Money Management

The 6 Best Personal Capital Alternatives for 2021

Women holding phone over computer
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This is a list of legit alternatives to Personal Capital.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • Six viable alternatives, categorized based on who they’re best for.
  • The financial circumstances and goals for which these alternatives make sense.
  • How each tool works, so you can make an informed decision going forward.

So if Personal Capital hasn’t worked for you, give one of the options below a try.

Best Personal Capital Alternatives

#1. Best Alternative Budgeting Tool: Truebill

Truebill is my favorite free budgeting app.

Truebill's budgeting app
A screenshot of Truebill’s budgeting tool.

Why?

Most free budgeting tools generate revenue from selling ads and promoting financial products like credit card offers. This clutter makes for a bad user experience. 

But Truebill makes money by selling a service: negotiating bills on your behalf (see how the pricing works in our Truebill review). This service is optional, so you can use Truebill’s budgeting tool for free. 

The limitation of sticking with a free plan is that you’re only allowed to get alerts for going over budget in two categories. With the premium plan (which starts at $3 per month), you can get alerts for unlimited categories. 

Personal Capital’s budgeting tool is also ad-free, making for a great user experience. But the dashboard explains a lot about the type of user Personal Capital is good for: you’ll find your net worth, portfolio balances, retirement savings, market reports and more. 

Personal Capital's dashboard
A screenshot from the Personal Capital web dashboard.

Truebill’s budgeting tool is simpler, focusing on monthly cash flow and recent transactions. 

So if you’re looking for a simple way to track your income and expenses, and don’t need these in-depth investing tools, Truebill is my suggestion.

Visit Truebill to learn more.

#2. Best Comprehensive Budgeting Tool: YNAB

Most people looking for a budgeting tool want something simple. Mainly, an app that allows them to keep track of income and expenses (and to make sure there are no surprises). In other words, they want something to check in on once a week to make sure everything is on track.

YNAB (short for “You Need A Budget”) offers a much more comprehensive solution for people who want more insight into their budget. 

Screenshot of You Need a Budget's home page
An overview from the YNAB website.

It’s the budgeting tool for those who want or need to closely monitor every dollar that comes in and goes out of their life. 

That’s why I often recommend this app to people who are struggling with debt, living paycheck to paycheck, or who are highly focused on saving for a specific goal (like a down payment on a home). 

There’s a learning curve to using YNAB, as the goal isn’t just to track your finances — it’s more about setting priorities and then managing your cash flow throughout the month to make sure your spending matches those priorities. 

This act in itself is really the core of what good financial planning is about

As with Truebill, YNAB is strictly a budgeting tool. There’s no investment services or investment tools offered. However, unlike Truebill, there’s no free version — you’ll need a subscription (which starts at $11.99 per month).

If you’re looking to transform your relationship with money, gaining much more control over your cash flow, I’d highly recommend giving YNAB a try. 

There’s a free 34-day trial to get started.

Visit YNAB to learn more. 

#3. Best Alternative for Investors Who Want One-On-One Financial Planning: Facet Wealth

At .89% for the first $1 million you invest, Personal Capital’s fee is on the higher side compared to most robo-advisors. One benefit of paying that fee is that in addition to the platform’s automated investing tools, you also get unlimited advice from Personal Capital’s team of financial advisers. 

If you’re looking for a similar level of one-on-one advice, along with portfolio construction, Facet Wealth is a potentially less expensive alternative. 

Like Personal Capital, Facet Wealth manages your portfolio and offers one-on-one financial advice. All the advisers you work with at Facet Wealth are fiduciaries. 

Clients of Facet Wealth start by paying a flat fee for their services, which begin at $1,200 annually and increase up to $6,000 based on complexity. 

Facet Wealth then constructs a portfolio based on your goals using low-cost ETFs, where you’ll also pay a small fee. For example, VOO — Vanguard’s ETF Fund that tracks the S&P 500 — has an expense ratio of .03%.

A flat fee vs. an annual management fee can be a pro or a con based on how much you invest. Higher-net-worth investors can save money paying a flat fee for advice, while those with smaller balances may end up paying more. 

Here’s how the annual fee would work out on a million dollar portfolio:

Fee StructureAnnual Fee
Personal Capital.89% management fee$8,900
Facet Wealth$1,200 flat fee + .05% ETF expense ratio$1,500

A $100,000 portfolio would have the following fee structure:

Fee StructureAnnual Fee
Personal Capital.89% management fee$890
Facet Wealth$1,200 flat fee + .05% ETF expense ratio$1,230

Facet Wealth doesn’t require a minimum balance to work with the company. 

Honorable mention: If you prefer paying a management fee over a flat fee for financial planning, a similar and much more affordable option is Betterment Premium. For a .40% annual fee, Betterment provides unlimited calls and emails with a team of CFP® Professionals. The difference between Facet Wealth and Betterment financial planning services is that with Facet Wealth, you work with an individual CFP® to develop a financial plan from the ground up. Betterment Premium is more for those who have a few questions throughout the year and want to get some feedback on whether or not they’re doing the right thing. 

Related: How to get cheap or free financial planning.

#4. Best Alternative for Investors Seeking More Investment Options: SoFi Invest

A robo-advisor’s primary offering is simple: hands-off portfolio construction. 

For those who want more control over their portfolio — like access to individual stocks and cryptocurrencies — a good brokerage to turn to is SoFi Invest

The platform has an automated investing aspect, which offers optimized portfolios similar to what you’d get with Personal Capital (see the screenshot below). But you also have the ability to invest in individual equities, ETFs and crypto.

A screenshot from SoFi invest's pre-optimized portfolio dashboard
A screenshot from SoFi Invest’s optimized portfolio dashboard.

Like Personal Capital, SoFi offers access to both a traditional and Roth IRA. (Note that you’re not allowed to invest in crypto inside an IRA at this time.)

Learn more about SoFi Invest.

#5. Best Alternative Retirement Planning Tool: T. Rowe Price

What really sets Personal Capital’s retirement planning tool apart from many of the free options you’ll find online is that it uses real data. Specifically, you sync up your actual accounts, which then get pulled into the PC dashboard. 

With this data, along with your average income and expenses, Personal Capital gives you a percentage of how likely you are to achieve your goals. 

Personal Capital offers an easy-to-read retirement readiness projection.

It’s for this reason that Personal Capital is my favorite retirement planner. 

At the same time, it does have its downsides. 

First and foremost, you have to be comfortable syncing your accounts. In addition, if you have over $100,000 in your portfolio, you will get a call from Personal Capital trying to up-sell you to their premium services. 

While it doesn’t have the level of complexity that Personal Capital offers, I like T. Rowe Price’s retirement calculator as an alternative. 

There’s no sign-up required. And in the end, you get a similar projection of how well you’re on track for retirement. 

The T. Rowe Price readiness calculator
T. Rowe Price’s readiness calculator produces a similar result to Personal Capital.

While this does not automatically update throughout the year based on current account balances, it’s a great alternative if you’re looking to check in every few months and see how well you’re doing towards your retirement goal.

Click here to access the T. Rowe Price calculator.

#6. Best Alternative Savings Withdrawal Calculator

If you’re looking for a savings withdrawal calculator to help you understand how long your money will last during retirement, one free tool that’s worth a look is FireCALC

Provide FireCALC with your portfolio size, your annual spending and your projected years of withdrawal, and you’ll get a snapshot of how your portfolio would have performed with a “couch potato” portfolio (75% stock index funds and 25% bond funds, with a .18% fee to the fund).

The picture below shows that in 95% of scenarios, my portfolio didn’t run out of money. The best-case scenario was ending up with a balance of $4,259,606 at the end of 30 years, while the worst-case scenario was a negative balance of $300,739.

A FIREcalc retirement readiness projection.
FireCALC runs numerous models to try and provide an accurate projection.

If you’re not in retirement yet, head to the “Not Retired?” tab on top and adjust your target retirement date. The calculator will then assume you won’t be making withdrawals until then. 

The UX on FireCALC isn’t nearly as good as on Personal Capital, and there are limited options for adjusting your asset allocation. But used correctly, you can gain a lot of valuable information from this free tool. 

Related reading: The best free financial independence calculators for tracking early retirement.

Final Thoughts on the Best Personal Capital Alternatives

Personal Capital does a lot of things very well. Looking at the free services it offers, it’s one of the best overall financial apps around.

I find their retirement calculator to be best-in-class. And I like their budgeting tool for keeping track of transactions and account balances with one snapshot; it’s not the best, but for someone who likes the investment aspect and who doesn’t want to download another budgeting app, it’s still very good.

You can learn more about all of the platform’s features in my Personal Capital review.

The biggest downside to Personal Capital — and the reason why so many people search for alternatives — is its high asset under management fees (AUMF). For the majority of investors, there are a lot more affordable alternatives for having an optimized portfolio along with access to a qualified financial adviser. 

You also might not meet their minimum investment size of $100,000. It’s here where alternatives like Facet Wealth, Betterment and Sofi Wealth come into play. 

So, if for whatever reason you don’t see Personal Capital as a fit, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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