I've been using the same app to manage my money for 7 years, and I like it so much I'm teaching my mom to use it, too
- Personal Capital offers free investment analysis tools that help you better understand your investments across multiple accounts.
- While the company has a paid investment management service, the online dashboard is free and has helped me save me thousands of dollars in fees.
- Newly helping my parents with their finances, I'm planning to plug their accounts into Personal Capital to get a better understanding of their costs and allocation.
- Open your own account with Personal Capital today and stop paying unnecessary fees »
Part of getting older sometimes means helping our parents. While I still look to my parents for wisdom on a wide range of topics, when it comes to money, I am the clear family expert.
The time has come for me to start helping my parents with their money a bit more, and I'm starting with a trust left to my mom by my grandmother. When managing a new investment account for the first time, I'm going to plug into Personal Capital as step one.
Personal Capital is my favorite investment analysis toolI signed up for Personal Capital myself way back in October 2012. I use the app to better understand my portfolio and how all of my investments fit together across multiple accounts. I don't log in every day, but I do like to check in at least every few months to make sure my investments are running the way I want.
Once my mom's money moves into her new trust account, I'm going to open a brand new Personal Capital account for her investments. We have different financial needs and target retirement dates, so it wouldn't make sense to add her investments to my Personal Capital account. I want to see her investments independent of mine.
However, I have the same ultimate goal using Personal Capital for my money and my mom's: I'm looking to save money on fees and ensure our investments are optimized for our different goals and needs.
Personal Capital is great for analyzing investment fees
My mom's trust has been held by a small trust management company that charges outrageous fees and put her money in some high-fee funds, so the first thing I'm trying to do is save her money on fees. While I can't go back in time and undo the thousands she paid before I started helping, those fees are getting slashed big time on my watch.
The first place I'll focus once her account is transferred to the new brokerage, which doesn't charge any recurring fees, is the fees charged by each individual fund. To do so, I'll use the Retirement Fee Analyzer in Personal Capital.
Personal Capital helps clarify portfolio allocation
As someone in my mid-30s with a long time before I plan to retire, I'm mostly invested in US stocks. As someone in the age range where people typically retire, my mom has very different needs than me.
Using the Portfolio Allocation tool at Personal Capital, I can get a quick, visual snapshot of her investments in a single click.
I would expect my mom's allocation to have a lower portion of her portfolio in stocks and a higher portion of bonds. Fixed-income investments like bonds are usually considered a safer investment than stocks. It's good to note, however, that many investment experts think people have too many bonds in their portfolios too soon.
I want to give my mom the right balance for her age and investment goals. This tool will help me get her on track and stay there.
It's a great tool for investment checkups and gives you a digital second opinion
Many people pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per year for a financial adviser when their investment needs are not that unique or complex. Personal Capital's analysis tools are all free to use and give you many of the same insights you would get with a paid adviser.
When you have a portfolio made up of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, it's easy to get overwhelmed and ignore things like your fund fees and target allocation. Using Personal Capital, you get the most important information in just a few minutes.
I want the very best for my mom's money, just as I do for my own. After all, I want the best for my mom and anything left over could be my inheritance someday! With Personal Capital in my money toolbox, I know I'm on the right track.
Personal Capital can help you grow your investments - and reduce your fees. Sign up today to get started »
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