This March, I celebrated my 60th birthday by waking up to see that Personal Capital had hit a remarkable milestone. Our clients were entrusting us with $2 billion of their investments. As a founder and CEO here, it was a special moment and the best birthday present that I could have wished for.
Now just six months later, we’re managing $3 billion in assets. You read that right, another billion in time to celebrate my half birthday! All joking aside — in the last half of a year, we’ve not only gained the confidence of even more clients as they look to us to invest their hard-earned money, we’ve also raised $75 million in funding to grow our business and develop new features, added team members across our three offices in California and Denver, and moved our headquarters to a beautiful new space in San Carlos, California.
And as I look toward the next 6 months, there are three trends that we’re focusing on to bring you the best financial tracking tools and wealth management offerings possible:
The need for sound, affordable financial advice is non-negotiable
High, hidden fees and expensive investment products used to be the cost of doing business when it comes to saving for retirement. Fortunately, new regulation by the Department of Labor this year means that advisors are legally obligated to give advice (not push product) that is in the best interest of their clients (not just what’s “suitable” for that investor). While this regulation only covers retirement accounts (401k and IRA’s), it’s a big step in the right direction as consumers demand better financial advice. So if you’re working with a financial advisor of any kind, I urge you to make sure that all of the advice you’re getting is in your best interest, not just theirs.
Demand for people + technology is growing
It wasn’t long ago that the best options you had for managing your financial life were a spreadsheet or a stuffy old broker. Today, consumers have access to everything from live financial coaches online, to robo-advisors managing their money with an algorithm. But the reality is, technology or people alone aren’t enough to build a holistic financial plan. A robo-advisor alone can’t tell you how to plan for a baby, and an advisor alone doesn’t have the technology needed to view your entire financial life in one place. We built Personal Capital to combine the best of both worlds, arming our advisors and customers with best-in-class financial technology.
Consumers look to us to stay a step ahead of their needs
Much of the financial services industry is focused on giving customers a look into where they stand today. And while that knowledge is a critical component to any long-term financial plan, consumers also need predictive tools to understand where they are likely to stand tomorrow and the next day, whether that means planning for retirement, putting children through college, or buying a home. With tools like our Retirement Planner, which forecasts any user’s likelihood of having the funds they need to retire comfortably based on life events like having a baby or retiring early, we are working hard to help our customers stay on top of what’s to come. And as a technology company, it is our mission to continue to develop products that will help our customers live better financial lives not just today, but for decades to come.
A big thanks to our valued customers
I strongly believe that we’re designing the future of this industry at Personal Capital. Our model combining dedicated financial advisors with award-winning technology is three to five years ahead of traditional wire houses or robo advisors combined, and we can’t thank you enough for working with us. I hope you’re as excited to see what’s next for Personal Capital as I am!