see, Personal Capital is quite handy for investors, as long as they only need to track very basic and traditional asset classes.
However, there is something you need to know about.
Ultimately, Personal Capital’s free tier is a marketing tool for their paid, personal financial planning offering — and other features and products.
Once an investor has $100K+ in assets in their Personal Capital account, they’re eligible to receive personalized financial management, starting at .89% of the value of assets under management (AUM). And Personal Capital won’t let them forget it between ads, calls, and upsells that users report lasting for years.
Because of this, we recommend Personal Capital for investors with smaller, more traditional portfolios who are also interested in the hands-on financial advice their advisors offer.
A Few More Money Management Tools to Consider
While those are the biggest contenders for diverse investment and money management tools that will help you create, monitor, and optimize a recession-ready portfolio, there are of course hundreds of options out there.
Quickly, we’ll run through a few more options and additions you may find useful.
Vanguard: More Affordable Established Advisory for All Walks
Vanguard is one of the most established names in the investment world. And as such, they have a lot of choices for folks who want to work with them.
You can consume their free DIY resources, sign up for their online financial planning platform powered by robo-advisors, or of course work with a human advisor for personal advice and management.
The thing that makes that last part interesting is that it’s actually more affordable than other options.
While you’ll only be able to access a dedicated advisor once you have $500,000 in assets, it’ll cost you around .30% for assets up to $5 million — compared to Personal Capital’s 0.69% at the same tier.
So if you’re big on the hand-on advisorship but not so much on the exorbitant fees, Vanguard may be your best bet.
Betterment: Let a Robo-Advisor Automate Your Investment Decisions
When mentioning robo-advisors, we certainly can’t leave out one of the most robust platforms built around this type of financial tech — Betterment.
Betterment uses algorithms, those are the robo-advisors, to inform and optimize the way its users spend, save, and invest their money. As you keep your priorities up to date and your investments grow, the platform will evolve the advice it provides.
Betterment can help you invest, save on taxes with tax-loss harvesting, put aside the right amount for retirement and other goals, earn more on cash savings, and even provide a checking account for daily spending.
For investors who are interested in handing over investment and money management to technology, Betterment is a proven solution.
You Need a Budget (YNAB): Simple Rules for Smarter Saving and Spending
The name says it all when it comes to YNAB.
The platform that all began from a young, broke couple tracking their expenses has grown into an ecosystem that enables users to “Gain Total Control of Your Money.”
YNAB offers web and mobile apps that subscribers can use to align with their four-part philosophy for budget management:
- Assign every dollar a job
- Get real about, and plan for, expenses
- Be flexible when overspending happens
- Only spend money that’s at least 30 days old
With these rules that make budgeting both smarter and more achievable, YNAB is a great tool for folks who want to meet financial goals like eliminating their debt and ending the cyclical lifestyle of surviving paycheck to paycheck.
Add Kubera to Your Investor Toolbox
Diversity is the name of the game when riding out a recession — and that applies to both your assets and the tools you use to manage them.
If you need insight into how all your assets are performing, even the digital ones and the non-traditional ones like real estate and precious metals, Kubera is just the tool.