Widely hailed as one of the best financial advisory platforms in the United States, Personal Capital is an industry leader in a crowded field of Robo advisors and digital wealth management companies. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably already guessed from the title of this piece, Personal Capital isn’t available outside the US.
This means that if you live in Europe (including the UK), Canada, China, Russia, or any other country outside the US, you won’t be able to open an account.
Thankfully, there are some fantastic alternatives to Personal Capital. Keep on reading. Here’s what we’ll cover:
So, what is Personal Capital?
Founded in 2009, Personal Capital is a self-described digital asset management service. It offers both free and paid-for wealth management products. To give you a better idea of what makes these products useful, we’ve put together a brief overview of Personal Capital’s service offerings:
- Portfolio construction and asset allocation: A personalized asset allocation strategy is constructed based on your profile and objectives;
- Tax planning: Maximization of your after-tax income by reorganizing your salary package, investing routine, retirement contributions, and restructuring any outstanding debt;
- Automatic rebalancing: Adjust your portfolio if your model asset allocation moves beyond its pre-set boundaries. Unlike many of its competitors, Personal Capital’s ‘Smart Weighting’ system will also rebalance if your equity assets are overly concentrated in a single sector of the economy;
- Socially responsible investing (SRI): You can select an SRI strategy to invest in companies aligned with your ethical, social, and environmental values;
- Cash management: If you want to park your cash in an accessible account outside your portfolio, Personal Capital offers a high-yield, FDIC-insured account called Personal Capital Cash;
- Financial modelling and education tools: By opening a Personal Capital account, you’ll gain access to plenty of free analysis and education tools, including fee analyzers, interactive budgeting programs, and savings planning advisors;
- Retirement planning: The Personal Capital retirement planning calculator allows Personal Capital customers to analyze their 401(k) holdings, project future expenses, run different scenarios, and factor in potential income events to develop a comprehensive personal retirement plan.
Why has Personal Capital become so famous in the US?
One of the biggest drivers of Personal Capital’s spiking popularity in the US is its dedicated support for the Free Financial Dashboard, the no-fee version of the platform used by close to two million people. While Personal Capital Wealth Management (the paid-for version) offers more features, the Free Financial Dashboard punches above its weight regarding the number of investment tools and budgeting utility.
Even discounting the free features, Personal Capital is quite simply a pretty slick investment management and advisory platform. Combining the efficiency benefits of automated investment tools with the customer engagement of active human management, Personal Capital has managed to aggregate a helluva lot of different tools and account products, all while maintaining a clean, intuitive dashboard interface. When you consider the clunky, jargonistic interfaces used by many of its US-based competitors, it’s no surprise that Personal Capital is as popular as it is!
Will Personal Capital become available internationally?
Despite explosive growth in the investment community overseas, as of May 2023, Personal Capital has not indicated any plans to make a move outside the US. But watch this space — if Personal Capital announces a pivot to the rest of the world, we’ll be right here to bring you the details.
Personal Capital Alternatives
The US citizens have plenty of alternatives to Personal Capital (Betterment, WealthFront,…), but the rest of the world is not so lucky…
So, we have compiled a list of close enough internationally alternatives all together in the following oh-so-handy bullet point list:
One of the UK’s leading digital wealth management companies. Offers Stocks and Shares Individual Savings Accounts (ISA), Junior Individual Savings Accounts, a General Investment Account, and Personal Pension. Available in the UK and Italy.
A European Robo-Advisor with multiple portfolio options and customization. The service is fully automated and even offers tax-loss harvesting (tax efficiency). It charges a maximum management fee of 0.41%/year. Access to a human advisor is available for amounts above €100,000.
Indexa Capital is a leading Spain-based Robo-Advisor that allows you to optimise your portfolio through diversification, transparency, and cost-efficiency. It charges a fee of 0.44% a year. Read our Indexa Capital review.
Hargreaves Lansdown is the largest asset manager in the UK with over 1.5 million clients. Good fit for ISAs and SIPPs accounts.
It has a “Managed Portfolios” feature, allowing you to let experts (Morningstar, Brown Advisory, BlackRock, and Nasdaq) take care of your investments in a cost-effective manner. It charges 0.75% per annum for its services.
Disclaimer: 70% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
A Robo-Advisor with a bias to socially responsible investments. Trusted by 5,000+ clients and €100M+ assets under management. It charges 1.00% per annum for its services. Check our Birdee review.
Australia’s leading robo-advisor (online investment adviser).
The Canadian alternative to Personal Capital.
Personal Capital Alternatives by country
|MoneyFarm; Hargreaves Lansdown||Mainly the UK|
|Indexa Capital; Birdee||Europe|
|inbestMe; Saxo Bank||Worldwide. Exceptions include the USA|
Is it safe to invest your money in these companies?
All of the investment companies described in this guide are compliant with the relevant regulatory bodies.
For UK-based investment companies like Hargreaves Landsdown and Moneyfarm, the regulatory body is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and all clients (including investors based outside the UK) are covered up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
For companies based in Europe, the rule of thumb is €20,000 of protection amount. For other countries, the protection limits may differ.
The bottom line
Remember that your final decision should be informed by self-directed research and in-person due diligence.
Ultimately, your choice of wealth management company will depend on your specific financial objectives and overall investing platform preferences.
That being said, we hope you’ve found our breakdown of Personal Capital and its alternatives useful. And remember, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
A reminder that the above should not be construed as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and due diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Most FAQs about Personal Capital