Personal Capital vs. Mint

Contributor, Benzinga

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Ready to take control of your finances? Two software options now make it easier than ever for you to take charge of your financial life.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: Overview

Best For
  • High-net-worth individuals looking for a comprehensive digital financial manager
  • Retirement planning
  • Self-starters who can use the Personal Capital Financial Tools to track finances and set long-term financial goals
Best For
  • Basic budgeting and bill tracking
  • Investors looking for an easy-to-use tracking platform
  • Planning your financial future
Pros
  • Handle your portfolio, financial planning and spending accounts with cutting edge digital financial management technology
  • Panoramic view of your finances on display 24/7 using precise analytics and a dashboard that displays all your accounts together
  • Executive-level financial planning and investment management
Pros
  • Categorizes purchases
  • Perfect combination of both budgeting and managing investments
  • Free to use
Cons
  • Relatively high minimum balance for investment management services
  • Fully-comprehensive financial management, including a dedicated relationship with a financial planner
  • Portfolio customization and estate, legacy and tax services only available at higher tiers that require $200,000 to $1 million minimum in investments
Cons
  • Offerings are basic compared to paid apps and softwares
  • Can’t pay bills with Mint

Personal Capital and Mint are 2 very different online tools for managing your personal finances. Budgeting, expense tracking and monitoring your investments are common to both but they each also offer a unique value proposition to their users.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: Platform and Ease of Use

Both solutions offer multi-platform support and intuitive features.

Personal Capital offers a 2-tiered approach to personal finances. You get free budgeting and money management tools supported on multiple platforms as well as optional paid financial planning and wealth management services.

It’s available as an app and through the company’s website, though some features vary slightly between the two versions. The free app is also available for Windows, Android and iOS.

Personal Capital’s app offers:

  • Aggregates all your accounts. This includes credit and debit cards, savings and investment accounts and loans and mortgages into a central resource.
  • Gives detailed budgeting and income/expense tracking. Personal Captial has multiple platforms, including desktops, tablets and mobile devices, to get this information on.
  • Exceptional investment planning and tracking. This comes with a significant level of personalization in terms of asset allocation and portfolio construction. You can also gain access to tax-loss harvesting features to maximize your after-tax returns.
  • View all your taxable and non-taxable assets in one place. This includes the ones not managed by Personal Capital to give you a holistic view of your finances.

Personal Capital’s features are logically laid out on its My Accounts panel. For each linked account, the system presents you with high-level views and allows you to drill into the details.

Personal Capital also offers a companion app on the Apple Watch that delivers summary information about your spending and investments as well as important alerts and notifications.

If you wish to be proactive about curtailing investment fees that eat into your retirement savings, the tool offers a great Fee Analyzer.

Moving a few sliders around and tweaking your personal numbers allow you to see how fees can diminish your retirement savings.  

Use the Budgeting Widget to help you stay on track with your budget so you can see where you’re spending your money.

If you’re looking for a free online personal finance and budgeting tool, Mint has lots to offer. It also comes as a companion app for multiple platforms, including desktops and mobile devices for Windows, iOS and Android operating environments.

Centralized your accounts. You can bring every aspect of your financial life together into a centralized hub by linking all of your accounts, from investments to banking, credit cards and even PayPal or Venmo.

Money and bill management. Mint allows you to manage your money and keep an eye on your bills at the same time. You’ll know which bills are due, when they’re due and how much you owe.

Time and money saver. Consolidate your entire financial life under a single platform to save time monitoring and tracking your money. You’ll also save lots of money by avoiding overdue bill payments and moving your money quickly to where you get the best returns with the lowest fees. The tool also provides great money-saving tips and offers from partner companies.f

Stay on top of your budget. Mint automatically categorizes expenses and seamlessly updates your budget with actual spending from your linked accounts. You can even add cash expenses paid from non-linked accounts to help you stay on top of your budget.

Watch your credit score. Mint gives you access to your credit score for free, so you don’t need to pay for it or go to another website to see what your credit standing is.

Know your net worth. You can link bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investment accounts to its portal. When you synchronize all your financial accounts through Mint, you’ll always know your net worth.

Get immediate gratification. Because it starts pulling and analyzing historical transactions from your accounts as soon as you link them, Mint immediately provides you specific, actionable money-saving suggestions and recommendations.

You’ll find everything you need to manage your finances neatly laid out in the ribbon-formatted control panel. Best of all, the interfaces across various platforms (including desktop and mobile) have an almost similar look and feel, which makes it easy for multi-device users.

With Mint, you can:

  • Test the impact of major decisions. These can include buying a new car or making extensive home renovations on your finances before you implement them.
  • Treat each spending category as a separate budget. Mint offers you even greater precision and control on your budgeting for subcategories like dining out, movies or cable subscriptions.
  • Get notifications for activities on all your linked accounts. You can do this through Mint’s alert feature and can also receive financial summaries via text or emails. You can tailor alerts to trigger on all activity or only for unusual transactions.
  • Use Mintsights. This uses machine learning technology to provide predictive money-saving insights to you based on your personal financial history.

It seamlessly syncs with desktop and mobile devices on the go. You can also configure Mint to deliver summary transactions and notifications on your Apple Watch.

You’ll even be able to download your transactions into spreadsheets to do further analysis of your finances by yourself.

Bottom Line

Both solutions offer great personal finance tracking and money-management features, though each differs in the way they implement budgeting. Neither supports automatic bill payments.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: Pricing

Pricing often plays a role when deciding which software to use. However, it’s also important to understand what you’re receiving for the price you pay.

The fees you pay for Personal Capital services are based on the type of client you are and the number of investment assets you have.

You’ll pay fees based on a sliding scale, depending on the amount you own. Currently, that fee can vary from 0.89% to 0.49% of your assets under the company’s management.

Mint is free. There’s no fee for downloading either the desktop or companion mobile apps.

However, by agreeing to receive third-party advertisements from Mint partners, you indirectly “pay” for the privilege of using free tools. You’ll also circuitously pay Mint for the use of their free tools if you decide to sign up for third-party offers and deals.

Both Personal Capital and Mint offer their software for free. But Personal Capital also offers a range of paid-for services to complement its free tools.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: Educational Offerings

Before you choose to use either of these products, make sure you educate yourself each platform’s capabilities and features first.

While you’ll find plenty of educational material on Personal Capital’s support site, there’s also a wealth of learning content available on YouTube that you can tap into.

If you want to use Personal Capital for more than its budgeting and money management features, you’ll also find great content on the company’s website including retirement planning or 401(k) management authored by experienced financial planners.

Mint has a well-curated choice of educational content on its blog. There are also a variety of third-party training providers that offer paid courses on how to use Mint and how best to take advantage of its various features.

YouTube is another source filled with helpful educational resources.

Parents and guardians will find Mint’s money management resources for kids especially helpful in teaching kids about earning, saving and investing their money.

Both options come with great proprietary and third-party educational content.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: Security  

Because you put your financial life on the internet, security should always be a primary concern when deciding which online software tools to use.

Personal Capital’s founder, Bill Harris, previously designed the online authentication systems used by major financial institutions in the U.S. today.

In addition to bank-level security, such as AES-256 encryption, multi-layer key management,  the latest security protocols, Touch ID and multi-factor authentication, the company partners with online security pioneer Verisign to protect your data and credentials.

All data resides off-site at facilities owned and managed by data aggregation industry leader Yodlee. This makes your data accessible only to you and no one else. The company subjects its infrastructure, policies and procedures to regular third-party security audits and has an ongoing program to uncover and fix issues and bugs through its bug bounty program.   

Finally, to minimize the risk of data compromise by internal staff, the company has a highly restricted physical access protocol in place. This only allows staff with the highest levels of security clearance to manage its servers and routers.

As noted earlier, Mint belongs to a family of leading brand financial and tax software, so security is like second (if not first!) nature. Intuit (the parent company) applies bank-grade security to Mint, and that means even the company does not have access to your accounts. Only you can initiate or view transactions.

Users may opt to use passcodes or fingerprint recognition at sign-in. Because Mint login credentials and passwords use hardware and software encryption with data stored on separate databases, users get an added layer of protection.

Multi-factor authentication ensures validation of users’ credentials to confirm they are who they say they are before granting access to Mint accounts.

By automatically logging idle accounts out after 10 minutes of inactivity, Mint ensures your financial activity is inaccessible to anyone else except you. Mint also automatically deletes cached data upon sign-off from a secure session.  

Industry leaders such as TRUSTe, RSA Security and VeriSign (Norton Security) verify and authenticate Mint’s security practices. This gives Mint users added peace of mind that some of the internet’s most trusted security protocols protect their data online.

Both products are equipped with a suite of robust security and personal information protection capabilities.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: Customer Support

Regardless of how stellar the tools are, if they aren’t well supported, you’ll want to think twice before using them. Let’s dig in and see what each platform offers for support.

Personal Capital offers a comprehensive support portal that can access a wide range of support resources and range from getting started to how-to type help and from known issues to general troubleshooting support.

If you require more personalized advice, you can schedule a consultation via chat, email, phone or web conferencing.

Your first line of support is within the MintCommunity, where you can browse through a wide variety of FAQ-type topics.

You may also submit your own questions for community experts to answer. Although Mint offers chat support 7 days a week, it’s only available between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. PST.  

While Intuit does offer phone (in addition to text, email and chat) support for its other products, it only offers chat support for Mint. Personal Capital offers a live advisor consultation.

Final Thoughts

Both products come with great budgeting and personal finance tracking features. However, if you want additional money management or investment planning assistance, then Personal Capital might be the one for you.

Related content: Personal Capital vs. Quicken

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