The glitch: Consumers have dozens of apps and tools at their fingertips today to help them manage their money without ever getting close to the front door of a bank. There’s Mint and iReconcile for budgeting; Pageonce and Manilla for bill pay; Expensify for expenses. While those services tend to focus on managing relatively simple cash accounts and bills, few tools out there offer the same sort of transparency and utility when it comes to investment and portfolio accounts — which, arguably, require more serious attention in their financial lives than anything else.
For instance: You’ve got your employer’s 401(k) account with Fidelity, your kids’ 529 college funds somewhere else, an IRA through another provider, maybe more at several other institutions. How do all those puzzle pieces fit together strategically in terms of your financial goals? Are you doing well, quarter to quarter, on the whole? Are you overweighted in one asset class vs. another? Do your investments match the right level of risk tolerance? Despite the importance of those questions, unless you’ve hired a financial advisor, you don’t have a clue. Like most people, you recycle the monthly statements without opening them, or you gave up trying to stay on top of seven financial accounts with seven logins.
Personal Capital’s financial-management platform (on the Web, iPhone, and iPad) offers not just the handy cash-management and budgeting tools consumers have come to expect, but a legitimate breakthrough — a sophisticated “dashboard” view of their entire portfolios, made up of any accounts from any institution. While Mint and other players have similar base offerings, Personal Capital’s dashboard brings significant advisor-level features into the mix.
Such as: Investors can view their whole portfolios by asset class, showing where they’re light, overweighted, or in between. (Is your 401(k) tied up in the same crappy mutual fund you have in your IRA? Are you carrying too much cash?). Users can also tap into a portfolio “checkup” tool that put all investments on an algorithmic treadmill and gives investors an objective “grade” for asset allocation on how well those investments align to basic goals. And of course, the dashboard also tracks performance — in aggregate (which is difficult if not impossible to calculate on your own), or on individual accounts or holdings.
The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.
Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.