Most of us wouldn’t mind some help with money management to help us with budgeting and our personal finance. Hiring financial advisors is an option for everyone. Luckily there are financial tools like Personal Capital that make it easier for us.
Both are financial platforms that offer budgeting and other planning tools. If your trying to decide on whether to use Personal Capital or Quicken, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take a closer look at each option so you can find out which is the better choice!
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Meet the Platforms
Personal Capital combines financial and wealth management software into one. Personal capital is free to use if you want to use personal finance management software. The investment management side is available for a cost. Personal Capital free tools include:
- Savings planner
- Net worth tracker
- Budgeting tools
- Cash flow management
- Retirement planning
- Investment checkup
- Fee analyzer
History of Personal Capital
Personal Captial was founded in 2009. Its original name was SafeCorp Financial Corporation before its name was changed the following year. Bill Harris, Rob Foregger, Paul Bergholm, and Louie Gasparini were the original founders. They were purchased by Empower Retirement in 2020 and now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Personal Capital Service Offerings
Personal Capital offers money management, retirement, and wealth services all in one platform. Personal Captial’s free features include personal financial tools to help you with budgeting and retirement planning. Here are the top features that their financial management software offers below:
Money Management Tools
Use their Cash Flow Analyzer Spending tool to review your income and spending habits for weekly, monthly, and annual timeframes. You can access this through their website or app.
What’s especially nice about using their budgeting software is that it tracks your expenses for you by connecting it to all of your accounts. Personal Capital’s budgeting software also has an Upcoming Bills feature that allows you to view all your bills and due dates.
Do you want to know what your net worth is? Personal Capital will review all your investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and so on to do the math for you.
It even has a feature that allows you to compare it to the national average so you keep track of your progress against it.
Cash Flow/Capital Cash Program
How your money comes in and out of your accounts is important to budgeting and your personal finance. Using the Personal Capital dashboard, you can view all your accounts together. Based on this data, you can create a budget with ease.
Among the financial tools that Personal Capital offers is its Savings Planner. Budgeting for retirement, emergencies, saving for a house and other goals is best approached with planning ahead.
Personal Capital allows you to use this free online tool to determine how much you need towards your goals. Funds can then be moved to financial accounts accordingly from there.
Retirement Planning Tools
Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner will help you find out if you’re on target for retirement. It looks at your spending goals and income events to create a projection of what your portfolio’s future value is.
Under their free tools for retirement, you can also set up education goals. Add your child’s name and birth year to the feature. Then simply indicate that you’re wanting to save for private school or college.
Wealth Management Tools
Aside from all their free features and tools, you can also look at Personal Capital’s paid investments and retirement advisory services. Here is what they offer in their management services:
Dedicated Personal Advisor
You get a dedicated financial advisor who will meet with you to talk about your investment and financial goals. Based on this information, they will make recommendations on your asset allocation and set up the appropriate investment accounts.
Their advisors will track your investments to ensure you on track with your retirement savings and other goals. Another service that Personal Capital includes in this service is an Investment Checkup.
The goal of this investment checkup is to ensure you have the right asset allocation and keeping your fees to a minimal level. Your investment allocation is based on your risk profile to make sure it’s at the right level.
In addition to this management service, Personal Capital now offers their investment clients their Financial Roadmap tool. This feature will generate a list of priorities financial planning items that are based on your personal data.
For example, it may recommend topics like estate planning, building an emergency fund, etc. The topics will change over time, based on how your accounts and loan balances change.
Quicken is a budgeting software platform that’s available on desktop (Windows and Mac) and via their mobile app.
Quicken is available for an annual subscription fee and they offer four different plans. Quicken offers:
- Customizable reports
- Tracking for debt, investment, banking, and credit cards
- Free credit monitoring
- Bill Pay
- Small business and real estate tracking
Quicken Service Offerings
When you first log in to Quicken’s interface, this is the first tab you will see. It provides you with a summary of your current financial situation.
This tab is also highly customizable so you can prioritize your spending or investment tracking first, depending on your preference. There’s also a tracker for your net worth at the bottom of this view.
The next tab on this financial management platform that Quicken provides is where you go to track your spending. Quicken will import all your transactions and categorize them automatically for you.
But you also have the option of recategorizing these transactions if you wish. Quicken also allows you to look at your spending in different ways. For example, if you want to see how your spending for a certain period or within specific accounts, you can use their drop-down menus to view this.
Bills and Income
Your income and expenses are the heart of your cash flow. Quicken allows you to sync up all your bills with this feature and you can receive a calendar view of the dates to pay bills. Based on these upcoming bills, Quicken will also tell you what your account balance is.
If your billing provider is not available, you can input these bills manually. For example, you can put the amount you pay for trash and when it’s due each month.
As you complete a bill payment, you can mark it off. Any of the bill pay items that you have synced with Quicken will do this automatically.
This can also be done with your income. If you receive regular paychecks, then you can input the amount you get paid and when.
Bill Paying Services
On some versions of Quicken, this feature is free. The service costs $9.95 per month otherwise. This bill pay feature will allow Quicken to pay your bills.
Quicken’s personal finance software gives you options like budgeting, planning for taxes, and long-term planning.
If you need a budget, you can add categories that you want to keep track of and how much you want to apply to each of them. Quicken is one of the only budgeting tools available that allow you to plan an annual budget.
They offer a Debt Reduction calculator which allows you to keep track of debts and make a plan to pay them off. There’s also a Savings Goals feature that does the same thing, except for saving.
Quicken also has their Tax Center feature where you can input your tax information and it will spit out a projection for how much you will owe or what you’ll receive. Small business owners will find this especially helpful.
Another interesting feature that Quicken has is its Lifetime Planner tool. After answering a few questions, it will provide a projection of your finances and net worth that go out over years and decades.
With Quicken, you have get access to your VantageScore with Equifax. This allows you to track the relative level of your credit score, as it’s an educational score. Unfortunately unlike other free credit score providers, your score is only updated on a quarterly basis instead of monthly.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Differences and Similarities
Here are the key differences between Personal Capital and Quicken that you should know about:
- It is free of charge unless you upgrade for their wealth management advisory services
- Has an online web and mobile app platform
- Includes features like personalized investment advice, retirement planning, education planning for college, and view net worth over time
- Subscription-based that ranges from $39.99 to $103.99
- Has desktop software (Windows and Mac), online web, and mobile app platforms
- Has 5 different plans: Starter, Deluxe, Premier (includes online bill pay and investment tracking), and Home & Business which are all desktop software; Simplifi is their web/mobile app version.
Similarities for Personal Capital and Quicken
- The ability to view balances on your accounts and your net worth
- Categorize and track your income and expenses
- Bill reminders
- Investment tracking across your accounts and also the ability to compare your returns to market indexes, review fees, and recommend target allocation
- Planning for retirement
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Cost
Personal Capital gives you access to their financial tools for free. That’s why they win in this category. Their personal finance software is enough for the average person to use to help with financial management.
All of Quicken’s tools have an annual subscription cost. Their desktop software and online version are both pricey when it comes to their simple features like budgeting. You can find free apps that can do these basic functions that Quicken charges for.
If you’ve got a need for more advanced features like tax reporting, real estate management, debt reduction, etc. then Quicken could be worth the cost.
Personal Capital wins this round with its free price point that’s what most people will find adequate for their needs.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Budgeting
Quicken and Personal Capital both have budgeting features, however, one is more limited than the other. You can only set a monthly budget and you can’t assign a budget for a certain category with Personal Capital. This makes their budgeting feature fairly basic.
Especially when you compare it to Quicken. They offer more customizable features including the ability to create as many spending categories as you want, setting a budget for each category, look for years you could save, and the ability to include/exclude certain expenses. That’s why we have to it to the winner, Quicken in this category.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Investment Tracking
Personal Capital’s free investment tools give you access to personalized advice. You all get the following tools all for no cost:
- Fee Analyzer – Will tell you how much you are losing in fees and the expense ratio of each fund
- Investment checkup – Reviews your investment strategy to make recommendations on your target allocation. It also tells you how to rebalance your portfolio based on their suggestion.
- Portfolio Overview – Track your investments against the S&P 500, Dow, and other market indexes.
With Quicken, you need to upgrade to their Premier or Home & Business plans to get investment tracking. It does allow you things like set up a stock watchlist, view your investment fees, run IRR and ROI reports, and run “what if” scenarios so you know what your tax implications are for selling.
Their Lifetime Planner tool allows you to create different scenarios to see what your personal financial life might look like. Future homes, future loans, college costs, and living cost adjustments are among the various assumptions that you can make and see how it affects your life.
Overall, the tools Quicken and Personal Capital offer are both very solid. They come out here in a tie.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Retirement Planning
Retirement savings is so important for everyone and having access to tools that can make planning easier is invaluable. Quicken and Personal Captial both do a solid here in this category as well.
Personal Capital might be free, but it offers a ton of features that you wouldn’t expect. When you’re building your retirement savings, it’s important to keep your portfolio’s expenses as low as possible. Personal Capital will help you do this and offer recommendations on your portfolio.
Quicken’s got some deeper tools with its Lifetime planner that lets you look at many different scenarios that could affect your retirement savings or wealth management.
You really couldn’t go wrong with going with Quicken vs Personal Capital here either. They are a tie in this category too.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: Bill Pay & Reminders
Making your bill payment is easy when you get reminders. Both services will provide this for their customers.
With Personal Capital, you can get reminders for loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Quicken extends these reminders to telecom services, utilities, and gas.
Quicken gives you online bill pay access to over 11,000 billers. Using their platform, you can pay your bills directly. This is a feature that Personal Capital does not have at all.
You must have the Premier plan with Quicken to have this feature. Since most banks offer free online bill pay, the feature with Quicken isn’t something that you just consider upgraded for.
The winner here is Quicken.
Conclusion: Personal Capital vs. Quicken
It’s hard to compete when one of the competitors is offered for free. Personal Capital will work for people who aren’t seeking in-depth budgeting and financial reports.
However, if you have your own real estate, are a business owner, or want to go into more detail with your budgeting and financial reports/planning, then Quicken is up to your alley.