Personal Capital

Personal Capital Review 2020: An Online Reputation Scam and Terrible Service

Personal Capital is an online wealth advisory firm. They are widely popular because of their free financial tools. But apart from their financial tools, they also offer investment management services to high-net-worth individuals. They have many reviews online and have many customers.

Still, the question is, “Is Personal Capital legitimate?

Personal Capital homepage

While they seem great from a distance the reality is much worse. Many reputation scams are going on these days such as this one, so when I looked into Personal Capital I was really intrigued. I couldn’t find any Personal Capital negative reviews either, so it puzzled me further. 

I really like this website so I thought I should share my thoughts on Personal Capital. Here’s the summary for anyone who doesn’t want to read this entire review: 

Most of Personal Capital’s positive reviews are from affiliates. In reality, they have a ton of complaints from users which they don’t address. They are UNRELIABLE and UNTRUSTWORTHY

Why You Can’t Trust Positive Personal Capital Reviews:


When you looked up Personal Capital, you must’ve seen a ton of articles that rate it 9/10 or 4.9/5. Honestly, I was quite intrigued to see so many positive reviews too. But a common theme among all of those reviews is that they are not from the customers of Personal Capital.

All of the positive Personal Capital reviews you see online are from bloggers, not from actual clients

I wanted to see if these were reliable or not. And as it turns out, none of the positive reviews are reliable. 

Why?

Because all of the reviewers are affiliates of Personal Capital. An affiliate is someone who earns compensation if you buy the product through their referral. Affiliate marketing is a huge industry and many blogs are solely dependent on it for generating their revenue.

Here’s how affiliate marketing works:

Suppose you’re an affiliate for XYZ chocolate and you write a blog about chocolates. On your website, you write an article on that product and add a link to the buying page of XYZ chocolate so a person can click on it and buy it directly from there. 

The link you’ve added is exclusive to you and when someone buys the chocolate after clicking on that link, you get compensation from XYZ chocolate’s company. 

It’s like a referral network but with links. 

All of the positive reviews on Personal Capital are from its affiliates. That’s why you can’t trust their ratings.

First Site: 

Here, the review gives Personal Capital a nearly-perfect rating of 4 out of 5 stars. They praise the investment strategy of Personal Capital, and how the tools are amazing. To appear genuine, they have kept the rating one-star below perfection and have cited the high fees to be the reason behind their deduction.

Throughout the article, you’ll find plenty of links that tell you to ‘Open Account” on Personal Capital’s website.

All of these links are affiliate links. In other words, this website will get paid if you set up an account after clicking on those links. 

This blog gets compensated for suggesting you Personal Capital’s services

Second Site:

Here’s another review site which gives Personal Capital a fantastic 9.5/10 rating. They have also used affiliate links in their articles. 

They have added an ‘Advertiser Disclosure’ at the top-right corner of their website to let you know that they get paid from these links.

Another Hidden Disclaimer

Third Site:

Hidden disclaimer

This is the last site I’m going to show you. The same stuff is going on here. They have given Personal Capital a great rating and have written many praises for its tools and services. 

But, they claim that all of these opinions are free from the fact that they get paid for recommending you the product. 

There are many others and they all follow this approach. They are affiliates of Personal capital, and get compensated if you use one of their affiliate links to open an account with this provider.

However, they all claim that their opinions are independent. 

If Someone Gets Paid From Recommending You a Product, Can You Trust Their Review?

How can you trust the authenticity and honesty of these reviews I discussed above? If they will earn money from their referral links, why would they say bad things about Personal Capital. Isn’t it a huge conflict of interest? 

They all say that their review has nothing to do with the fact that they get paid for it, but that’s just to avoid any legal issues. It’s in fine print and 99% of readers won’t even read that. 

How many times does a person read the Terms & Conditions of a company before clicking ‘I Accept’? Not many, I guess.

These websites know this and they take advantage of this tendency. Here are some more reasons why I don’t think these reviews are reliable:

None of these reviewers have used Personal Capital’s services before writing their articles nor have they checked any user reviews 

If they would’ve even mentioned any user reviews of Personal Capital, I could’ve trusted their opinions. But none of them haven’t. They have simply re-written what Personal Capital says about their services on their website. 

All in all, Personal Capital only has positive reviews from their affiliates. That’s why you can’t trust those reviews

Numerous Complaints Against Personal Capital

When you’d check the user reviews of Personal Capital, you’d see that there are many complaints against their services. All of those 4 out of 5 and 9/10 reviews create the illusion that there’s nothing wrong with Personal Capital. 

The truth is the opposite. After going through the user reviews of Personal Capital, I saw that they harass their users with spam, provide below-par advisory services, and are rated 1 out of 5 on average.

Here are some user reviews of Personal Capital:

01.

THEY made money, not me

Personal capital negative review

According to this review, after availing Personal Capital’s services for a year, this person didn’t get any good returns. Moreover, all the praises those articles laid out for the personalized advisory services seem fake because this person only had the advisor’s email, and no other contact method. 

02.

Worse Performance

Personal capital negative reviews

This person gave personal capital 2 out of 5 stars because the app and customer service was good. However, this nice person has also complained about the wealth managers.

Apparently, Personal Capital’s advisors gave them 9.6% lower returns than the account they had managed themselves. Also, Personal Capital sold their stocks and mutual funds without consulting them. I don’t think that’s a sign of a good financial advisor.

03.

I did better managing my portfolio myself

Negative review of Personal capital

This person lost money when they hired Personal Capital to manage their account. They lost around $600 within a year, which was around 7-8% of their total account’s balance. This person had grown their portfolio substantially when they managed it themselves and when they hired Personal Capital, they lost money. 

What Do These Reviews Indicate?

There were many other complaints against Personal Capital and its financial advisors. Another common theme among people was of multiple calls and emails they got after using Personal Capital’s free tools. I didn’t share them here otherwise this article would turn into a book. 

It’s obvious that Personal Capital isn’t that great. It’s actually horrible. Using their tools exposes you to the risk of getting calls from their salespeople. On the other hand, if you get their advisory services, you face the risk of losing your hard-earned money. They are not worth it. 

In the section below, I have discussed the basic details about Personal Capital so if you haven’t heard of them, you don’t have to go someplace else to read about them.

What is Personal Capital? Everything You Need to Know

Personal Capital is an online financial services company based in Redwood Shores, CA. They also have offices in Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, and Atlanta, GA, and in San Francisco, CA. These people are popular for their online tools ranging from a retirement planner to a budgeting app. 

Apart from apps, Personal Capital has a team of financial advisors too. Only those who opt for their wealth management get access to these advisors. 

You need a minimum investment of $100,000 to be eligible for their investment services. While their advisory services are notorious in the market, their tools are quite popular.

Personal Capital’s Tools:

All of their tools are present under their app. It has multiple features such as a net worth calculator which shows you your net worth. In other words, if you’d sell all of your assets and pay off the liabilities, the net amount you’re left with would be your net worth. 

Some other features include Savings Planner, Retirement Planner, Fee Analyzer, and others. 

The Savings Planner is a tool that helps you set goals for saving money according to your income and expenses. It also gives you projections for how much you’re saving for your retirement. 

Cash Flow is another tool that lets you compare the inflow and outflow of your funds. 

Education planner is a tool that tells you how much you should save to cover any education-related costs in the future. 

Many other tools are available on their platform. The only problem with using them is that you’ll have to provide your contact details to them, which exposes you to their aggressive salespeople. As you would’ve noticed in the reviews I discussed above, many people complain of the spammy promotions Personal Capital does after they start using their free tools.

Using Personal Capital’s free tools exposes you to their aggressive sales staff which is a huge headache

Personal Capital Wealth Management:

Probably the worst aspect of Personal Capital is their investment services. While I liked the tools, the financial advisory services are the main pain point of this company. After seeing the numerous complaints against them, I don’t recommend signing up for their financial advisory services. 

01.

Their Minimum Investment

The minimum investment required to get their financial services is $100,000. I believe it’s quite high and restricts many people from accessing this facility. It was the first sign of Personal Capital’s greed. 

For a financial services company like Personal Capital, it seemed quite a bit off to keep such a high minimum investment. Why would they limit the number of people who can avail their advisory services? They certainly have the necessary resources. 

After I saw the scam they are running through their fake reviews, I realised what’s really going on. 

The $100,000 minimum investment limits the access of Personal Capital’s advisory services to many promising clients

02.

Their Fees:

While most of their apps and tools are available for free, their advisory services aren’t. And they are the primary reason why I’m even writing this review. The fee structure of Personal Capital is quite greedy when you compare it with other financial advisors. 

Personal Capital charges 0.89% management fee for account management if you have lower than one million in your account. Then, it charges 0.79% upto $3 million, 0.69% upto $5 million, 0.59% upto $10 million, and for accounts with investments over $10 million they charge 0.49%.

If you’re a person who’s willing to invest more than $100,000, then Personal Capital’s fee structure would disappoint you. It is excessive and shows that these people are a little greedy. 

Clients with less than $1 million in investment have to pay 0/89% of the managed assets. When you compare it with other online financial advisors you’d see that this number is substantially high. For example, Vanguard is another prominent online finance advisor and it charges only 0.30% for clients with investments up to $5 million. 

03.

Their Strategy:

Personal Capital makes pretty big claims about its investment strategy. They say they offer higher returns with lower risks and even outperforms the S&P 500 index. Any wise investor might think these are some ‘too good to be true’ claims. 

They claim that they use individual securities and that’s why they can deliver on these claims. However, after seeing the complaints against their advisory services, I don’t think their strategy is any good.

Personal Capital emphasizes on using Tactical weighing which is quite popular among hedge fund managers and investors. Tactical weighing looks stellar on paper and that’s why anyone might be convinced into believing that Personal Capital’s wealth management services are worth the price even though that might not be the case. 

04.

Different Tiers

Personal Capital’s advisory services are divided into the following sections:

Investment Services

The lowest tier is Investment Services where they provide financial and retirement planning services. You need to have a minimum of $100,000 to $200,000 worth of investment assets. 

Wealth Management

Personal Capital claims to offer dedicated specialist support in this tier. You need to have $200,000 to $1 million worth of investment assets to enroll in this tier. 

Private Client

The highest tier is named Private Client and they claim to build customized investment plans for you. You need to have more than $1 million worth of investment assets to be eligible for this section. 

Personal Capital Review 2020: Conclusion

Personal Capital is running a reputation scam. Most of the prominent blogs of this niche are their affiliates so they can’t share objective reviews, even though they claim to be. 

Through affiliates, Personal Capital has built a fake reputation of being near-perfect. They are not an online wealth management company, no, they are an online fake reputation scam. 

All of the users’ Personal Capital reviews indicate that this broker doesn’t provide good services. 

Why would a company with great products rely on affiliates for getting positive reviews? Clearly they are doing something fishy. Their intentions don’t seem good. I wouldn’t recommend availing their services. 

Personal Capital is running a reputation scam and they are not worth trying. Avoid them. 

3.5 Total Score
Reputation Scammers and Terrible Advisors

Personal Capital's users get spam calls from their salesmen, lose money because of their advisors, and get zero returns. All of Personal Capital's positive reviews are from affiliates! AVOID THESE PEOPLE!!

3.5Expert Score
Trust
1.5
Support
5
Reputation
1.5
Experience
5
2.9User's score
Trust
3.1
Support
1.6
Reputation
3.5
Experience
3.6
PROS
  • Users praise their free tools
CONS
  • Spam users of free tools through emails and phone calls
  • Poor advisory services
  • Hiding negative reviews through affiliate-network
  • Running a review scam
Add your review  |  Read reviews and comments

9 Comments
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Support
    10
    Reputation
    10
    Experience
    10

    I can’t give a personal capital app review because I didn’t use it. One of my friends had suggested me to hire them for their financial advisors. She was using a referral code. Out of courtesy, I contacted them and it turned out to be a nightmare. The advisors at Personal Capital are way more arrogant than you would expect. They also seemed kind of fake. You don’t have to pretend to like me if you don’t like me. If you like yes-men, then hiring Personal capital advisors would be good for you. Otherwise, it isn’t a good choice for anyone. Again, I’m sorry for anyone who wanted to read a personal capital app review.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. 3.35
    Trust
    90
    Support
    10
    Reputation
    70
    Experience
    100

    Yes very helpful

    + PROS: There tools are great and there account management is very good.
    - CONS: There Tech Support is non existent. If you get lock out of your account because you missed your password 2 times...good luck at getting back in.. It has taken me as long as a week to get my password reset. You can not call them, they hid the phone numbers for support and all you get is auto e-mails. Trouble service the worst I have ever had in over 30 years.
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Support
    10
    Reputation
    10
    Experience
    10

    Why do you guys have to constant spam me man? Like I get it. Your free apps don’t make you a lot of money. But c’mon your spamming equates to harassment. If I really needed to hire a financial advisor, I would go to some local guy not one of your people. Your constant spamming is the main reason why I uninstalled your app. Guess what? I didn’t need them anymore.

    Edit: I’m talking about Personal Capital here not Gripeo. Gripeo wasn’t spamming me but Personal Capital was.

    - CONS: Spammers
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. 2.1
    Trust
    40
    Support
    20
    Reputation
    60
    Experience
    50

    I have been using Personal Capital for months now. Their budgeting app is amazing. It has a simple interface and lets me plan my finances very easily. I prepare my monthly budget by using their app frequently. The Savings Planner is amazing.

    BUT….

    The problem with these people is their sales team is terrible. One of the WORST sales team on the planet!!

    They constantly spam me to get their paid services. I don’t need to hire a financial advisor to manage my funds. I know how to handle my money. Granted, they want to earn too. But that doesn’t give them an excuse to harass their customers by constantly spamming them. That constant harassment alone is enough for me to give them a 2-star rating.

    + PROS: Great apps Good interface
    - CONS: Constant spamming Unapologetic behaviour Harass customers
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  5. Thanks for the great review. I never signed up with them but I did use their free software. It seemed like they are using their software in order to find sales targets. That means they spying on your data when you use their free software.

    I talked to them, and the financial advisor hit every easy-to-google financial hot topic. Their advisors supposedly have a fiduciary duty to the investor, but the people who designed the robo software do not. I think the robo-advisor software was designed to sound good to people who don’t know a lot about investing.

    Another thing about fiduciary duty: hiring managers have no more duty to the investor then the software developers do. Who cares if the advisors have a fiduciary duty if they are ignorant and poorly trained.

    And the advisor on the phone did seem kind of clueless. He got annoyed when I wasn’t impressed with tax savings thing (every money manager who doesn’t suck balances gains and losses). And then he tried to make me feel ignorant by telling me that dividends make the stock price go down. This is technically true but mostly meaningless because the important things are the price at which you bought the stock and the multiple of earnings at which the market values the stock.

    I have no experience on how their robo software actually does except for one thing. The advisor eventually mentioned that his estimate of how my investments would do in the future was based on the assumption that I would spend 1% less every year once I turned 70. There is some random paper online that claims this, but in real life its a stupid and risky thing to assume. If I hadn’t kept the advisor on the phone for so long he wouldn’t have told me at all.

    Very suspicious of this company – generic name, underhanded use of freebies, a sales pitch that sounds like google results, nothing but click-bait reviews, and a portfolio which seems designed to impress rather then outperform.

  6. No one should sign up on Personal Capital. Their advisors are the worst!! They caused me a loss of several thousands of dollars through poor recommendations. It looks like these people don’t have the necessary resources or are too lazy to perform extensive research. I can relate to the experience you’ve shared here. When the market was making gains, personal capital was losing me thousands everyday. Terminating their services was the best decision I have ever made because at least I’m no longer losing my funds. If anyone is reading this review, please, avoid Personal Capital.

  7. I always thought they were a little suspicious. But this review helped me clear my doubts. Thanks for saving me from this scam.

  8. 1.1
    Trust
    20
    Support
    30
    Reputation
    20
    Experience
    20

    I signed up on Personal Capital’s free tools several months ago and it was the worst decision I could have possibly made. Their sales people keep calling me and emailing me about their advisory services and even though I have declined their offers multiple times, they don’t listen.
    They say if you don’t want to sign up, you can refer some people who would like to listen to these offers instead. And I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s lives by giving their numbers to Personal Capital. The tools aren’t even that great. A person can do all of that by proper budgeting. They look free on paper, but they are not. the price for them is your sanity because the salespeople from this terrible organisation will keep harassing you until you give up.

    - CONS: Not Recommended Terrible Sales staff
    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  9. Reply
    Fed up with Personal Capital
    August 29, 2020 at 7:41 pm
    1.35
    Trust
    20
    Support
    20
    Reputation
    40
    Experience
    30

    I came across Personal Capital through an online ad. The ad was about one of their free tools and it caught my attention. I used their free tools and they seemed good. To use those tools properly, you have to sign up on their website and provide your contact details. So, after getting my contact details they started sending me emails to hire a financial advisor.
    At first I was quite skeptical of hiring those guys because I had no idea if they were reliable enough. But after seeing the quality of their free tools, I thought they would be worth a shot.
    My entire experience with Personal Capital cost me $XXXXXX and lost me a huge chunk of my portfolio. Their advisors use a ton of devices and throw a lot of jargon at your face but in the end, don’t have the experience to manage a client’s portfolio.
    My Painful Experience with Personal Capital
    I signed up for Personal Capital a few weeks after using their free tools. I had looked into the experts they had onboard and thought they were reliable enough to help me invest. The plan I had opted for was for their ‘Investment Services’. They require $100K to $200K in investment assets, which I had, and so, I didn’t face any issues in enrolling there.
    Little did I know that signing up for that service would spoil my entire portfolio and lose me more than $XXXXXX. Anyway, I talked with their advisors and according to them, I had to make several adjustments to my portfolio. The advisor said that I needed to follow a more ‘aggressive’ approach to reach my desired financial goals. I was a little doubtful but when he told me a few things about how the portfolio would benefit me, I was convinced. However, I had no idea that following that stupid man’s advice would lose me so much.
    They make pretty big claims about how they give their clients strategies that “give higher returns while reducing risks” but in my case, they only delivered high risks with no returns. Their aggressive approach lost me $XXXXXX in a span of a few days before I could even realize how much I had lost, it had become too much to bear.
    Oh, and none of the advisors at Personal Capital took any responsibility for this loss. They didn’t apologize or said anything. They just went silent and that’s why I terminated their services. I no longer use any Personal Capital products. I wish I would’ve found this Personal Capital review before because then, I wouldn’t have faced such a problem.

    Helpful(4) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

Leave a reply

Your total score

Gripeo
Logo
Register New Account
Reset Password