Personal Capital ReviewBuilding Wealth
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If you want to get where you want to be financially, you need to track your 1) income, 2) expenses, and 3) net worth. This is non-negotiable. These three numbers and whether they’re going up or down month-over-month are the greatest indicators of your financial trajectory. Little else matters when it comes to reaching your financial goals.
And until now, you’ve had a bunch of excuses not to track these numbers: it’s time-consuming, I don’t have a good system, I’m not good at spreadsheets, I don’t like budgets, blah, blah, blah.
Sorry, folks, but those lame excuses don’t fly anymore. Personal Capital takes only 30 minutes to set up, it’s free, and it does all the work for you. It links with your bank accounts and credit cards. It downloads your transactions. It budgets and tells you by how much you’re off. And it does it all in real time since it’s cloud-based.
I love it, you should too, and here are 10 reasons why.
1. It’s So Freaking Easy to Get Started
You create an account with your email address, password, and phone number. And then when you get to your dashboard, you click the “+” sign in the upper left and add your accounts. That’s it. Boom.
2. The Dashboard is Oh-So-Slick
And after you’ve added all your accounts, you’ll have a slick looking dashboard like this.
Just look at that. Look at it! All your accounts on the left-hand side, your net worth growth over time and current month’s cash flow in the middle; and of course the daily movement in your investment holdings on the right. Ahhh!
3. You Can See All Transaction from All Your Accounts in Real Time
About once a day I’ll look through the “Transactions” tab to review everything that hit our accounts that day. Before, I would have had to wait until I got all of my statements at the end of the month to do this review, and with multiple credit card and bank accounts, this was quite a tedious process. But now, I can undertake this task in real time in minutes, whenever and wherever I want.
4. You Can See Your Investment Allocation In One Click
This is pretty nice. I always had a ballpark idea of how much I had in each asset class (“Hmm, I think I’m about 20% in cash, 20% in real estate, 70% in stocks, and 10% in bonds”), but Personal Capital nails it down to the penny.
5. You Can Drill Down on Income and Expenses to See Exactly Where Your Money’s Coming From and Going To
This will make you feel guilty, but it will also inspire you to boost that income and slash those expenses.
6. For Your Domestic Stocks, You Can See Exactly How Much You Have in Each Sector
This will be very revealing. I had no idea I was so heavy in Consumer Cyclical!
7. It Has a Ton of Cool “Advisor Tools” To Tell You What You Could Be Doing Better
Because we can all use a little help now and then, right? Even from an online robo-advisor.
8. Doing All This on Your Phone Is Awesome
I was a somewhat late smartphone adopter, getting my first iPhone in December 2012. And four years later, I couldn’t be happier that I can now see exactly just how I’m doing money-wise from that beloved 4.7-inch screen.
9. It’s Free
No elaboration required. I love free.
10. Your Information is Super Secure
It wasn’t until three years after I first heard about Personal Capital that I actually decided to sign up. And why’s that? I’ll tell you why: “You mean all my financial accounts will be linked to one website? Yeah, that’s a big fat NOPE.
So why the change of heart? I was actually at a wedding rehearsal brunch talking to two friends from college who majored in computer science, one of whom is now working for Google. The topic turned to finances, and they said they each said they used Personal Capital and loved it. And they assured me that they had done their research when it came to security.
After the conversation, Mr. Google sent me a Facebook message with all of Personal Capital’s security features, which I’ve copied and pasted below for your comfort and joy.
- Personal Capital’s encryption is rated A by the world-renowned Qualys SSL Labs, a stronger rating than most major banks or brokerages.
- Personal Capital is regularly audited for compliance with SEC cybersecurity regulations.
- Personal Capital is having security testing done 24/7 by WhiteHat Security.
- Personal Capital’s data is encrypted with AES-256 with multi-layer key management, including rotating user-specific keys and salts.
- No individual at Personal Capital has access to your credentials.
I’m pretty sure he got this list from the Internet, but hey, if it was good enough to convince Mr. Google, it was good enough to convince me.
Just Do It
There really aren’t any valid excuses here. Are you serious about taking massive action so that you can get out of debt, develop multiple streams of income, and invest your capital wisely? Then you need to start tracking your net worth, and I can think of no better way to do it than through Personal Capital.
Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.