Personal Capital is unique in several ways. Most noteworthy is the free access to digital financial analysis tools. When I signed up, I used the fund analysis tools to identify mutual funds that charged more than I wanted to pay. After a few trades, I saved $300 per year in fees and it didn’t cost me anything. I highly recommend signing up even if you don’t plan to use the paid financial advising service.
If you have at least $100,000 in assets, you qualify for the professional investment management service. With a Personal Capital account, you’ll work with a financial advisor team who will guide your funds into a portfolio that matches your needs. You can call anytime for help or guidance and get access to more services as your portfolio reaches the $200,000 and $1 million tiers.
Betterment is open to anyone regardless of how much you have to invest, but you don’t automatically get access to a human advisor. However, with Betterment’s onboarding process and smart portfolio management system, you don’t need one. And you don’t need to know much about investing to get a well-built, low-cost portfolio at Betterment.
In the signup process, you’ll answer some basic questions about your goals, such as retirement, paying for college or buying a home. Based on the information you supply, Betterment will suggest a percentage of stocks and bonds (which you can change if you’d like) and divide up your assets into low-cost ETFs. All accounts include automated tax loss harvesting. If you pay more, you can get access to a human advisor that works similarly to Personal Capital’s lowest tier.