For those serious in personal finance management, there are three names that have earned good reviews in this aspect. It is a battle between Personal Capital vs Quicken vs Moneydance – finding out which among these three choices is the best in this field.
Money is an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We cannot do the usual things we do or buy stuff we need, and pay the bills without money, right? However, some of us, if not most of us, find it hard to handle money. Yes, there are a few people who are really great at handling money, but more Americans, in particular, are not that good when it comes to budgeting.
According to the 2015 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) that was released by FINRA Investor Education Foundation, it says that people continue to find the ability to balance monthly income and expenses challenging.
Furthermore, despite a more positive statistics when it comes to meeting expenses and overall financial satisfaction, the figures have not correlated better budgeting. In the same study, it says that two-fifths of American people or roughly 40% spend less than their income, while 38% spend just about equal to their earning. Meanwhile, 18% spend more than what they earn. Unfortunately, the numbers remained as it is ever since 2009.
In a recent study from a different entity, however, it has been found that young American people today are more cautious when it comes to their finances as compared to older Americans. Perhaps, it has something to do with being more financially informed given the easy access to finance-related information. Also, we thought factor is the advent of digital or internet-based personal finance management platforms like Personal Capital, Quicken, as well as Moneydance.
Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance are three of the most popular tools when it comes to personal finance management. Having said that, we are going to look deeper into each of these tools.
In particular, we are going to tackle the following:
- A quick comparison between three platforms
- Brief background of each personal finance management platform
- Similarities and differences between the three
- Notable features of each of these platforms
- …and other relevant information that will help you in deciding which among all these is the best tool for you
PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: QUICK COMPARISON
As mentioned, Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance are three of the most popular personal finance management platforms there is today. These three have proven their worth when it comes to this aspect.
While all three of them are good, of course, there will always be something that will stand out.
So, before we go into details, allows us to share with you first a quick comparison between these three platforms. Through the below data alone, you will already have a glimpse of what platform will best suit your interests and preferences.
|ITEM FOR COMPARISON||PERSONAL CAPITAL||QUICKEN||MONEYDANCE|
|Price||Personal Finance Tool – Free; Paid Investment Management Service – Minimum of $100,000||$34.99 to $99.99 for each year’s subscription||$49.99 Flat Cost|
|Customer Service||Email Support||Live Chat, Phone, and Community Forum-Based Support||Developer’s Support Forum|
While the above table may be sufficient for some, if you want to know more about Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance, continue reading down below for a more detailed review.
PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: BRIEF BACKGROUND
When deciding what personal finance management tool to use, it is important that you also look into the background of the platform. This will help you, even more, determine the most ideal tool for you.
Having said that, here is some essential information that you may want to know about Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance.
ABOUT PERSONAL CAPITAL
Personal Capital was launched back in 2011. Personal Capital is an investment management service platform that also provides a free personal finance dashboard.
Personal Capital comes with two elements — the personal financial aggregating and advisory services to manage your finances.
Between the two elements, we have to say that while the personal financial aggregator is great, Personal Capital really excels when it comes to tracking every aspect of your investments.
Furthermore, free online money tools are exemplary when it comes to helping you understand your investments. It breaks down your asset allocation, calculates your net worth, shows your portfolio performance by every account or across accounts, as well as provides you with a high-level overview of your cash flow on a per-category basis.
Basically, all you have to do is connect your financial accounts, and let Personal Capital take care of everything else for you.
If you want to know more about using Personal Capital, here’s a tutorial video from The Worth Project. You may watch the whole thing by clicking the play button below:
Quicken has been around for a long time now. In fact, a lot of people thought that Quicken is the original money management app. Well, it’s not far from reality as dating back to its history, it’s very first version came out in 1983. Yes, that’s way beyond before a lot of us had computers.
The nice thing about Quicken is, since its inception, it had continuous regular updates as well as releases to add features as well as to address user issues, which is precisely why the average tenure for Quicken users is ten years.
By the way, if you are familiar with Intuit, the current owner of both QuickBooks and Mint, they are the very same company that developed Quicken until they sold it to another company several years ago.
Quicken offers software for both PC and Mac users. However, a lot of Mac users complain about limited features plus glitches that make it less than stellar as compared to those using it through PC.
Quicken is subscription-based personal finance management too. Having said that, it means you will need to pay annually to be able to access it. Recently, Quicken has been switched to a cloud-based model.
If you are looking after an awesome budgeting tool, then, we have to say that Quicken is ideal for you. It comes with a ton of budgeting features, plus, it allows you to connect all your accounts and then, it automatically download balances and transaction details to your computer.
Unfortunately, unlike other personal finance management platforms, Quicken does not offer a free trial period. So, if you want to really know about the platform, you will have to pay to be able to download it. The good thing though is, it offers a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee, which means if in case you are not happy with it, you can cancel your subscription and have your money back anytime.
Moneydance was created by Scotland-based company named, Infinite Kind, and has been around for more than 20 years already.
Since its inception, it has already gone through a series of updates and software releases to ensure that it provides its users with even more functional and comprehensive financial tracking and analysis.
Moneydance comes with a price tag, and it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux versions, as well as iOS and Android mobile apps.
One important thing that you need to be aware of about Moneydance is that it is not cloud-based, which means, your data is stored on your server. Although, you can still link and sync your accounts just like other personal finance management platforms.
Unlike other personal finance management platforms, Moneydance is not subscription-based. You basically have to pay for a one-time fee only, and then have free access to the next updated version. You will also receive a discount on future software updates, which is optional. This means you can either avail the update or stick to what you have.
PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: SIMILARITIES
Perhaps by now you already have an idea about the similarities and differences of Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance. However, to be more specific, here are some of the major similarities between the three platforms:
|Budgeting||Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance offer provide tools to help make budgeting easier.|
|Investment Tracking||Personal Capital, Quicken and Moneydance do all have the ability to track your investments across your accounts.|
|Online Synchronization||Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance have the ability to sync with outside online accounts.|
PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: DIFFERENCES
Now that you already have an idea of the major similarities of the three personal finance platforms, this time around, let us look into their major differences.
|Bill Payment||Both Quicken and Moneydance allows you to pay your bills. Meanwhile, Personal Capital does not offer such kind of option.|
|Retirement Planning||Both Personal Capital and Quicken offer tools to help you plan for your retirement. Unfortunately, Moneydance does not offer such.|
|Mobile Apps||On one hand, Personal Capital and Moneydance were built/created thinking about mobile-app uses. On the other hand, Quicken’s app not as efficient to use, at the same time, it lacks some features. In addition, you will still need to download the desktop software.|
|Multiple Currency Support||Both Moneydance and Quicken offer multiple currency support, while Personal Capital deals only with U.S. dollars.|
|Customer Service||Personal Capital can be reached through an email form, which is accessible once you are logged in on your account. Quicken offers live chat, phone, as well as community forum-based support. If you want a better customer service experience, you have that option but you have to pay $49.99 annually. Moneydance support comes through the developer’s support forum only.|
|Security||Personal Capital uses bank-level security, while Quicken holds the user’s data locally. As with Moneydance, it is a desktop platform that also uses cloud sync for its mobile app.|
|Price||Personal Capital: Free for the basic app; Wealth Management services range from 0.49% to 0.89% annuallyQuicken: $34.99 to $99.99Moneydance: $49.99|
PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: NOTABLE FEATURES
Apart from the above-mentioned major similarities and differences between Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance, we thought you may also be interested to check out below notable features of each of these platforms.
– Portfolio Performance
This feature is like a check-up on the asset allocation of your investment portfolio. Through this feature, the app gets to see where you have invested your money and helps in making sure that you are thoroughly optimizing your investments.
Through this feature, you get recommendations about various kinds of investments to boost up your portfolio’s long-term health.
– Retirement Fee Analyzer
Through the Retirement Fee Analyzer, you get to have an idea of how fees are affecting your overall investment.
In addition, Personal Capital provides you with tools that will help slide those fees up to and down by small percentage points. By that, you get to see how it will affect your retirement savings.
Apart from that, this feature also lets you adjust the following:
• Projected retirement age
• Employer matches
• Additional investment fees
• Annual growth
– Retirement Planner
Personal Capital lets you link your accounts on the app. Once done, the Retirement Planner feature automatically gets information from each of your connected accounts. It will then ask you regarding your projected savings information, as well as your current retirement savings, your age, and your planned retirement age.
Once you answered all questions, the planner analyzes your data, and then, it will tell you if you’re on track for retirement, and will also advise you to make necessary changes if needed. This feature also allows you to play different scenarios to have a glimpse of how much you need on a particular scenario.
Quicken provides you with pre-set and customizable budgeting categories. It also allows you to set limits, get notifications when you overspend and edit if there is a need.
Furthermore, this Quicken lets you run reports and future forecasts using your budget information. Meanwhile, if you wish to have access to more than a monthly budget, you will then have to pay for the Deluxe or Premier plan.
– Investment Tracking
To be clear, Quicken Starter version does not include an investment tracking tool, however, Deluxe and Premier do have.
In particular, Deluxe and Premier plans allow you to do the following actions:
- Tracking of investments and retirement accounts
- Comparing buy-and-hold options to improve your portfolio analysis
- Comparing your returns to market averages
- Accessing of Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool to evaluate your investments
- Seeing your cost basis and create tax reports
– Debt Reduction Plan
Currently, this feature is only available on their PC version. It’s a great feature especially if you need help in paying off your debt.
Basically, you can connect all your debts so Quicken can access your interest rates as well as balances, and then through this feature, Quicken will help you pay it all as soon as possible.
– Graphing and Reports
Moneydance allows you to easily create an individual graph as well as reports for different aspects of your finances, which include:
- Checking account balance
- Currency history
- Income and expenses
- Asset allocation
You get to choose the type of transaction, date range, as well as any other additional settings you want to include.
– Developer’s Resources
For advanced users, Moneydance provides its users with a developer’s kit that allows you to create your very own extensions. This free kit comes with sample code, necessary libraries, and an ANT build file. This also entitles you access to Moneydance’s Extension Development support forum.
– Foreign Transactions
Unlike the other platforms, Moneydance supports multiple currencies. It also makes automatic conversions.
PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: WHICH IS THE BEST?
To be brutally honest, we cannot find a single, specific winner between Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance. We thought one can decide on which is the best or ideal choice based on certain criteria, like:
- If you are someone who is wary about cost, then Personal Capital wins without a doubt. This platform is free to use and have the strongest investment analysis tools.
- If you are more after on the performance and do not mind spending, we have to say it is a battle between Quicken and Moneydance. Quicken is better at giving a well-rounded look at your finances. Meanwhile, Moneydance gives you everything you need for one price only.
- If you are more into tracking investments, then this has to be Personal Capital, because that is where this tool really excel.
- Meanwhile, if you want to take control of your data and keep everything on your local computer, the best choice is Quicken.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE
Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance are all great personal finance platforms. They all offer amazing jobs when it comes to helping you handle your money better.
As we have mentioned above, it’s hard to choose just one of the three. Each of them has their respective unique features. Needless to say, each platform, we believe, is well-thought-of based on their target market.
Did you find ideal personal finance management yet based on your needs and preferences?