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Personal Capital

Started by Nigel, November 15, 2018, 11:59:04 AM

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I did the Personal Capital introductory assessment of my portfolio and I liked the presentation...I'm just not yet sold on 89 basis points...

Is it okay to talk about this here?  I don't want to cause any trouble for you Sam.  I would have PM'd you to ask more privately but I'm blocked.  :)


Nigel - Feel free to ask away. Have I blocked you? Maybe I have blocked everyone, b/c I don't know how to check my PMs.

The whole purpose of the forum is to discuss real personal related things in a respectful manner.

I've personally not used PC as an asset manager because of my experience managing my own money. But for someone who has no experience and who appreciates a human at the end of the phone, PC could be good.



I also did the introductory assessment and decided against it. They were very aggressive about scheduling a call until I did it and declined to go further. As someone pursuing FI, I prefer to learn to manage my own money. 89 points compounded over 10 years is a little over 9%, which can feel like a lot in fees if you have a large networth.


I connected with Personal Capital as a way to look at my assets from a different viewpoint than I had been looking at them.  I can do a little more tracking than I have figured out how to do with Quicken.  It is a good platform, but not perfect. I did like I could enter my data myself and explore some different scenarios, and see it all in one place.  It doesn't support all my banks/companies/asset types (like life insurance), but it did provide a free analysis of my fees (mine are really low!), and it gave me some opportunites to plug in different retirement dates and cash flows, which was encouraging, and made me look at how and when certain monies will be "available". 

I talked to them for my no obligation consult. Besides making me think about how much cash flow we will actually NEED at retirement (hadn't thought that through much) T, they also reminded me to look at international funds, etfs and some precious metals (probably not)  but couldn't quite get their heads around my deferred comp earning 7% (I count it as a bond).  We will soon be transitioning to filling up our post tax funnels for retirement to complement the tax deferred savings we have already set aside, but I am still figuring out how I want to focus everything and what method I want to use to manage it.  It was a worthwhile spending the time looking at it all.  I like the tax loss harvesting idea, but right now I am heavy in tax qualified, so not what I need just yet.

Anyone try another platform for data entry/analysis that they have liked? Does anyone here use PC to manage their investments or are we all pretty much in the same boat trying to figure out for ourselves what we need to do before we get to the point where we feel like it is worth it to pay someone else to do it for us?


Interactive Brokers has an option to show performance of your accounts held with them and also like external accounts in a similar way as Personal Capital. I was turned off by PC as well when I received too many calls. IB probably plans to get more detailed n their use of this info. Right now it is mostly a convenient consolidation of account values over time.


There are 2 aspects of Personal Capital - the first is the free service for account tracking and some analysis.  The second is their investment service where you turn your money over to them to manage for a fee. 

Right now, I have some money under their management.  I'm still undecided if I like it.  The investment choices look pretty solid. They sold me more on the tax advantages as far as managing tax efficiency each year.  Prior to this, most of my after tax investments were in various mutual funds that can be less tax efficient from a capital gains and dividend standpoint, even if I just buy and hold the same mutual funds for the long term.

I'm not sure I'm sold on Personal Capital for investments.  This is only the second year.  So far I rolled some money in, but I'm also investing outside in Vanguard mutual funds.  Not sure if I will put any more money in Personal Capital.


Good points ... I finally decided to try for a year for about $45.00.  It has the same forecasting tools as navaplan and personal capital for portfolio growth forecasting, but let's me  input all the parameters/numbers in without salespeople calling me.  I too manage my own portfolio and don't need to have someone tell me what I need for them to make a sale.  We'll see how it goes.


I also went through their presentation and follow up calls, I was really put off by their aggressive scheduling and decided to give it a miss. I also wanted to transfer our current assets from Wealthfront without liquidating and incurring capital gains, which they said they wouldn't be able to. Ultimately I passed and went to Vanguard.


Same feedback on their aggressive scheduling and calls. I have blocked their phone numbers and asked them not to contact me.

Love their aggregator profile and better than mint. Hate the pestering. Hate having to click through the messages with to schedule a time with an advisor.

The latest emails with an attempt at market color and trying to setup a meeting is just insulting. The email was thinking on insights besides the stock market fell and bond yields are down.

The problem is they operate as a tech company first and they seem to be missing the financial side of it.


I was actively pursued by Personal Capital for years. I did an initial call with them, but I wasn't impressed with their analysis at all, and the advisor was basically ridiculing my investing in lower cost mutual funds from Vanguard instead of putting my money in more aggressive stock areas. I told him flat out I was more of a follower of Bogle's advice than trying to eek a few more percent out of constantly chasing a hot stock tip.

I figured that would be the end of it, but then month after month they'd call me and try to schedule another appointment. I flat out told them I wasn't interested and that I had already spoke with the team and I wasn't impressed. The calls continued, until I finally just said screw it and completely deleted my Personal Capital account.

It stinks, because as a website and service, I loved it... but I know nothing is free and their advisor services pay the bills for the site. I was one of the early folks that signed up too, and got that cash bonus offer they did back in the day to attract new people to the service. Haha... I told friends about them and recommended a lot of people use them to really get a good picture of how their investments and accounts are doing, but in the end I couldn't take the constant sales calls. Especially as I was seeing double-digit returns on my low-brain-mutual funds year after year and found it hard to see what more they could do for me without taking on a whole lot more risk.


I really like Personal Capital the website, the service, not so much.

The good:
-The fees analysis motivated us to close 2 accounts and move it over to Fidelity/Vanguard. We didn't realize how much in fees we were paying at Chase and USAA where an equivalent could be found. Went from ~0.8% to 0.1% in expenses.
-The asset allocation was useful to figure out what was going where, and since we're adding bonds to the portfolio now its takes 10 seconds to see if we're on track.
-I liked bouncing ideas about the strengths and blind spots of our portfolio and investment strategy.

My concerns were:
-I finally had to say no more calls, emails or contact since the sales pitch was aggressive. They are based out of California but I got called from a Texas number so imagine my surprise when I'm expecting a work call and its another sales pitch! It just too much from me.
-Their projection during the consult had their portfolio beating the market over 30 year period which I was skeptical of...
-The cost was too high, and I wasn't comfortable in moving assets over. We decided on the bogle method and a new life model asset allocation, and keeping it simple. Also thanks to Financial Samurai website and other investing resources I feel we can keep doing things ourselves for now.