Empower Personal Dashboard Review

The Empower Personal Dashboard app gives you a complete picture of your finances, helping you take control of your money. The app is totally free to use and lets you conveniently see all of your finances in one place. Empower is safe to use, secure, and intuitive. Get all the details below in this extensive Empower Personal Dashboard review.

Empower And Personal Capital Background

How did Empower Personal Dashboard come about? It was first created by the firm Personal Capital, a digital wealth advisor founded in 2009 by Bill Harris, ex-CEO of Intuit and Paypal. Based in the SF Bay Area, I've had the fantastic opportunity to work closely with them since 2012.

After many successful years and significant growth, Personal Capital was acquired by Empower Retirement, the second largest retirement services provider in the US, in August 2020 for $1 billion in enterprise value.

Prior to the acquisition, Personal Capital held over $7.5 billion in assets under management and $500 billion in tracked assets from 1.6 million registered users using their free financial app as of 2H2019

The company was initially rebranded as “Personal Capital, an Empower company” for 1.5 years. Then in 2023, Personal Capital and its highly popular app officially were renamed “Empower” and “Empower Personal Dashboard” respectively.

Empower has over a century of financial experience. And close to 18 million Americans already trust Empower with their finances. In addition, Empower has $284+ billion in assets under management and $1.3 trillion in plan assets administered as of 2023.

What Does The Empower Personal Dashboard App Do?

Now that you know the history, you're probably wondering what does the Empower Personal Dashboard app actually do?

The fundamental basis of the app is it lets you securely link all of your financial accounts to it so that it can monitor where your money is in real-time 24/7. Don't worry though, your various bank accounts aren't changed and your money isn't relocated when you link them to the app.

See All Of Your Finances In One Place With Empower Personal Dashboard

The Empower Personal Dashboard app simply connects to your various financial institutions and synchs the data feeds (current account balance, cash movements, payments, fees, etc). The great thing about this is you can see multiple accounts from multiple banks all in one place.

This includes:

Access Many More Complimentary Features

Seeing all of your finances in one place is just the beginning. There are loads more free features to highlight in our Empower Personal Dashboard review. Here's a quick overview:

  • Track your net worth in real-time (no more spreadsheets!)
  • Retirement planner (they make it easy)
  • Retirement calculator
  • Budget expenses
  • Track your cash flow
  • Set portfolio allocation targets for your investments and monitor drift
  • Get tips on saving and spending smarter

Everybody should sign up for the free financial app. It is the best free platform available today to track and manage your wealth. No longer do you have to keep track of every account on a piece of paper or through a spreadsheet like I did for 13 years. Leverage Empower's technology instead.

Reasons To Use Empower Personal Dashboard

1) Simplicity And Less Stress

Before Empower Personal Dashboard, I had to log into eight different financial institutions to track over 30 different financial accounts. They ranged from brokerage accounts, money market accounts, CD accounts, checking accounts, an IRA, and my 401K. My finances were a mess, and I'm sure your finances could use some organization as well.

Now I can just quickly log into Empower Personal Dashboard to see how all my financial accounts are doing in one place. It's important to have a holistic view of your overall financial health. This helps you set and reach goals, and know where to allocate resources.

Empower Personal Dashboard Review

2) Empower Personal Dashboard Automatically Tracks Your Net Worth

Tracking your net worth is a vital part of growing wealth. Just take a look at the average net worth for the above average person. I hope it motivates you to set net worth growth goals and believe that you too can achieve greater wealth.

Fortunately, tracking your net worth today is easier than ever before. Gone are the days when you had to use an Excel spreadsheet to manually update every single asset and liability line item to calculate your net worth.

Empower Personal Dashboard updates your net worth automatically as soon as you log in when you have all of your accounts linked. They also provide a pie chart of your assets and display a historical chart of your net worth progression.

If one of your financial institutions isn't accessible to automatically sync an account through the Empower Personal Dashboard, simply add it yourself manually. Empower will also conveniently e-mail you a weekly snapshot of your latest net worth along with how the markets did, upcoming bills, latest insightful blog posts, and accounts that need your attention.

Below is a sample headline snapshot.

Empower Personal Dashboard Net Worth Tracking

3) Easily Track Your Cash Flow

Budgeting is personal finance 101. Track your income and spending like a hawk, and you can save a lot more money than if you simply tried to guess everything. Think about all the times you've withdrawn cash from an ATM machine and couldn't figure out where all the money went a couple of days later.

Aggregating all your accounts in the Empower Personal Dashboard allows you to easily see where all your money is going. In the example below, an entrepreneur brought in over $38,000 in income and spent only $3,096. Now that's great cash flow!

Personal Capital Cash Flow Tracker

4) Get Help Balancing Risk With The Empower Personal Dashboard App

With so many accounts, it's often hard to see exactly what's going where. For example, In a bull market many investors may be too overweight equities and way underweight bonds. This happened to a lot of people before the financial crash in 2009.

With Empower, you can easily see where any imbalances are in your net worth so you can make smart adjustments.

The Investment Checkup tool in the Empower Personal Dashboard app analyzes your portfolio's holdings based on size, style, and sector. Empower excels for those who have assets in the stock market. Personally, I like to maintain a 35%, 35%, 30% split between stocks, real estate, and CDs/bonds.

For more suggestions, check out my article on the proper asset allocation of stocks and bonds by age.

Empower Investment Checkup tool

5) Empower Helps You Save Money On Fees

One of my favorite tools Empower provides is the Portfolio Fee Analyzer. I ran my 401K through their fee analyzer and discovered that I was paying over $1,750 a year in management fees. I had no idea that my Fidelity Large Cap Growth fund cost $1,200 a year due to a 0.74% expense ratio compared to sub 0.3% for my Vanguard Funds.

As a result, I found a similar Large Cap index fund instead and am now saving $1,000 in fees a year. Without Empower Personal Dashboard, I would have spent over $87,000 in excessive fees over the next 20 years.

Take a look at my example below. Portfolio fees are a serious problem that can rob you of your retirement wealth if you are not careful. Don't let ignorance interfere with your financial well-being.

Mutual Fund Fees Graph Empower Personal Dashboard

6) Monitor Your Portfolio's Investment Efficiency

Based on your risk tolerance and investment objectives questionnaire, Empower will give you an idea of where your current allocation is on the Efficient Frontier Curve.

The Efficient Frontier Curve represents the best returns for a certain level of risk. Your objective is to be on the curve and not above or below it.

Related: Empower New Dashboard Features

Risk Return Empower Personal Dashboard

7) Get Empower's Recommendations On Specific Dollar Amounts To Invest 

Financial advice is useless if there is no actionable advice. The Empower Personal Dashboard app will recommend specific dollar amounts to invest or reinvest in each asset class to get you to an optimal asset allocation.

In this example below, the investor is too heavily weighted in cash. In order to get to his recommended target allocation the investor needs to increase stock holdings by roughly $200,000 and bond holdings by roughly $100,000. The fun part is figuring out which index funds to invest in each category. All investment-related charts and analyses can be found in the Investing tab.

Empower Personal Dashboard Recommendation Of Assets

8) Empower Has The Best Retirement Planning Calculator

The Empower Personal Dashboard app has the best retirement calculator on the market because it uses real data and Monte Carlo simulations to come up with the most realistic financial scenarios for your future.

Other retirement calculators simply ask you to guess input values to then come up with your financial future. The problem with this method is that we often underestimate how much we are saving and spending.

With Empower, you can input different life events such as a wedding or home purchase into your cash flow statement and recalculate your financial future to see how you'll do. Everybody should give it a try.

Planning for retirement when paying for private grade school
Empower Personal Personal Dashboard sample retirement planner calculator. Are you on track? Click to find out.

Leverage Empower's Free Technology To Create Greater Wealth

Get a handle on your finances by signing up with Empower for free and aggregating your accounts. I hope this thorough Empower Personal Dashboard review has inspired you to check it out. It takes less than a minute to sign up. And you'll be amazed at how much more clarity you'll have with your finances.

I'm so happy I signed up with them in 2012. My net worth has more than tripled since then and I feel confident going through life given my thorough understanding of my finances.

Sign Up For Personal Capital For Free

About the Author: Sam began investing his own money ever since he opened an online brokerage account in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college working at two of the leading financial service firms in the world. During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate. 

FinancialSamurai.com was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites today with over 1.5 million pageviews a month. Financial Samurai has been featured in numerous top publications such as the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal. 

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Empower Personal Dashboard
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Empower Personal Dashboard
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