Whether you don’t want to use Personal Capital or you can’t use Personal Capital — and there are reasons why some consumers actually can’t use it, which we’ll explore later — keep reading to learn about several Personal Capital alternatives that will fulfill all your personal wealth management needs.
What is Personal Capital?
Personal Capital, acquired by Empower Retirement in August 2020 for $825 million (with another $175 million set aside for growth), is defined by their new owners as “ … a digital-first registered investment adviser and wealth manager.”
While their white-glove financial planning and advisement services are how the company ultimately generates revenue, they aren’t the same services that get most users in the door.
For the majority of users, Personal Capital is a wealth management application they can use to add, view, and manage various traditional financial accounts — think bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, etc. — all in one place. It’s important to note here that Personal Capital only works for U.S.-based users and accounts.
Personal Capital also offers other traditional wealth management app features, including a net worth estimator, a budget calculator where users can track monthly income and costs, and a savings planner where users can put this budgeting info to practice creating tracking progress toward their financial goals.
In addition, there are also a few more unique features including an analyzer for catching fees you might not have been aware of and a few calculators to help with financial planning for big-ticket purchases as well as retirement.
The downside of this version of Personal Capital — the free and accessible version — is that once you sign up for it and give the company your information, you might never stop hearing from their sales team.
Personal Capital is aggressive about encouraging its users to add more and more assets to their profile. Why? Because once a user has about $100,000 of assets in their account, that’s when Personal Capital starts offering their active portfolio management and financial advisement services — for a fee, of course.
So what sets Personal Capital apart from financial advisors that provide the same active asset management services? Personal Capital has a modern interface and their personalized services can be more attainable. For example, with Vanguard, clients only get a dedicated advisor once they’ve added $500,000 in assets to their account. However, Personal Capital charges more for asset management (about .69% up to $5 million compared to Vanguard’s .30%) than many of its competitors.
Summary: Personal Capital is for U.S.-based investors who want paid, white-glove portfolio management.
Why Do I Need to Find the Best Personal Capital Alternative?
There are a few key reasons why you as an investor may want to consider a Personal Capital alternative.
You Don’t Appreciate Your Own Data Being Used Against You
While the promise of “free” financial planning attracts many a visitor to Personal Capital’s website, we all know by now that there’s no such thing as truly free.
And you might also know a sentiment that’s becoming more common in our increasingly digital world — when a product or service is free to you, that’s because you’re the product!
In the case of Personal Capital, what that means is they’re letting you access their product for free so that they can collect data about you and your behavior. They then use this data in a few ways. One way is to create extremely relevant marketing to sell you products and services offered by Empower Retirement, Personal Capital’s parent company. Another way they use this data is to first anonymize it and then sell it to third parties. These entities in turn also use this information to create highly personal sales and marketing tactics that they hope resonate with you and other consumers like you.
And this is the rub when it comes to any “free” financial planning tool, not just Personal Capital. The truth is, they have to make a dollar somehow! Just remember that if they’re not doing that by charging some kind of upfront fee or taking a cut elsewhere along the line, they’re still making money from you somewhere.
If privacy is vital when it comes to your financial data, protect it by being thoughtful about the wealth management tools that you allow to access it. If in doubt about any financial management tools, just make sure you’re certain about how you’re paying for the product and, of course, read the fine print!
You’re Tired of Being Upsold on Features You Don’t Want
While the self-serve financial management features of Personal Capital certainly do work for the majority of users, the truth is that this free tier of the platform is ultimately a sales funnel.
Once a new user gives Personal Capital any of their information, they should be resigned to receive sales messaging on a regular basis. There are plenty of stories across the internet from people recounting getting cold calls from Personal Capital over the course of years.
Why the upsell? Because once an account has $100,000 in assets, they’re eligible to access a team of advisors. At $200,000 or more, they can work with one or more dedicated advisors. The fees for active management — which range from .89% to .49% of the value of the assets — are where Personal Capital makes its money.
If you’re looking for self-serve personal wealth management, getting involved with Personal Capital may not be the best solution for you.
You Need Your Financial Apps to Be Global-Friendly
As we touched on briefly above, Personal Capital is practically useless for investors who live or have financial assets based outside the U.S.
While the app can be accessed from anywhere in the world, Personal Capital only supports U.S.-based financial institutions, assets in U.S. dollars, and users with U.S. phone numbers.
The reason? Financial institutions around the world are built using different technologies. In order to work with these different technologies, wealth management apps like Personal Capital have to use financial app aggregators. When financial apps don’t work in certain countries, it’s because they aren’t using enough or the right aggregators to support global functionality.
Global citizens with assets and accounts from all over the world need a Personal Capital alternative that’s built with their needs in mind.
The Best Personal Capital Alternative: Kubera
Kubera is a complete wealth management app built by global citizens to help other global citizens organize and manage all of their assets and financial planning from one easy-to-use platform.
Kubera makes for a great Personal Capital alternative because of its focus on integrating a variety of assets. With Kubera, you can connect all your bank, brokerage, credit card, and even cryptocurrency accounts. In fact, you can check out the full list of the banks, crypto exchanges and wallets, and other financial institutions to which Kubera connects right now just to be sure you’ll always be able to view the value of your entire portfolio in real-time!
In addition to account-based assets, Kubera also makes it easy to monitor and manage a wide variety of traditional assets (investments, debts, etc.), physical assets (jewelry, art, etc.), and digital assets (domain names, trademarks, etc.) — and track their value in any major currency of your choosing.
With our cutting-edge asset feeds, when you add a home, vehicle, or even a domain you’ve purchased, Kubera can feed the real-time market data for those assets into your dashboard so you can see their value in real-time, any time.
And our stock and crypto tickers make it similarly easy to keep an eye on the performance of individual stock or cryptocurrency investments. Add these tickers to your Kubera dashboard to monitor the market and make educated purchasing and selling decisions.
With features that make real-time account and asset tracking almost automatic, Kubera is the premier tool for high-net-worth individuals who want to build their own highly customized budgets and easily manage their finances in a way that achieves their goals.
Another thing that makes Kubera a great Personal Capital alternative for financial planning is our upsell-free business model. We charge a simple subscription fee so we don’t have to upsell our products or sell your personal information to advertisers like some financial apps do. Our commitment to securing your data is made even more clear with our bank-level security and cutting-edge encryption practices.
Kubera also has another feature that’s totally unique among wealth management apps. Our beneficiary management feature and Safe Deposit Box and ensures the safe storage — and transfer — of your portfolio and the important financial information and legal documents you’ve stored to a designated beneficiary.
Summary: Kubera is the best all-in-one wealth management app for HNWIs who want to self-manage diverse portfolios for a reasonable price.
Other Personal Capital Alternatives
While Kubera is an all-in-one Personal Capital alternative, here are some other financial planning tools to check out if you’re only interested in using one or two specific financial features.
Quicken is a wealth management tool with a twist — it has features that are aimed at users who want to manage both their personal and business financials using the same platform.
Quicken supports these types of users by providing a somewhat basic financial account and investment tracking tool, features for building a budget, and spending tracking. On the business side, Quicken integrates with thousands of billers for easy bill payment and account monitoring, has a platform for managing business and rental properties, and even contains a portal specifically built for businesses owners to manage their intertwined personal and professional finances side by side.
Tiller Money has revolutionized spreadsheets for wealth management. Tiller enables users to connect their financial accounts to Google Sheets and Excel to get a view of their transactions and balances that automatically updates every day. Included templates make it easy for you to get started, but from there you can also choose to build out your own unique dashboards right down to customized categories, charts, colors, and beyond.
While Personal Capital does show users their cash flow, it isn’t meant to be a full-on expense tracking and management tool.
Instead, Mint was built to enable users to manage expenses by creating budgets and closely scrutinizing spending. Just remember that even though you don’t have to spend any money to use the tool, you are “paying” by permitting Mint to sell your personal data to advertisers.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a financial planning platform built specifically to help users who, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, need a budget!
You Need a Budget is unique among budget platforms because it positions itself as a proactive learning tool that is meant to change the behavior behind overspending, not react to it after it’s already happened.
Pocketsmith is another budget-focused financial planning tool, but with flexible features and a focus on younger individuals who might have a different approach to spending, saving, and money-making than older generations.
For example, Pocketsmith has some unique capabilities that enable its users to keep an eye on multiple income streams (hello, side hustle!), create forecasts to help them reach their FIRE goals, and juggle saving for a big purchase — like a house — while paying down a big debt — like a student loan.
If you want investment help but aren’t really interested in participating in or paying for the high rates that come with active, human-led asset management; Betterment is a good option. Betterment is a popular robo-advisor (a totally automated financial “planner”) that’s best known for its affordability and diversity of funds.
But if you do want some personal, human attention when it comes to investment advice and financial planning, Facet Wealth combines robo-advisors with human financial advisors. The cost savings from this strategy enable them to serve clients with no minimum portfolio requirements and charge a flat fee ranging from $100 to $500 per month depending on the package.
Try the Best Personal Capital Alternative for Free Today
While many Personal Capital alternatives excel in specific features, Kubera is the only all-inclusive and best Personal Capital alternative that has been built from the ground up to meet the needs of today’s global, diverse investors.
If you’re a financial professional or would like to use Kubera through your financial planner for free, we offer a white-label solution that banks, estate planners, and other wealth pros can take advantage of by simply contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, get started with Kubera today by signing up for a monthly or cost-saving yearly subscription.