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Personal Capital vs. Betterment

One offers free financial tools — but its wealth management service has a high minimum.

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Both platforms help investors manage their finances, but the services they offer vary. The best platform for your portfolio depends on whether you’re seeking a robo-advisor or full-fledged wealth management services.

Which one is better?

  • Choose Personal Capital if you’re seeking free financial tools or wealth management services.
  • Choose Betterment if you want to use a robo-advisor.

Personal Capital offers a unique triad of financial services: a collection of financial tools, an online savings account and wealth management services. The financial tools are free, but before you can access the platform’s algorithm- and adviser-driven wealth management, you’ll need a portfolio of at least $100,000. The savings account has no deposit requirements or monthly fees, but its 0.05% APY is not competitive.

Betterment is a robo-advisor with no minimums and a 0.25% annual management fee. It’s equipped with automated portfolio rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting and provides customer support seven days a week. It also offers a premium service with access to financial advisers — but like Personal Capital, it’s only open to clients with at least $100,000 to invest.

How do Personal Capital and Betterment compare?

Personal CapitalBetterment
Personal Capital logo
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Betterment logo
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OverviewWealth management firm Personal Capital offers a collection of services designed to help you manage and grow your money. Personal Capital service offerings make it a practical choice for hands-off investors, budget-conscious investors and savers.Betterment is an online financial advisor that makes investing easy by creating a portfolio just for you, based on your preferences and financial goals. It’s a solid choice for those new to investing.
Annual fee0.89%0.25%
Minimum deposit to open$100,000$0
Benefits
  • Free tools. Track your portfolio with help planning for retirement and calculating your net worth by signing up for its free tools.
  • Unlimited transactions. It doesn’t impose transaction limits — a rare feature for a savings account, allowing you to move investment funds without fear of fees.
  • Well reviewed. The company maintains a positive reputation across multiple review platforms.
  • Wealth management. For investors with at least $100,000 on hand, Personal Capital’s wealth management service combines investing algorithms with the expertise of financial advisers.
  • No account minimum. Investors can open an account with any amount.
  • Diversified investments. Algorithms are designed to diversify investor funds across more than 10 asset classes.
  • Deductible charitable giving. Investors have the opportunity to directly donate to charities they support for tax deductions.
  • Tax benefits. Automated asset location and tax-loss harvesting help minimize taxes and increase investor wealth.
  • Robust support. Customer support is available seven days a week.
Drawbacks
  • Wealth management minimum. While its financial tools are free, investors need at least $100,000 to access Personal Capital’s wealth management services.
  • Limited customer support. Customer support is only available weekdays.
  • Pushy reps. Investors complain of service reps pressuring them to sign up for the platform’s paid services after creating an account.
  • No direct indexing. Betterment only invests in ETFs and doesn’t offer its investors access to direct indexing opportunities.
  • Minimum balance for premium service. To access Betterment Premium, investors need a portfolio of at least $100,000.
  • Withdrawal delays. Investors warn of withdrawal delays that can take weeks to resolve.
Tools and research
  • Net worth calculator. Calculate your net worth by combining data from your checking, savings, investment and IRA accounts, as well as credit cards, mortgage and home equity loans.
  • Cash flow analysis. Set budget goals and track your spending by date, category and merchant.
  • Fee analyzer. Pinpoint where you lose funds to account fees and expense ratios.
  • Investment checkup. Receive personalized recommendations based on an assessment of your current portfolio and investment goals.
  • Retirement planner. Analyze your financial habits to better plan for retirement.
  • Education planner. Create education-focused savings goals with a calculator that factors in tuition, room, board and books.
  • Advice packages. Investors can connect with certified financial planners for a flat fee of $199 to $299.
  • Investing calculators. Financial quizzes and calculators help investors streamline their savings and investment goals.
  • Article library. Find educational articles written by experts on banking and investment topics.
Reputation and customer reviews
  • Reviews are: Mostly positive
  • Customers praise: Clean user interface, intuitive platform design and helpful financial tools
  • Customers complain about: Customer service reps pestering users to upgrade to paid financial services
  • Reviews are: Mixed
  • Customers praise: Automatic portfolio rebalancing and an easy-to-use platform
  • Customers complain about: Account withdrawal delays
Apple App Store reviews

★★★★★ 4.7/5

★★★★★ 4.8/5

Google Play Store reviews

★★★★★ 4.4/5

★★★★★ 4.3/5

Support
  • Phone. Call 855-855-8005 weekdays from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
  • Email. Send a note to sales@personalcapital.com.
  • Phone. Call 646-600-8263
  • Email. Send a request to Betterment’s customer service Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
  • Live chat: Available Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Learn more

Read our review

Read our review

Bottom line

Both of these investment platforms can help you analyze your finances and manage your investments. But the only way to access either platform’s advisers is with a portfolio of at least $100,000.

Not sure that either platform is the right fit? Compare your options across multiple platforms to find the account that fits your investment goals.

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