Personal Capital vs. Mint – Which Is Best for You?

Daniel Penzing
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About Mint

Mint is a free online personal finance tool that makes it easy to manage your money. You can quickly track your spending, investment income, and net worth, and Mint helps you make smart money decisions. You can use Mint to track cash flow from multiple accounts, set up budgets, and track investments and expenses. You can not only check your account balances but also monitor stocks, credit cards, loans, and investments.

As a free service, Mint does not have all the features of a premium service, and you will need to upgrade to a paid level to get some of what others may consider essentials.

About Personal Capital

Personal capital is a great way to manage your finances online.

You’ll be able to see all of your financial holdings and project how your investments will grow.

Your portfolio is also broken down by percentage, so you can easily see what your biggest investments are and compare other data like your net worth and income.

There is also a goal tracker so you can optimize your savings.

Personal capital also provides you with credit scores from the three main credit reporting agencies, which you can then use to determine how you can spend your credit wisely and get the best rates.

A great feature of Personal Capital is that it breaks down your investments so that you can see what you are holding.

This is particularly helpful if you’re someone who skips right past the investing paragraphs in your monthly statements or just likes to peek at what investments you have without going through the trouble of looking them up.

As an added bonus, Personal Capital also allows you to track your spending.

It also has a home value estimator so you can figure out what your home is worth.

Perhaps the only downside of Personal Capital is the fact that it only works if you have investment accounts.

How Are They the Same?

Both Personal Capital and Mint make it easy to understand where your money is going and how it’s invested. They both have a modern, easy-to-use interface that lets you track your income, bills, debts, assets, and investments. Both also have tools to help you maximize your credit card usage and keep on top of your retirement.

Personal Capital and Mint both include a handy dashboard that shows you all your account balances in one place. Both apps also support your investment accounts, from stock trades to retirement funds.

How Are They Different?

In the race for your financial data, financial tracking tools are becoming increasingly more popular.

Personal Capital and Mint are two of the more popular options out there, and it’s easy to see why. Each of them is available for free, and they give you a wealth of information about your money. It’s incredibly convenient to be able to check your credit score and net worth in just a few quick clicks.

However, as you use the two different services, you can see that they have slightly different focuses. With Mint, you’re encouraged to take an active role in your finances as you track your income, expenses, and investments. With Personal Capital, they encourage you to think of your financial dashboard as a storage place for your data, and their tools are tailored to helping you come to that conclusion — they encourage a passive approach. Our post looks at the differences between Personal Capital vs. Mint to help you decide which fits you best.

Mint

Mint has a good starting point for almost anyone. Their dashboard is simple and attractive, and you have immediate access to your net worth. They also have a budgeting tool that gives you good suggestions and charts. They come in handy when you’re trying to set and stick to your monthly financial goals.

Mint

You probably already know that Personal Capital and Mint are personal finance tools that help you manage and track your spending, but do you have a preference? If you are trying to decide which one you like better, here is a short primer on Personal Capital vs. Mint. I’ll go over the two, and you let me know what you think is better.

Personal Capital Summary:

Personal Capital lets you track your cash flow, net worth, and investments. You can even evaluate your retirement plan and review your goals to determine how you can reach your financial goals.

Mint Summary:

Mint is quick and easy to setup and use. It recommends smart saving ideas, monitors your accounts and sends alerts when your account is overspent.

Personal Capital vs. Mint Summary:

Digging into the details of Personal Capital vs. Mint, you will see that both offer many of the same features, including:

Investment Tracking: You can track your investments, investment accounts, and share information with institutions like your 401ks, IRAs, and 529s.

How Does Personal Capital and Mint Track Your Finances?

Both have investment accounts you can connect to:

Personal Capital

You can connect your investment accounts with Personal Capital.

Mint

Similar to Personal Capital, you can connect to investment accounts.

Personal Capital

Vs. Mint

Keeping track of your finances can sometimes feel like a bit of a burden. With all the different accounts you have, it’s hard to know what is going on. Personal Capital and Mint are two apps that were designed to make it easier for you to do just that. However, which one is best for you? Here’s a bit more about what each one has to offer.

Personal Capital – Manage Your Money More Easily

Personal Capital is a bit more advanced of a financial management tool than Mint. It’s a must-have for investors who want to keep track of their portfolio, as well as for those who have a number of different financial accounts, including investments, bank accounts, credit cards, and retirement accounts.

The Comparison of Personal Capital vs. Mint

Personal capital vs. mint. Since there are sites with similar funding options and equally similar names, deciding which one to go with can seem like a daunting task. Both sites are very easy to use. Just sign up in three minutes using your social security number, checking account, or credit card. After completing the questions on their interest rate calculator, you get two options. Choose a pre-selected portfolio with a one-time seven-hundred dollar fee, or choose your own portfolio. The personal capital vs. mint calculator already accounts for inflation, risk tolerance, and your current investments. Either way, you will have access to cross-sector analysis on your investments, your spending, income statement, college savings, retirement options, and various other helpful tips to improve your financial standing.

Budgeting

Software: Personal Capital vs. Mint

In a financial post from 2011, the writer determined that Personal Capital was the best option to consider for budgeting software. The reasons they gave were that Personal Capital offers an overview whereas Mint has more of a personal finance database feel.

What the writer didn’t understand is the big difference between these two programs. Personal Capital is focused on providing a wealth management resource for the investor, whereas Mint is focused on serving the individual.

For example, Mint puts a lot of their focus on net worth and how the individual can work to increase his or her net worth. The user gets to see how various areas are contributing (or not contributing) to his or her net worth. However, the investor has no use for this information.

A Personal Capital user, on the other hand, is focusing on a different set of information. The user is interested in the overall value of his or her assets and how those assets are performing. The user may also be interested in seeing how his or her net worth is increasing over time. But those individuals are not concerned about how a home or car or anything else is contributing to their net worth. They already have it figured out.

Bill Alerts

Personal Capital is well known for its bill pay and automatic transaction functionality. As previously mentioned, Mint is a personal money management app that you can use to manage your financial life from a single dashboard.

A key component of any financial resource is being able to pay your bills and to set up automatic transactions. With Personal Capital, you will be able to sign-up for pre-authorized payments and set up automated transfers through any of the transfer services listed above. Log into Personal Capital, click on the Bill Center, and select any of the options at the bottom to add or edit each payment.

When you have entered all your payment information, you can create an account security code and once approved Personal Capital will send you a confirmation email.

Synchronization

Mint and Personal Capital both sync your account information through your bank account or credit card. If you want to use the software to track spending, you’ll need to provide this information.

Customer Service

Mint is a very sophisticated service however it still has some rough edges which need to be ironed out. There have been numerous reports of freezes, crashes and other issues. For the most part though, their customer service team are responsive and will address any operational issues you may encounter. Mint does not offer a telephone service which is fine for me however may put off some customers.

Personal Capital has a slightly smaller product range but can also manage your 401k and IRA accounts. Although you cannot import accounts from different financial institutions, all you need to do is download a product image of your brokerage statement and Personal Capital will enter the data. If you are using an account that is not a brokerage, you can upload the data yourself.

Investment Analysis

Comparison: Mint vs Personal Capital

So Personal Capital offers you everything that Mint does, and more. But wait, what does Mint offer? Mint tracks your investment portfolio with a simple easy-to-use interface. You can track your investments by asset type and value, find current market values on any specific day in the past, track your income and expenses related to each investment, and even track your net worth.

Personal Capital takes all of that a step further. Personal Capital has a simple (and free) tool that determines the current value of your portfolio. But it doesn’t stop there. Personal Capital also offers portfolio management and recommendations based on your current portfolio and its overall health. (We will show you how you can take advantage of all this great information in a minute.)

Now that you know what you can get out of your Robo-Advisor …let’s compare some of their other features.

Both Mint and Personal Capital have approximately the same number of features, but there are a couple of notable differences when it comes to things like stocks and ETFs, retirement planning, goal-based diversification, and extra security measures. The biggest difference, however, is the user interface. Personal Capital is the clear winner. It is more sophisticated and user-friendly than Mint is. Its interface is more attractive and easier to navigate than Mint’s.

Security

First: The Importance of Personal Capital

The first thing you should think about when choosing between Personal Capital and Mint is the security and safety of your data. Both Mint and Personal Capital offer free management tools that are easy to use and navigate. They also each have an extensive library of user-submitted tips on how to manage your money. But Personal Capital goes a step further, with the company also providing account aggregator tools and retirement planning features that Mint does not have. This is where personal capital shines. For those who want to go beyond Mint’s basics, Personal Capital offers all the tools you’ll need to handle complex taxes and budgeting while saving for retirement. If you want to play it safe, keep the focus on today’s budget, and ignore the future, then Mint is the way to go. But if you are saving for the distant future, have complex taxes, or want to pay less to an accountant in the long run, then Personal Capital is right for you.

CONCLUSION

I hope this guide helps you to find the right applications for your smartphone and personal finance needs.

Surely, you do not want to regret the investment you are making in your future. If you invest your time and energy into making money, you should also take an interest in your wealth.

Mobile App Access

The 2016 Wilmington Best Credit Union Study found that 41% of Americans use a financial app to track their finances, and that 66% of smartphone owners use apps for financial management.1 In addition to the Wilmington study, Senior Market Editor, Debra Borchardt, reported this fact in her article, “Half of Americans Use Mobile Apps to Manage Money for Their Bank.2

Whether you use a mobile app or a computer to manage your finances, you need to ensure that you have the option to do so no matter where you are. To ensure this for your customers, the Federal Reserve’s recent rule change states that “Windows 10 (or later) offers support for the Universal Banking API and includes the ability to create a customer-facing mobile app.”3

This new feature is required for your institution to be “ATM-network-ready” by October 2017, or else you will be required to modify your ATMs.

Retirement Planning

Mint is one of the most popular online personal finance management resources. Personal Capital is an investor tool designed specifically to help you track your investments and make sure you are saving enough money for retirement. To help you compare these two services and select the one that’s right for you, below we’ll look at some of their similarities and differences.

The Similarities

Mint and Personal Capital are ideal for anyone who wants to take a step back and look at how their finances are coming together, and to make sure you are on the right retirement track. They each offer financial planning tools and advice, making it easier to organize your finances and ensure you are being smart with your money. They can help you track your credit, set financial goals, and foresee future financial challenges.

Both services are free and easy to use once you create an account. Mint and Personal Capital are mobile-friendly, accessible on all platforms from your phone to your computer. Both platforms let you easily view your finances through a dashboard where you can quickly see your cash flow, net worth, and credit score. They can each track your investment portfolios and help you monitor how your money is working for you.

Personal Capital vs Mint Summary

Personal Capital (PC) is one of the most popular services targeted at helping you achieve financial goals. A free account can be opened with the company, but some advanced features are only available for premium versions of the service.

PC will connect to the brokerage accounts you currently have and analyze your 401(k) or other investment accounts for you. It will track your spending, saving, investments, and any other financial information you want.

PC will also manage your credit cards for you, and you can set up budgets with it to help with your personal spending and saving. The PC plans have a free option as well as a premium option. The cost is determined by which services you want it to manage.

Mint is another free financial website. It will connect to almost all of the financial accounts you might have, and it will track your spending and saving. It will also recommend credit cards that can fit your spending habits.

Mint will create budgets for you and will tell you where you stand financially. With its SmartCarryover feature, Mint will carry over your credit card balance to the next month if you have a balance left over at the end of the month.

In this article, we are going to compare PC and Mint in three categories: features, costs, and customer service. We will determine if Personal Capital or Mint is the better option for you.

Mint or Personal Capital? The Overall Winner Is… Personal Capital

Personal Capital and Mint are two finance management applications that are made to help you organize your finances. The two applications are pretty similar when it comes to core features such as cash flow tools, goal setting, and budgeting tools. However, Personal Capital does win in some areas such as retirement planning. Mint, of course, wins in a few areas such as its app.

What Is Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is a mobile and web app that allows you to track and manage your finances. Some of Personal Capital’s seed funding comes from prominent investors that include Bill Gates and Richard Branson, which is quite impressive.

Personal Capital is available via iOS, Android, and on the web. You can also download the Personal Capital app on your computer.

Key Features Available from Personal Capital

Cash Flow Planning Tools … Personal Capital offers tools that will help you plan, budget, and manage your spending. For example, you can look at overviews of your cash spending and income over time. This will show you where you overspend and where you can cut spending.

Goal Setting Tools … Personal Capital offers goal setting tools that will allow you to save more money or earn more money. These tools will suggest some solutions to your goals.