Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Your Comprehensive Guide In Managing Family Finances

Managing family finances has all sorts of challenges — from budgeting to savings goals, loans, debt management, and more. However, with the right knowledge, you will surely get through it.

Guide in Managing Family Finances

According to a consumer survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, it was found that 59% of the 300 adult respondents (aged 35 to 65 years old) do not track their spending, while two out of five never had a budget.

Meanwhile, in a Gallup poll, it was found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget.

Furthermore, the same poll revealed that only 30% of Americans prepare a long-term financial plan outlining their savings and investment goals in detail, while the 2020 ‘Financial Planning’ Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha reported that 49% of Americans expect to live paycheck to paycheck in 2020.

In another study by FINRA Investor Education Foundation entitled, “The 2018 National Financial Capability Study,” it was found that over 53% of American adults feel anxious thinking about their financial situation. Forty-four percent even find it stressful discussing their finances.

The above-mentioned surveys and studies are just some of the many that are available out there.

Unfortunately, all of these show how badly Americans (particularly adults) are when it comes to their personal finances, which, in effect also affects how they handle their family finances.

However, this does not mean American people cannot change when it comes to how they handle their money – be it their personal, business, or the family’s money.

We believe that while change does not happen overnight, it will, eventually, for as long as there is a will.

Also, apart from that, proper knowledge, understanding, and guidance by experts are also essential to there can be a shift in how the American people handle their money.

With that said, in the next few sections, we are going to share with you some of the most important information you need to know when it comes to handling family finances.

From personal finance management to savings goals, loans, debt management, etc. – we got you covered.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • About Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • Online Trading
  • Life Insurance
  • Investment Platforms
  • Loans
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Online Fund Transfer
  • Personal Finance Management Tools

ABOUT BANKING

Generally, banking refers to the act of accepting as well as safeguarding money owned by individuals, group of people, or entities, and then lending it out to make a profit or to cover operating expenses.

Banking also refers to the industry that handles cash, credit, as well as other financial transactions.

Banks refers to the physical structure that provides a safe place to store both cash and credit.

Banks offer a number of products and services, which include savings accounts, checking accounts, and certificates of deposit. Some banks also offer loan products and services.

In the U.S. economy, banking plays a very important role. In fact, it is one of the key drivers that keep the economy going.

When it comes to handling your personal finances or family finances for that matter, it is important to know and understand what banking is all about, the available products and services offered, how banking actually works, and how it will help you in your financial journey.

Banking is basic yet the most essential aspect of your financial journey. Needless to say, it is the most convenient and most accessible way to keep your money.

To help you understand better what banking is all about, and it is important in your overall financial journey, here are some references that you may check out:

MOBILE BANKING

Investopedia defines mobile banking as “the act of making financial transactions on a mobile device (cell phone, tablet, etc.)”.

Banking has never been so easy, simple, convenient, and accessible with the rise of the mobile banking industry.

In today’s digital age, it is not surprising that more and more banks (both old and new) are offering online services. After all, the number of people using online or mobile banking is impressively increasing over time.

With mobile banking, you can deposit a check, pay for merchandise, as well as transfer funds to a family member or a friend anytime and anywhere for as long as there is a secure internet connection.

Indeed, mobile banking has changed the way banking works.

If you want to know more about what mobile banking is all about, check out the blog posts below:

Mobile Banks for Personal Use

There are a lot of mobile banks out there, and choosing one can get a little challenging especially if you are new to mobile banking.

To help you choose the one that fits your needs and preferences, you may check out these mobile bank reviews:

Mobile Banks for Students

Meanwhile, if you are a student who wants to start early when it comes to financial management, or you are a parent who wishes to teach your kid about financial management through banking, here are some blog references for you:

Mobile Banks for Businesses

Mobile banks are not only available for personal use. In fact, even businesses can take advantage of what mobile banks have to offer.

There are a few mobile banks for businesses out there, and NorthOne is one of them. Know more about this mobile bank and what it offers in the blog below:

ONLINE TRADING

NerdWallet defines trading as the act of buying and selling stocks regularly in an attempt to time the market.

Furthermore, the website explains that the goal of traders is to “capitalize on short-term market events to sell stocks for a profit, or buy stocks at a low. Some stock traders are day traders, which means they buy and sell several times throughout the day“.

Meanwhile, online trading refers to trading stocks using an online platform. Online trading has become increasingly popular among traders because it’s timely, convenient, and easy.

There are a lot of online trading platforms out there, and one of them is eToro. Know more about what this online trading platform has to offer in the blog post below:

LIFE INSURANCE

According to Forbes Advisor, life insurance refers to “a contract between you and an insurance company. Essentially, in exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company will pay a lump sum known as a death benefit to your beneficiaries after your death.”

Generally speaking, life insurance is essential especially if you have dependents (which normally refers to your spouse and child/children). It helps protect your dependents and allows you to leave them a non-taxable amount at the time of your death. Apart from that, life insurance can also be used to cover existing mortgages as well as personal loans.

There are a lot of life insurance companies out there to choose from. These days, life insurance companies can also be easily found online.

Over time, insurance companies have adapted to the changes brought by technology and the internet. So, yeah, if you are looking for life insurance company options, we recommend you check these blog posts below:

INVESTMENT PLATFORMS

Investing is an essential way to help keep your family finances on a positive note.

An investment platform refers to an online service that allows consumers to buy, sell, as well as hold funds.

Most investment platforms are on a non-advised basis, which allows you, the consumer to do everything on your own. However, there are also those that are on an advised basis wherein the consumer has the option to use a financial adviser who will invest on his or her behalf.

Online investment platforms have become very popular among consumers over recent years as it can be a tax-efficient way to hold investments.

With its gaining popularity comes a lot of choices. Yes, there are many online investment platforms out there for you to choose from.

To help you choose the right online investment platform, and to know more about investing, check these reviews and references:

LOANS

Investopedia refers to the term loan as “a type of credit vehicle in which a sum of money is lent to another party in exchange for future repayment of the value or principal amount”.

If you want to have a better understanding of what a loan is all about, we recommend you check these references:

There are different types of loan out there, but some of the most commonly offered by banks and lending companies are:

  • Auto Loan – Also known as a car loan, this allows you to acquire a vehicle. Normally, car loans or auto loans are collateral loans, which means the vehicle automatically serves as collateral in case the borrower fails to pay off the loan.
  • Business Loan – This type of loan is specifically intended for business purposes. You can use it to open a new business or for expansion of an existing one.
  • Home Loan/Mortgage – This allows the borrower to purchase his or her dream home. Home loans usually consist of an adjustable or fixed interest rate and payment terms.
  • Payday Loan – This refers to a short-term loan that can help cover your immediate need for cash. This usually comes with a higher interest rate.
  • Personal Loan – This is the most common type of loan out there. A personal loan can be used for almost any type of purchase — especially big ones. It usually comes with a lower interest rate as compared to credit cards.
  • Students Loan – This type of loan is specifically designed to help students pay for their education as well as other school fees and charges. It can also be used to pay for books and school supplies.

Know more about these types of loan in the blog posts below:

Personal Loan

Auto Loan

Business Loan

Home Loan/Mortgage

Student Loan

Payday Loan

Other Types of Loan

Apart from the above-mentioned loan types, there are less commonly known types of loans, which include:

Dental Loan

Emergency Loan

Point of Sale Financing

Tax Refund Advance Loan

Boat Financing

Loan Marketplaces

Loan marketplaces are online sites or platforms where you can easily find a lender for your loan needs.

While there are a lot of them out there, here are some of them:

CREDIT MONITORING

In this day and age, there are a lot of products and services that will help keep you on track of your family finances – one of them is credit monitoring.

According to an article published by CNBC, credit monitoring basically refers to what the name suggests — it monitors your credit.

These services help track your credit history as shown on your credit report and send alerts via email, SMS, or phone call in case changes transpire. This helps hinder potential fraud, should there be any.

Furthermore, the article says, “credit monitoring services provide an automated and faster way to track changes to your comprehensive credit file”.

There are a lot of credit monitoring services out there, and each of them has its respective list of activities. However, some of the common activities among them are as follows:

  • New accounts opened under your name
  • Hard inquiries on your credit report
  • Balances and payments
  • Name changes and/or new address
  • Public records like bankruptcies
  • Personal information like your social security number, email address, and password

While credit monitoring services are helpful in spotting potential signs of fraud, please note that it is not as comprehensive and does not provide a holistic approach to prevent identity theft or unauthorized transactions.

As earlier mentioned, there are a lot of existing credit monitoring tools out there, which include Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. Know more about these services in these blogs below:

ONLINE FUND TRANSFER

As obvious as it is, online fund transfer refers to the act of transferring funds through an online platform. Normally, freelance workers or work from home workers use online fund transfer platforms to receive payments from their clients.

However, over time, these platforms have also been used to transfer money within families – especially those who are far from one another.

While there are many available options out there, TransferWise and Xoom are some of the most popularly used online fund transfer platforms these days. Know more about them in the following reviews:

PERSONAL FINANCE MANAGEMENT

Personal finance management tools refer to a platform or software that helps individuals or families in handling their money.

A personal finance management tool is very helpful especially in handling family finances. This helps ensure that all funds are directed to where they should be.

There are a lot of personal finance management platforms out there, and to be honest, it’s just about choosing the one that suits your and your family’s needs.

To know more about what’s out there, check the blog posts below:

FINAL THOUGHTS ON FAMILY FINANCES

Handling family finances may be quite a challenge back in the days, but in this era, it is made easier. Thanks to technological advancements, today, there are various tools and platforms (mostly available online) that can help you in managing your personal, business, and most of all, your family’s money.

Are you now excited to manage your and your family’s money?

As mentioned, keep in mind that with existing finance tools and platforms, handling your family finances should be a breeze.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Schwab Vs Fidelity: The Best Commission Brokerage For You

Making a comparison between Schwab vs Fidelity, two of the most popular commission brokerages in the country, will surely not be easy as both offer impressive websites and downloadable platforms that are filled with great features, research, newsfeeds, and educational tools to help users become financially knowledgeable.

Schwab vs Fidelity best commission brokerage

Apart from the above-mentioned, both Schwab and Fidelity offer various mobile platforms, downloadable platforms, as well as full-featured websites that are aimed at regular traders. How impressive both Schwab and Fidelity are is not surprising given the fact that both are ranked as among the top brokers in the country.

If you are seriously thinking about getting into investing, you better check these two out. But you do not need to go elsewhere because that is precisely the reason why we are doing this comparison review. Hopefully, by the end of this, you get to decide which between Schwab and Fidelity is the best choice when it comes to investing.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting fact about investing in the United States. This, we thought, is worth sharing especially if you are new in this kind of business.

A report published by Quartz says that more Americans have invested in the stock market as of the year 2019. The highest ever — Compared to years ago when only 30% of American people owned a form of stock, as of 2019 (when the articles were published), it has jumped to more than 50%! That’s a pretty good number. Still not as much as we expected, but still high enough compared to previous years.

Still according to the report, some of the reasons why such change has something to do with the following:

  • The rising popularity of index and mutual funds makes stock market investing easier and safer.
  • The increased popularity of 401(k)-type retirement plans in the 1990s, which gave many Americans easy access to the stock market. In fact, in most cases, they are automatically invested in the stock.

Furthermore, the report says that the composition of the 50% Americans who invested are retired people, as well as those who have a defined-benefit pension plan. Also among them are low-income Americans who lack access to a retirement account or can’t afford to contribute.

Regardless of who invested and their reasons for investing, the fact that more and more people are into it is a good sign.

Now, if you are someone who is new to all of these and wanted to be one of the more than 50% who got themselves into investing – here’s one important thing to know, it is vital that you choose the right company to help you with your investments. This will help make investing easier and a breeze for you.

Having said that, as mentioned, we are going to compare Schwab vs Fidelity. We are going to look into how both fair in the industry.

In particular, we are going to present to you the following:

  • A quick comparison between Schwab and Fidelity
  • A brief backgrounder about the two
  • Notable features that are unique to Schwab as well as Fidelity
  • Minimum Initial Deposit
  • Fees and commissions
  • Investments Offered
  • Mobile app accessibility
  • Education and security

In the end, we are going to share our thoughts – our final verdict on which among the two is the best option.

But before we start our own review on both Schwab and Fidelity, here’s a very useful video from Arvabelle regarding these two popular commission brokerages. Watch the whole video by simply clicking the play button below:

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: QUICK COMPARISON

Before we go into a more detailed review, here’s a quick comparison between Schwab and Fidelity. This hopefully gives you an idea regarding the similarities and differences between the two investment companies.

ITEM FOR COMPARISON SCHWAB FIDELITY
Min. Investment $0 $0
Stock Trades $0/trade $0/trade
Options Trades $0.65/contract $0.65/contract
Mutual Funds Yes Yes
Investment Types Stocks, OTC/Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Options, Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Futures Stocks, OTC/Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Options, Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Futures
Accounts Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Trusts, Coverdell, 529, Custodial, Checking, Savings Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Solo 401(k), Trusts, Coverdell, 529, Custodial, Annuities, Checking, Money Market, CDs
Broker Assisted Trade $25 $32.95
Virtual Trades None Yes
No Fee ETFs 200 91
Auto Trading None None
Accessibility Web Based, iPhone App, Apple Watch, Android App Web Based, iPhone App, Apple Watch, Android App
Customer Service Support Phone: 24/7; Live Chat: 24/7; Email; Branch Offices Phone: 24/7; Live Chat: 24/7; Branch Office

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: BRIEF BACKGROUNDER

One way to be able to decipher which commission brokerageis better than the other is by checking out their history. Thus, here’s a brief backgrounder so we are able to get to know more about Schwab and Fidelity.

ABOUT CHARLES SHWAB

Charles Schwab & Company or more commonly known as Schwab was founded back in 1971. It is located in San Francisco. The company is tagged as the original investment discount brokerage firm.

They owned such title after they have introduced low-cost stock trading back in the 1970s. Eventually, the entire industry adopted this. Years after, Schwab continues to lead in the industry.

Schwab lives through their purpose, which states (as published on their website):

“Our purpose is to champion every client’s goals with passion and integrity. This purpose drives us to help our clients take ownership of their financial futures, helping people at all levels of income and every stage of life because investing in the future is one of the most important things people can do for themselves and their families. We believe it is critical to the health of our communities and to our society.”

True to its purpose, the company has earned the trust of its more than 9 million clients. Along with that, they have $2.6 trillion in assets under management. Moreover, Schwab operates through 300 branches throughout the United States. In addition, the firm provides its clients with in-person contact with the company apart from an extensive online and phone accessibility.

Schwab offers individual and joint brokerage accounts, custodial accounts, trust, and estate accounts, 401(k)s, Coverdell and 529 college accounts,  as well as traditional, Roth, Simple and SEP IRAs.

ABOUT FIDELITY INVESTMENTS

Fidelity Investments, popularly known as Fidelity is a privately-owned investment management company that was established in 1946. Initially, it was only a mutual fund company. However, over the years, Fidelity has eventually offered a range of services including fund distribution and investment advice, wealth management.

At Fidelity, they promised to “innovate and challenge the status quo in order to deliver more value to our customers.”

Furthermore, they aim to always follow what their founder has once said, “Take intelligent risks, rather than follow the crowd.”

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Fidelity has become one of the largest investment management firms in the country. It has over 26 million customers, $6.5 trillion in total customer assets, and more than $2.4 trillion in global assets under management.

Apart from the company’s investment services, Fidelity also provides retirement services and life insurance.  In fact, it has already served more than 23 million accounts for both its retail and institutional investors. In addition, it also boasts having over 140 retail locations all over the country.

Similar to Schwab, Fidelity Investments also offers individual and joint brokerage accounts, trust and estate accounts, 401(k)s, and traditional, custodial accounts, Coverdell and 529 college accounts, Roth, Simple and SEP IRAs.

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: NOTABLE FEATURES

Now that we already have an idea about the history of both Schwab and Fidelity, let’s move on to checking out some notable features that are unique to both commission brokerages.

SCHWAB

– Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

To be able to participate in Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, you will need at least $5,000. What is does it that it makes use of an advanced algorithm. It also uses the management services of Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. to be able to create a portfolio of low-cost ETFs, which extends across as many as 20 different asset classes, which includes real estate as well as commodities.

– Personal Portfolio Review

With at least $25,000 in your account, you can take advantage of Schwab’s portfolio consultation. This helps you become more knowledgeable when it comes to your goals, as well as helps in evaluating your existing investments that are related to your goals. This feature also provides specific recommendations as well as the next steps. In addition, Schwab also offers 24/7 customer service to assist you with your day-to-day investment needs.

– Tax-loss harvesting

Schwab provides you with tax-loss harvesting as long as you have at least $50,000 with them. Tax-loss harvesting is an ideal investment strategy that helps minimize capital gains, which in turn enables you to set aside more of your investment earnings.

– Charles Schwab Bank

Yes, Schwab does have a banking arm. Just like any bank, it provides full-service banking. Thus, enabling you to the bank where you invest. Charles Schwab Bank provides checking through the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account. What’s nice about is that it does not only pays interest but also requires no minimum account balance and no account fees.

More so, the account provides unlimited fee rebates from ATMs worldwide. Now, that’s really a standout, right?

– Portfolio Management Services

If you are someone who needs help in managing your investments, Schwab does have a lot of different services available for you like Diversified Managed Accounts and Schwab Managed Portfolios. In addition, the firm also offers fully managed accounts and also more specialized programs like Thomas Partners’ dividend growth strategy and their Windhaven Strategies — both focusses in global diversification.

FIDELITY

– Fidelity Active Trader Pro

This feature lets you see real-time streaming market data, as well as advanced charting and real-time profit-and-loss estimates on hypothetical transactions, in one-click trading. This makes it ideal for investors who prefer doing it themselves.

– Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Card

While Fidelity does not offer a bank account, they do offer a Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Card. This card lets you deposit the cashback rewards directly into your brokerage account through the Credit Options Plus Cashback feature. If you are familiar with microwaving, it’s something similar to that.

– Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service

Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service is provided to those with a minimum investment of $50,000. This advisory service is ideal for investors who need help in managing their portfolio. Strategic Advisers, Inc. is Fidelity’s registered investment adviser.

– Fidelity ZERO Index Funds

As stated, this feature entitles investors to zero fees regardless of how much investment they have with Fidelity. Fidelity does have two new funds namely the ZERO Total Market Index Fund, which mirrors the total return of a large range of exchange-listed U.S. companies, as well as the ZERO International Index Fund that corresponds to the total return of foreign developed and emerging stocks. Neither of the two requires any minimum investment.

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: MINIMUM INITIAL DEPOSIT

Any investors will surely want to know this. It’s safe to say that it is fundamental if you want a commission brokerage to manage your investments.

With Schwab, the firm requires a minimum initial deposit amounting to $1,000. As with the IRA, you can open one without anything as long as you enroll with Schwab’s Automatic Investment Plan for at least $100 per month.

As with Fidelity, they do not require a minimum investment, which makes it a winner between the two if you are to gauge the best based on this aspect.

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: FEES AND COMMISSIONS

Another important thing that every investor needs to know when dealing with commission brokerages is annual fees, as well as commissions.

For your reference, here’s how much you need when dealing with either Schwab or Fidelity:

SCHWAB

Schwab does not charge either account fees or inactivity fees.

Meanwhile, here’s how much the commissions are based on the account type:

  • Stocks and ETFs — $4.95 per trade
  • Preferred stocks and REITs — $4.95 per trade
  • Options — $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual funds — $76 to buy, but no fee to sell
  • Schwab OneSource Funds — No fee
  • US Treasury Securities — No fee
  • Other fixed income securities — $1.00 per bond, with $10 minimum and $250 maximum

In addition, Schwab also offers more than 200 ETFs at $0 commission.

FIDELITY

Just like Schwab, Fidelity does not charge either account fees or inactivity fees.

As with commission, here’s how much Fidelity charges:

  • Stock and ETFs — $4.95 per trade
  • Options — $4.95 per trade + $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual funds — $0 – $49.95 per trade
  • Bonds and CDs — No fee on new issues, $1.00 per bond on a secondary issue

In addition, Fidelity does offer 91 commission-free ETFs.

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: INVESTMENTS OFFERED

As an investor, you have to be fully aware that there are various investment types out there. Thus, it is important that you know exactly what you want and where to put your money into.

To give you an idea, Schwab offers just about every investment security there is, which includes stocks, as well as bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and real estate investment trusts (REITs). More so, Schwab also offers over 3,000 no-load/no transaction fee mutual funds. Mutual funds are ideal for any investor who invests most or all of his or her portfolios in funds.

Just like Schwab, Fidelity also offers stocks, bonds, ETFs and options. In addition, they also have over 4,700 mutual funds offered by both Fidelity and non-Fidelity sponsors.

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: MOBILE APP ACCESSIBILITY

In this day and age, mobile app accessibility is very important. People nowadays prefer anything mobile.

Good thing is, both Schwab and Fidelity offer their own Mobile Apps.

Schwab is available in Apple iOS and Google Android. They are also available on Apple Watch.

As with Fidelity, it is also available in both Apple iOS and Google Android. However, based on customer reviews, Apple iPad seems to work better because it has more functionality as compared to an iPhone.

SCHWAB VS FIDELITY: EDUCATION AND SECURITY

Schwab provides 4 to 7 hours of video content every trading day through their Schwab Live Daily. It is available for both clients and non-clients alike. They also have the Schwab Learning Center, which covers a broad and deep range of educational content focusing on different skill levels.

When it comes to security concerns, Schwab’s security guarantee covers losses in any Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity. The firm does also supports the Symantec VIP app and physical tokens for two-factor authentication.

Meanwhile, Fidelity does have an online Learning Center, which provides useful articles, infographics, videos, as well as webinars. Just like Schwab, Fidelity has a security guarantee, wherein you will get reimbursed should an unauthorized activity happens. The firm also offers two-factor authentication via the Symantec VIP app.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SCHWAB VS FIDELITY

Both Schwab and Fidelity do offer amazing features for their members. To be honest, it is not surprising at all given the fact that both are among the best in the industry.

To choose one between the two is quite a challenge because both are really good! We thought perhaps you should look into your investment preferences instead to be able to pick the perfect commission brokerage.

Just a quick run-through, Schwab is ideal for investors who need help in managing their portfolios, while Fidelity is good for self-directed investors, especially those who trade on a regular basis.

Again, it’s hard to pick between the two. While we did a very insightful comparative review between Schwab vs Fidelity, at the end of the day, we got to let you pick your choice based on what your needs and preference are.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Wealthfront Vs Personal Capital: Which Investment Platform Is The Best?

When it comes to web-based investment management platforms, two names are battling it off – these are Wealthfront vs Personal Capital. Both are very promising in their own respective ways, but which one stands out? That we will find out.

wealthfront vs personal capital best investment platform

Back in the days, investing is quite challenging. Thanks to digital advancement and the internet, today, people who want to invest and manage their investments do have the means to do so wherever and whenever they want to.

There is a growing number of web-based investment management platforms, and with so many options around, it can get a little challenging to choose one. But you know, the thing is, there are companies, rather an investment arms that have earned popularity over the rest. Among them are Wealthfront and Personal Capital. Later on, we are going to do a head-to-head comparison between the two to know which one is better.

Before we get into our comparison review, here’s an interesting fact about Americans’ attitude towards investing.

In a report published by Gallup, it says that in the study they conducted back in April 2019, only 55% of Americans reported that they own stock. This number is just one percent higher compared to previous years. According to the report, the number was based on “a question asking respondents about any individual stocks they may own, as well as stocks included in mutual funds or retirement savings accounts, like a 401(k) or IRA”.

For some people, this statistic is quite surprising given how people thought of American people. You know, a lot of non-Americans thought that we are better at handling money and that we are goo in investing as well. Obviously, only a few of us are.

However, with the advent of web-based investment management platforms, plus more resources coming out about investing and personal finance management, the numbers may change in the future. Today, investing has become like a household name, and more people are becoming interested in it. So, who knows, our prediction may be right!?

Anyway, going back to Wealthfront and Personal Capital, we are, in particular, going to look into the following details as we go through this comparison review:

  • A quick comparison between Wealthfront and Personal Capital
  • Brief backgrounder on Wealthfront and Personal Capital
  • Wealthfront and Personal Capital Investment Management
  • Notable features of the two platforms
  • Pricing
  • Promotions
  • Accessibility
  • Customer Service

Having said all that, let’s begin.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: QUICK COMPARISON

Before we go into a detailed comparison, you may want to check the table below to have a quick idea of what to expect on both Wealthfront and Personal Capital. The table will also show how similar and how different Wealthfront and Personal Capital are from one another.

ITEM FOR COMPARISON WEALTHFRONT PERSONAL CAPITAL
Minimum Investment $500 $100,000
Account Fees 0.25%/year Days Wealth Management: First $1 million: 0.89% ; $1-3 million: 0.79%; $3-5 million: 0.69%; $5-10 million: 0.59%; Over $10 million: 0.49% Days
Account Available Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, 529, Non-Profit Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, 401(k), Trusts, 529
Advice Automated Automated
401(k) Guidance None Yes
Portfolio Rebalancing Yes Yes
Retirement Tools Yes Yes
Automatic Deposits Yes Yes
Clearing Agency Yes Yes
Self-Clearing None None
Smart Beta Yes Yes
Socially Responsible Investing Yes Yes
Invests in Commodities Yes Yes
Invests in Real Estate Yes Yes
Fractional Shares None None
Two-Factor Authentication Yes None
Assets Under Management $11,022,761,706 $8,500,000,000
Number of Accounts 272,792 37,793
Robo Advisor Yes Yes
Human Advisors None Yes
Tax Loss Harvesting Yes Yes
Goal Tracker Yes Yes
Access Web-Based Web Based, iPhone App, Apple Watch, Android App
Customer Service Phone: M-F 7A-5P PT; Email Phone: 24/7; Email
Promotions $5 Managed for FREE Join for FREE

Looking at the above data alone, it may be hard to decide yet which one is better. However, that’s opposite to those who already know what they want when it comes to a web-based investment management platforms.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: BRIEF BACKGROUNDER

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the history of both Wealthfront and Personal Capital. This will give us an idea of how trusted the brand is.

ABOUT WEALTHFRONT

Wealthfront is one of the popular names when it comes to the Robo-advisory industry, also known as automated investment service. Basically, it means putting your money into an account, and all the other aspects of investment management are handled for you by the Robo-advisor.

Wealthfront was founded in 2008 by Andy Rachleff and Dan Carroll. It was initially called, “KaChing!”. The idea behind Wealthfront was intended to mimic the portfolios of stock professionals while using your money.

In 2011, the company was renamed to what it is now – Wealthfront. Apart from renaming and rebranding, Wealthfront also started molding the company to be an all-in-one financial solutions provider.

Fast-forward to now, the company is focused on three automated services, which include:

  • Free financial planning,
  • Investment management, and
  • Lending.

Once you sign up with Wealthfront, it means you are allowing your money to be invested in a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs. However, it is important to take note that your portfolio varies depending on the kind of account you open – whether it is a tax-deferred or a taxable account.

If you are interested to know more about Wealthfront, you may want to check the below video by Chris Guthrie as he shares his personal review on this investment management platform.

ABOUT PERSONAL CAPITAL

Personal Capital is primarily a fee-based wealth management platform. However, it also offers free financial software for budgeting and personal finance management.

As compared to other online platforms, Personal Capital’s free financial software is quite comprehensive. Needless to say, it also offers very extensive investment tools. What’s even good about it is that you have the option to either use the free financial software in conjunction with wealth management, or you can just use the software itself.

Furthermore, Personal Capital was launched in 2011. As mentioned, it is an investment management service platform that at the same time, also provides a free personal finance dashboard.

Personal Capital comes with two important elements — the personal financial aggregating and advisory services to manage your finances. While the personal financial aggregator is great, Personal Capital excels when it comes to tracking every aspect of your investments.

In addition, free online money tools are standard when it comes to helping you understand your investments. Personal Capital breaks down your asset allocation, calculates your net worth, and shows your portfolio performance by every account or across accounts. It also provides you with a high-level overview of your cash flow on a per-category basis.

Essentially, all you have to do is connect all your financial accounts, and let Personal Capital take care of the rest.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

To have a better idea of which between Wealthfront and Personal Capital is better, let’s look into their respective investment management features.

WEALTHFRONT

Wealthfront makes use of modern portfolio theory. They follow a passive investing strategy that includes matching underlying investment benchmarks instead of trying to outperform them. Wealthfront is able to do so by investing their members’ portfolio in low-cost, index-based ETFs.

Asset Classes

Wealthfront spreads your portfolio in as many as 11 various asset classes, which include the following:

  • U.S. Stocks
  • Foreign Developed Market Stocks
  • Emerging Market Stocks
  • Dividend Growth Stocks
  • U.S. Government Bonds
  • Corporate Bonds
  • Emerging Market Bonds
  • Municipal Bonds (taxable accounts only)
  • U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)
  • Real Estate (through a real estate investment trust)
  • Natural Resources

What Wealthfront does is they use a corresponding ETF for every asset class. Wealthfront provides both periodic rebalancings as well as automatic dividend reinvestment on all accounts.

PassivePlus

PassivePlus is designed to increase returns without increasing portfolio risk. This feature uses time-tested, rules-based strategies to invest beyond index funds. Furthermore, it includes smart beta.

PERSONAL CAPITAL

Personal Capital makes use of a tactical weighting approach with customary indexing of U.S. equities. They get to do this by sustaining more evenly weighted exposure to every sector and stock. Generally, Personal Capital favors passive investing.

What Personal Capital does is that they customize investment strategy by basing it on your overall financial situation as well as your personal goals. Moreover, they will include medium-term investment goals, such as financing a college education or buying a home.

Investment Mix

The portfolio of its members will be done according to the Modern Portfolio Theory. This means equities will incorporate a well-diversified sample of 90 to 120 individual stocks for tactical weighing, tax optimization, and small-cap index ETFs.

The different asset classes that are included in your portfolio are as follows:

  • U.S. Stocks
  • International Stocks
  • U.S. Bonds
  • International Bonds
  • Alternatives – This includes “hard assets”, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs), gold and energy, as hedges against inflation.
  • Cash, for liquidity

Investment Custodian

With Personal Capital, they do not require you to deposit your investment funds with them. What happens instead is that your account is held with Pershing Advisor Solutions, a Bank of New York Mellon company.

Portfolio Rebalancing

This basically means your portfolio is monitored on a daily basis, and it is rebalanced as needed to ensure asset classes are within target allocations.

Investment Performance

You can check how Personal Capital is doing in this aspect on their website by checking the “Performance” button.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: NOTABLE FEATURES

So, we’re done discussing both Wealthfront and Personal Capital’s investment management aspect. This time, let’s look into some of the notable features of both web-based investment management platforms.

WEALTHFRONT

Portfolio Line of Credit

This is one of the unique features of Wealthfront. This basically means you are given the freedom to borrow against your Welthfront investment account without any application process, no fee, as well as no need for a credit check. Since it is considered as a secured like, currently, the interest rates range between 4.25% and 5.50% APR.

To be eligible for this feature, you have to have an investment account balance amounting to $100,000. Also, you are allowed to borrow up to 25% of your account balance at any time and for any reason. In addition, Wealthfront allows you to repay your debt on your preferred schedule.

Wealthfront Path Tool

This tool helps you plan out, as well as track your financial goals in life such as buying a home, retirement, as well as saving up for college.

PERSONAL CAPITAL

As earlier mentioned, Personal Capital is primarily a wealth management service. However, it also offers free financial software and provides budgeting as well as investment applications.

In Personal Capital’s free version, you will get to enjoy the following features:

  • Budgeting
  • Goal setting
  • Investment management
  • Planning and managing retirement accounts
  • Creation of income, spending reports, and upcoming bills

What makes Personal Capital different from Wealthfront is that it lets you assemble all your financial accounts in one place. This includes your bank accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgages, retirement accounts, and other loans

In addition, Personal Capital lets you track your net worth. Being knowledgeable about it allows you to compare your net worth to the median U.S. household net worth according to your age bracket.

Furthermore, there are other interesting features you can find in Personal Capital free version:

Fee Analyzer

This helps you identify investment fees, as well as recommends alternative investments to cut fees, and also in improving your long-term investment performance.

Retirement Planner

This provides you with different retirement-related tools like the Retirement Calculator. This allows you to track your progress when it comes to your retirement goals, so you can make necessary changes if needed.

Investment Checkup Tool

This helps analyze your portfolio, as well as recommends improvements to help you meet your financial goals.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: PRICING

Comparing Wealthfront and Personal Capital is not complete without looking at pricing and fees. Let’s admit it, in everything, we always consider pricing. In fact, some people consider it a major factor in making decisions.

Having said that, here’s how Wealthfront and Personal Capital fair –

WEALTHFRONT

Wealfront charges a flat yearly advisory fee amounting to 0.25%. Compared to other Robo-advisor companies, this fee is at the lower range.

Apart from this, Wealthfront does not charge any additional fees like trading commissions.

In addition, according to Wealthfront, the expense ratio of the ETFs they use is 0.09% annually. This pertains to fees charged within the ETFs used.

PERSONAL CAPITAL

As mentioned earlier, Personal Capital is financial software that is available to anyone without a fee. Yes, it’s for free! That includes not just its budgeting capabilities, but also the investment support services.

Meanwhile, Personal Capital’s Wealth Management versions use a tiered advisory fee, which can be as low as 0.49% annually for very large account balances. However, most investors will pay 0.89%. Please note though that the fee only applies to actual investments that are under management with Personal capital.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: PROMOTION

Another thing you may consider when choosing a web-based investing tool is their promotions.

Wealthfront offers free management for the first $5,000 invested with them. However, this is applicable to DoughRoller readers only.

Meanwhile, Personal Capital, as of this writing, do not have any promotions. But that should not make us feel bad. After all, the platform is free for everyone.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: ACCESSIBILITY

In this time and age, people prefer anything that is convenient to them. Do you agree? Thus, it is not surprising why we are talking about the platform’s accessibility now.

So, let’s start with Wealthfront. Wealthfront is available for mobile devices (both iOS and Android), as well as desktop and tablet.

Meanwhile, Personal Capital is also available for mobile devices (both iOS and Android users), desktop, and tablet. In addition, it can also be accessed through Apple Watch. The app is downloadable through the App Store and Google Play.

WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL: CUSTOMER SERVICE

To cap off our comparison review between Wealthfront and Personal Capital, we are going to look into their respective customer service support.

Wealthfront does have a customer service, which can be reached either through phone or email, Monday until Friday, from 7 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon (Pacific Time). Wealthfront also has a Help Center page wherein you can find answers to commonly asked questions on different topics.

In addition, Wealthfront does have a Learning Center, which provides you with articles and videos on a wide variety of topics like IRAs, 529 plans, 401(k) plans, and general investing.

As with Personal Capital, they can be reached through phone or email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, they do have a comprehensive FAQ page, which main focus is on Wealth Management.

Personal Capital also provides a Support Portal wherein you can find a large amount of information regarding the software.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON WEALTHFRONT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL

There are so many options when it comes to web-based investment management platforms. But among the many options, there are two names that are popular in this industry – Wealthfront and Personal Capital.

The two offers impressive services. While they both have similarities in different aspects, they do have a lot of differences as well, which makes one unique from the other.

Are you looking for a web-best investment management platform? How do you find Wealthfront? How about Personal Capital? Have you decided which one is the best yet?

As for us, both are very promising, and both are amazing finance tools. Picking just one between Wealthfront vs Personal Capital is a little challenging as they are both good!  Thus, to conclude, the best between the two will depend on you, the user, based on your preferences, needs, and of course, your financial goals.