Disclosure: I have not been paid or compensated in any way by Personal Capital. I use (and truly believe in) their free product. All Personal Capital links within this blog post are my referral link, so if you sign up and link an account we each get a $20 Amazon gift card.
After last week’s intro to using Personal Capital to track your expenses, I had lots of ideas of the many other resources at your disposal just by signing up! Personal Capital has a handful of tools built into the platform (all for free!) that give you deeper and different views of your money and, I think, are a super undervalued aspect of the product. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to use Personal Capital:
1. Retirement Fee Analyzer
The Retirement Fee Analyzer goes through all of your retirement accounts (401k, 403b, IRA, Roth IRA, etc.) and checks what fees are associated with them. You might not be aware, but lots of investment accounts are accompanied by brutal fees. Especially if you have an employer-set up account, you may not be aware of the fees you’re incurring. This is a great way to see at a glance what’s actually happening to your investments, and gives you a projection into the future of just how much you might lose to fees in the long run.
2. Category Tracking (Add Your Own)
The Transactions and Cash Flow views in Personal Capital is probably where I spend the most time when I’m using their product. Being able to assign every individual expense to separate categories gives me a great overall view of where my money is going. Even better than that, Personal Capital introduced custom categories last year. That means that for all of my upcoming nuptial expenses I can categorize them all as “Wedding” and see at the end of the year just how much went into our celebrations.
3. Retirement Planner Scenarioes
Another great aspect for planning and a “30,000 foot view” of your money is the Retirement Planner. By just answering a few questions and setting up some life goals (like when you want to get married, how many kids you want, if and when you want to buy or upgrade your home) and future considerations (like how much you anticipate your income bringing in and what your savings might look like), Personal Capital gives you a likelihood of how set up you are for retirement. If your projected income is lower than your desired, it also has tips and budgeting strategies for helping you get to a better place.
4. Cash Flow and Net Worth
Net Worth is definitely an aspect that Personal Capital touts as one of its best features. I agree to a certain extent, but know that the one “Big Number” isn’t the be-all, end-all of your finances. That being said, it is still neat to watch your investments grow, debt decrease, and overall financial health start to climb!
5. Investment Checkup
Taking into consideration all of your investment accounts, Personal Capital recommends a target allocation, as well as provides historical performance, future projections, and an allocation comparison. By focusing just on your investment accounts, this is just one more way to have a high-level view of how your money is working for you. The comparison of your allocation versus the suggested target allocation can be super useful when trying to plan ahead for your future contributions.
Anyone else in the Personal Capital game? Have any other secret or feels-like-a-secret uses within the platform?? Let me know in the comments!