Here’s the thing about personal finance apps: There are a lot of them, and that can make your decision challenging. Personal Capital and Fidelity offer two leading options.
When comparing Personal Capital and Fidelity, you’ll find that they provide similar options. But you’ll soon discover quite a few differences exist between them. So, how can you choose? This guide will walk you through how they work and how to know which is best for your situation.
Personal Capital: An Overview
Personal Capital is a digital wealth management company with two primary offerings:
Fee-based wealth management services
Free personal finance tools used by more than 3 million U.S. households
Founded in 2009, the company offers free financial tools to manage your budget and investments in one place. The free tools let you link your existing bank and investment accounts in order to track your spending, portfolio performance, net worth, and investment progress.
Investors with more than $100,000 of investable assets are eligible for wealth management services and human financial advisors. This can make your experience more personalized and insight-driven.
How Does Personal Capital Work?
Personal Capital aggregates your financial accounts in one place so you can easily track and plan. It offers monthly income and expenses tracking, as well as detailed views of your deposits, income, and transactions.
To get the most out of the platform, you’ll want to link all of your bank and investment accounts. It usually takes about 10 minutes, and you can connect your:
Adding your accounts provides a birds-eye view of your financial situation. From there, you may choose to speak with an advisor to create plans for your long-term financial goals. If you choose to sign on as a client, you’ll receive customized advice from financial advisors and professionally managed investment portfolio.
Fidelity: An Overview
Fidelity is one of the oldest brokerage companies in the industry. Since its start in 1946, the company has offered personalized planning and wealth management services.
The company provides retirement services through its brokerage division and financial planning resources for individuals and small businesses through its advisory services unit.
You can get digital investment management and one-on-one coaching with Fidelity advisors to keep your investment strategy on track.
How Does Fidelity Work?
When you’re ready to invest with Fidelity, you start by opening an account. The type of account you choose depends on your needs and goals:
Investing and trading
Saving and investing for a child
For example, if you’re looking to save for retirement, you might start by opening a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. You could also consolidate old 401(k)s into a rollover IRA.
Personal Capital vs. Fidelity: Products and Features
Both of these solutions are similar, but each has unique core features to consider. The bells and whistles available may also be a determining factor.
Fidelity offers 529 accounts. Personal Capital can advise on 529 plan allocations, but does not directly manage those accounts.
You’ll need a minimum investment of $100,000 to open an investment account with Personal Capital. If you plan to use a free account for budgeting and net worth tracking, there isn’t a minimum.
Fidelity doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open an account. But you’ll need to meet the $2,500 minimum to start investing.
When you consider Fidelity Full View vs. Personal Capital, you’ll discover they both offer simple-to-use features to get an overview of your financial picture.
Fidelity has Full View that lets you consolidate your Fidelity and non-Fidelity accounts, monitor your portfolio, use budgeting and reporting tools, and analyze your complete financial picture.
Personal Capital lets you connect your accounts — IRAs, mortgages, checking, credit cards, and more — and access a dashboard where you can create a budget, plan for retirement, and track investments.
Help for New Investors
When comparing Fidelity Go vs. Personal Capital, Personal Capital’s $100,000 minimum deposit may be out of reach for beginners.
However, there’s no minimum to use the platform’s free investment and money management tools.
Fidelity has Fidelity Go, a robo-advisor designed for new investors. You don’t need a minimum deposit to open an account, and you can start investing with as little as $10. Plus, it’s free for balances under $10,000.
The Cost of Fidelity vs. Personal Capital
Cost is an important factor when choosing between investment platforms.
Personal Capital’s fee for account management and personalized financial advice ranges from 0.49% to 0.89%, depending on how much you invest. However, there’s no account fee or setup or onboarding fee.
For Fidelity’s planning and advice, you’ll pay between 0.20% to 1.50%. The Fidelity Go app is free for balances under $10,000. When you reach $10,000, you’ll pay $3 per month (accounts with balances $50,000 and more switch to a 0.35% fee per year).
Reasons to Use Personal Capital
Personal Capital offers an excellent suite of free financial tools. It’s a powerful choice if you’re looking for tools to:
Analyze your investments, including asset allocation for your risk tolerance and retirement horizon
Track your overall financial health and net worth
Plan for your long-term goals, like buying a home or saving for retirement
Review spending, saving, and investing with graphs and charts that are simple to understand
For investors, Personal Capital is best if you have $100,000 or more in investments — that’s when you can take advantage of the company’s wealth management services.
Reasons to Use Fidelity
Fidelity offers similar features when compared to Personal Capital. Fidelity could be the right choice for you if you want:
No minimum deposits
Robo-advisor platform through Fidelity Go
Like Personal Capital, Fidelity Full View offers a simple-to-use overview of your financial life. You can see investment accounts at Fidelity and elsewhere, retirement accounts, and credit card accounts to get a full picture of your finances.
Personal Capital vs. Fidelity: The Bottom Line
Both Personal Capital and Fidelity offer a range of investment services to meet investors where they are. Because of the minimum balance requirement, Personal Capital’s wealth management services are better-suited to individuals who are a bit further along in their investing journey and who are ready to take their financial goals to the next level.
Using a free tool like Personal Capital to manage your finances makes a lot of sense — there’s no annual fee, and it gives you a holistic view of your financial picture without requiring too much time or effort from you.
Author is not a client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation and is compensated as a freelance writer.
Analysis is conducted at the time of publication and may change over time. Please see each company’s website for updated information. The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. Compensation not to exceed $500. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money. Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.