Track Spending, Income, Assets and Investments with Personal Capital

In once sentence, Personal Capital is an app to automatically track all your spending, income, assets, investments and net worth.

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Overview

While Personal Capital offers premium investment management features for portfolios over $100,000, I am more interested in the free expense, income, asset, spending, and portfolio tracking features.

Pros

  • Ability to link all your accounts (US Only).
  • Track all your spending/income by category and date.
  • Track all your portfolios change and distribution.
  • Add manual accounts and portfolios (tickers auto update).
  • Beta support for cryptocurrency (plus Chrome Extension support).
  • Automatic Net Worth calculations (assets and liabilities).
  • Real estate valuation through Zillow (if you count this).

Cons

  • No API (as a programmer this is huge downside).
  • Expense categories are sometimes inaccurate (easy to fix).
  • Cryptocurrency only seems manageable through Chrome extensions.
  • Unable to export reports.

Key Features

In the short time I have been using the app, these are some of the feature that I like the most.

  • Ability to view all your expenses across all accounts by time and date.
  • Compare income, expense, savings, and investments side by side.
  • Excellent Net Worth calculator, all done automatically.
  • Track all your investments individually or as a whole.

Getting Started

They require a mobile phone for two-factor security, otherwise, just head over to Personal Capital and sign-up.

The first think you want to do is add all your credit cards. This will allow you to track your spending by category and date. You should also link your bank accounts to track loan and mortgage payments, or other expenses that go through your bank. You will want to go through and check the categories to make sure their correct. You may also want to create some custom categories to help you better track your spending.

Second, you can add the rest of your assets including your investing accounts, Robinhood, Ameritrade, and retirement funds like 401(k)’s and IRA’s. This will allow you to track your growth and holdings of your investments. You can view individual or all accounts, the holdings breakdown, and return on investments.

Lastly, if you have any accounts that are not supported or manually managed, you can add many different manual accounts. Manual investing accounts with matching tickers will automatically update. There is a Chrome extension called pfcrypto that will update your custom cryptocurrency holdings every time you log in.

Tips and Tricks

Expense and Income Categories

Not only were some of these incorrect, I also wanted to place some expenses in custom categories. You can easily search and edit multiple transactions at the same time.

External Accounts

I got an error adding my Robinhood account, but it eventually showed up with all the information. I was unable to add my Acorns account, it keeps saying  bad username and password (I don’t plan on using Acorns anyway). And I had to manually add my cryptocurrency holdings and keep them up to date with a chrome extension.

Security

The first thing I checked into. They use Yodlee and all your access credentials are stored with them. The web interface is protected with two factor authentication. You can not transfer money between accounts or make changes from Personal Capital.

https://www.personalcapital.com/financial-software/security

For a full security review, check out this article:

http://www.bayalisistheanswer.com/personal-capital-security-explained-part1/

Conclusion

I strongly recommend this app to anyone looking to track expenses or net worth. I am still new to this app but extremely satisfied with the features available. I have a very strong hope that an API becomes available in the future. Let me say this again, I really want to see an API!

I will continue evaluating and make updates if any breaking information comes to light. Feel free to leave comments if you have anything additional to add that I have left out.

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