Do not use Personal Capital

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Topic Author
generallyspeaking
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Do not use Personal Capital

Post by generallyspeaking » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:23 pm

I know many in this community use Personal Capital to manage their finances, particularly investment income.

I used the free tool for the past year and found it really beneficial to see things like my market allocation. However, I went on one of their complimentary wealth management calls and realized that without me giving explicit permission the Personal Capital Wealth Advisor had complete and unrestricted access to my account.

I immediately deleted my account and am not going to use them going forward.

Am I being paranoid?

pkjr
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by pkjr » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:26 pm

No. Do you have 2-factor authentication in place?

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ResearchMed
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:26 pm

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:23 pm
I know many in this community use Personal Capital to manage their finances, particularly investment income.

I used the free tool for the past year and found it really beneficial to see things like my market allocation. However, I went on one of their complimentary wealth management calls and realized that without me giving explicit permission the Personal Capital Wealth Advisor had complete and unrestricted access to my account.

I immediately deleted my account and am not going to use them going forward.

Am I being paranoid?
What do you mean "unrestricted"?
They could move money around? Make withdrawals!?

As far as "complete" access, they'd need that, and you'd presumably have agreed, or they could never show balances or even make recommendations.

But "unrestricted"??

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Topic Author
generallyspeaking
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by generallyspeaking » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:32 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:26 pm

What do you mean "unrestricted"?
They could move money around? Make withdrawals!?

As far as "complete" access, they'd need that, and you'd presumably have agreed, or they could never show balances or even make recommendations.

But "unrestricted"??

RM
Sorry, it was "complete". To be fair you can't move money around in a Personal Capital account anyway, it's only giving visibility into the accounts, not direct access.

However, I don't recall giving even "Complete" access. Perhaps it was there in the fine print that I missed?

And yes, I have 2FA on most of my accounts. I guess I need to double check on all of them though.

student
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by student » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:34 pm

I have no concerns as I only manually update the accounts and I divide everything by 10.

jbranx
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by jbranx » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:36 pm

{This topic is now in Personal Finance (not investing). Moderator Jbranx}

LawyersGunsAndMoney
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:37 pm

Sorry, but a pretty graphical UI doesn't come close to justifying what is essentially a free sales tool for Personal Capital's financial advisors.

tindel
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by tindel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:38 pm

You're not being paranoid.

I dropped them a while back for similar reasons. I was also highly concerned about their website being hacked and someone gaining access to all of my account information, not to mention one bad employee could have the same malicious intent.

As time goes by I have growing concerns about my security and anonymity. I have yet to find a solution to track my assets that doesn't involve the tedious task of updating an excel spreadsheet behind at least one hardware and software firewall.

I was using a desktop version of YNAB a while back and I liked it - but now they are all online as well. It wasn't very good at tracking investments though.

acegolfer
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by acegolfer » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:41 pm

This is why one should not use Personal Capital to keep track of his net worth. If you want to calculate net worth, use quicken/moneydance/gnucash or a spreadsheet.

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whodidntante
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by whodidntante » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:48 pm

If you prefer, you can use Morningstar X-ray. It's pretty easy. You create a comma separated value file in "ticker, value in USD" format and load it in. There are a few ways to get free access. I get it through my TDA account and through a long since drained but still functional TRP account.

Topic Author
generallyspeaking
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by generallyspeaking » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:49 pm

Thanks all for the feedback.

I was using Mint for budgeting (it had mainly my credit cards) and PC for investments.

Mint is still useful as it saves me the effort of recording individual transactions and the risk is fairly low since it's just a couple of credit cards. Unless anyone can see any other risk?

Is Quicken the best tool for tracking investments? Excel works as well I suppose.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:53 pm

What exactly is the issue here?

Of course they have visibility into your accounts, how else would the advisor provide you with advice?

Topic Author
generallyspeaking
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by generallyspeaking » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:08 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:53 pm
What exactly is the issue here?

Of course they have visibility into your accounts, how else would the advisor provide you with advice?
Although they can have access, I should have the ability to control that access.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:12 pm

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:08 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:53 pm
What exactly is the issue here?

Of course they have visibility into your accounts, how else would the advisor provide you with advice?
Although they can have access, I should have the ability to control that access.
What kind of "control" did you have in mind, if they are supposed to be able to make recommendations about changes to your portfolio/holdings/finances?

Or just if they are supposed to report daily updates?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

mirror
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by mirror » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:14 pm

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:08 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:53 pm
What exactly is the issue here?

Of course they have visibility into your accounts, how else would the advisor provide you with advice?
Although they can have access, I should have the ability to control that access.
You can/do. Change your password with your bank, but don't update the account in personal capital. When it tries to login with your old credentials it won't be able to. Then, on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis when you want a quick/easy snapshot of your networth put the new passwords in personal capital. Rinse and repeat as needed/desired.

nfs
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by nfs » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:20 pm

acegolfer wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:41 pm
If you want to calculate net worth, use quicken/moneydance/gnucash or a spreadsheet.
I used to use Mint and Personal Capital, but switched to an excel spreadsheet so I could track monthly cashflow in accounts to help me determine how much we can comfortably move to savings each month without messing up subsequent months. Anyone happen to know if any of this software does that well?

I would love an alternative to my very manual spreadsheet (but ideally without giving up my flexibility to predict future raises & expenses and how they impact cashflow).

pastel
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by pastel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:21 pm

I have not used Personal Capital, but from what I've read about it, it's just a tool to view your consolidated holdings.

I think saying that the Personal Capital advisor has complete "control" is a bit of a misnomer. They have complete "view," which is the same consolidated view you have. I do not believe that Personal Capital has any ability to actually control those external accounts.

They basically use this service as a lead generator. That's why it's free for you - because you're letting them see your finances. Your money is safe, but your data is with them. Why else would they be offering this?

nesdog
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by nesdog » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:23 pm

I had these concerns as well so I settled it this way; All of my items in PC have been entered manually. I just update number of shares once a quarter to account for any dividends or distributions.

I don't care it it's exactly perfect or not. I'm really using it to track AA, retirement info and some free advice. I do like it for that purpose.
Insert clever comment here...

milo minderbinder
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by milo minderbinder » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:34 pm

Its in their terms and conditions. You clicked yes when you set up your account.

I liked it but terminated due to security concerns,

mhalley
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by mhalley » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:34 pm

Sounds like PC is doing exactly what it is designed to do. If you don’t want to use it because someone else might see your accounts, fine, use a spreadsheet. But if you use mint, or ynab,or Morningstar, they all have the potential for someone looking at the accounts. Everything is spelled out in their privacy policy.
https://www.personalcapital.com/privacy-policy/

AlohaJoe
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:39 pm

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:23 pm
without me giving explicit permission the Personal Capital Wealth Advisor had complete and unrestricted access to my account
You did give them explicit permission. It is in the Terms of Use that you agreed to when you signed up.

"A financial consultation is a personalized analysis of your financial situation, based on information gathered from your use of our Dashboard"

You read that & clicked "Yes, I agree" when you signed up.

BanditKing
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by BanditKing » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:27 pm

I get a call from a PC agent about every six months. I thank them politely for the call, tell them I'm not interested in a consultation, and go on with my day. Six months later, it will be a new agent, but they are always very polite.

I find PC invaluable to getting a snapshot of my holdings, and I would gladly pay an annual fee for it, especially if it had some value add to track things like basis and such. I tried Mint a few years ago, but it couldn't access several of my account that PC could, so I've just stuck with them.

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mrspock
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by mrspock » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:31 pm

Maybe use Mint instead? They have a much better monetization model (CC offers, loans etc) and given Intuit has experience around security with TurboTax, they are probably a better steward of your personal information.

RobZ
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by RobZ » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:05 pm

Another option: Fidelity has a "Full View" feature/portal, where you can list your various other accounts and manually update their balances whenever you choose or optionally supply your credentials to have it auto-update. It has a networth tracker and other tiles but probably isn't as slick as PC.

ohai
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by ohai » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:14 pm

You can turn off some setting in Personal Capital to disable the adviser guy who calls you every few months.

brokendirtdart
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by brokendirtdart » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:36 am

ohai wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:14 pm
You can turn off some setting in Personal Capital to disable the adviser guy who calls you every few months.
Interesting. Other than emails, I don't see that option in my account. I can change the phone number, but not disable the calls completely.

I use the manual entry option and do not have it linked. One thing I appreciate about Personal Capital is it recognizes Thrift Savings Plan fund names. You do have to manual define what they are so the allocation shows properly, but that is easy. That said, the fund price for my TSP C and S Fund holdings has not updated in a month.

MnD
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by MnD » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:58 am

pastel wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:21 pm
I think saying that the Personal Capital advisor has complete "control" is a bit of a misnomer. They have complete "view," which is the same consolidated view you have. I do not believe that Personal Capital has any ability to actually control those external accounts.

They basically use this service as a lead generator. That's why it's free for you - because you're letting them see your finances. Your money is safe, but your data is with them. Why else would they be offering this?
1
Hate to break the news but the "free" era is paid for with your data. Given that PC pesters folks (for a while at least) for a free "customized" consultation to sell you their advisor services, assigns a named advisor even in free mode and sends occasional auto-notifications about specifics of your account, why would anyone be surprised that PC/advisor doesn't have view access to your data? The OP is free to delete their account but I'll pass on their subject line advice. If you flat out refuse to sign up for the "wealth management consultation" the calls will eventually stop.

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Psyayeayeduck
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:11 am

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:08 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:53 pm
What exactly is the issue here?

Of course they have visibility into your accounts, how else would the advisor provide you with advice?
Although they can have access, I should have the ability to control that access.
You are using their free product on their terms. I'm surprised you think they shouldn't have control of their own tool.

alfaspider
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:48 am

As the saying goes: if you are being provided a "free" service, YOU are the product. They can view, but there is no way they could trade on your account without you explicitly authorizing through your financial institutions.

That said, I use PC. I've never called back the "advisers" (I don't answer phone calls from numbers I don't recognize) and they eventually stopped calling.

'67Bosox
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by '67Bosox » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:51 am

I use the Vanguard site for some of this type of analysis. Am i missing something by doing so? in the Vanguard "accounts and holdings" page, there is a way to add non-Vanguard accounts, like bank accounts where you might have cash or CD's, other stock accounts like a 401K at another brokerage house through employer, etc. It then shows those holdings when totaling your total net worth.

and via "Portfolio Watch" you can set up various views, such as viewing just your Vanguard accounts, or your vanguard plus your other tax advantaged accounts, or all your holdings. this page then can tell you what you are holding in terms of % of stocks, bonds. it then looks deeper into each category and shows % of equity that is domestic, Int'l - or large cap, small cap, etc And for bonds it also looks into % of short term, long term, etc.
So This then allows for asset allocation viewing.

It also helps when rebalancing as the Portfolio Watch has a "what if" type page that lets you simulate changes or sales or buys, and tells you what affect that has on accounts and the assett allocation thereafter.

So what is it that the Vanguard site cannot do, that Personal Capital can do? And isn't the Vanguard site more secure, and doesn't it alrady have all my Vanguard information anyway?
just wondering
thanks

arf30
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by arf30 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:02 am

I used Personal Capital for a while with a Google Voice number in place of my real phone number and had no issues, pretty similar to Mint or Quicken.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:15 am

'67Bosox wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:51 am
I use the Vanguard site for some of this type of analysis. Am i missing something by doing so? in the Vanguard "accounts and holdings" page, there is a way to add non-Vanguard accounts, like bank accounts where you might have cash or CD's, other stock accounts like a 401K at another brokerage house through employer, etc. It then shows those holdings when totaling your total net worth.

and via "Portfolio Watch" you can set up various views, such as viewing just your Vanguard accounts, or your vanguard plus your other tax advantaged accounts, or all your holdings. this page then can tell you what you are holding in terms of % of stocks, bonds. it then looks deeper into each category and shows % of equity that is domestic, Int'l - or large cap, small cap, etc And for bonds it also looks into % of short term, long term, etc.
So This then allows for asset allocation viewing.

It also helps when rebalancing as the Portfolio Watch has a "what if" type page that lets you simulate changes or sales or buys, and tells you what affect that has on accounts and the assett allocation thereafter.

So what is it that the Vanguard site cannot do, that Personal Capital can do? And isn't the Vanguard site more secure, and doesn't it alrady have all my Vanguard information anyway?
just wondering
thanks
You are missing nothing.

In fact, Vanguard's method has the added benefit of not having to provide login information to other sites. Many of these sites aggregate the information by you supplying log in to all your sites. Vanguard allows you to simply put in the ticker, holding information (date acquired, cost, etc., if you want to) and they show you everything. Yes, you do need to update when you have reinvested dividends or capital gains, or make additional purchases, but that's easy.

I would never provide my log in information to other sites.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:21 am

So OP clicked "Yes" on the terms and is now badmouthing the company he gave access to? Amusing. One's information is likely with 30+ institutions out there if you're above the age of 30, I wouldn't worry about security unless you think there's something you can do, all it takes is one breach. The calls from personal capital are usually in the first year and I got two of them and politely told them to pound sand and they haven't called me in 18 months. The tools they have are very user friendly for my purposes. Mint is likely the same.

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queso
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by queso » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:22 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:15 am
'67Bosox wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:51 am
I use the Vanguard site for some of this type of analysis. Am i missing something by doing so? in the Vanguard "accounts and holdings" page, there is a way to add non-Vanguard accounts, like bank accounts where you might have cash or CD's, other stock accounts like a 401K at another brokerage house through employer, etc. It then shows those holdings when totaling your total net worth.

and via "Portfolio Watch" you can set up various views, such as viewing just your Vanguard accounts, or your vanguard plus your other tax advantaged accounts, or all your holdings. this page then can tell you what you are holding in terms of % of stocks, bonds. it then looks deeper into each category and shows % of equity that is domestic, Int'l - or large cap, small cap, etc And for bonds it also looks into % of short term, long term, etc.
So This then allows for asset allocation viewing.

It also helps when rebalancing as the Portfolio Watch has a "what if" type page that lets you simulate changes or sales or buys, and tells you what affect that has on accounts and the assett allocation thereafter.

So what is it that the Vanguard site cannot do, that Personal Capital can do? And isn't the Vanguard site more secure, and doesn't it alrady have all my Vanguard information anyway?
just wondering
thanks
You are missing nothing.

In fact, Vanguard's method has the added benefit of not having to provide login information to other sites. Many of these sites aggregate the information by you supplying log in to all your sites. Vanguard allows you to simply put in the ticker, holding information (date acquired, cost, etc., if you want to) and they show you everything. Yes, you do need to update when you have reinvested dividends or capital gains, or make additional purchases, but that's easy.

I would never provide my log in information to other sites.
I haven't played with the Vanguard site in a while, but doesn't it only track investment holdings? While valuable, that's actually not terribly difficult to track yourself compared to the expense side of the coin. PC's ability to link to all credit cards, checking accounts, paypal, etc. is actually where I get the most value from it. I can tag all my expenditures across any spending platform and easily produce monthly or annual expense reports broken down by category so I really know what my true expenses are. That really helps when forecasting retirement spending to feed into things like FRP, i-orp, firecalc, etc.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 am

queso wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:22 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:15 am
'67Bosox wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:51 am
I use the Vanguard site for some of this type of analysis. Am i missing something by doing so? in the Vanguard "accounts and holdings" page, there is a way to add non-Vanguard accounts, like bank accounts where you might have cash or CD's, other stock accounts like a 401K at another brokerage house through employer, etc. It then shows those holdings when totaling your total net worth.

and via "Portfolio Watch" you can set up various views, such as viewing just your Vanguard accounts, or your vanguard plus your other tax advantaged accounts, or all your holdings. this page then can tell you what you are holding in terms of % of stocks, bonds. it then looks deeper into each category and shows % of equity that is domestic, Int'l - or large cap, small cap, etc And for bonds it also looks into % of short term, long term, etc.
So This then allows for asset allocation viewing.

It also helps when rebalancing as the Portfolio Watch has a "what if" type page that lets you simulate changes or sales or buys, and tells you what affect that has on accounts and the assett allocation thereafter.

So what is it that the Vanguard site cannot do, that Personal Capital can do? And isn't the Vanguard site more secure, and doesn't it alrady have all my Vanguard information anyway?
just wondering
thanks
You are missing nothing.

In fact, Vanguard's method has the added benefit of not having to provide login information to other sites. Many of these sites aggregate the information by you supplying log in to all your sites. Vanguard allows you to simply put in the ticker, holding information (date acquired, cost, etc., if you want to) and they show you everything. Yes, you do need to update when you have reinvested dividends or capital gains, or make additional purchases, but that's easy.

I would never provide my log in information to other sites.
I haven't played with the Vanguard site in a while, but doesn't it only track investment holdings? While valuable, that's actually not terribly difficult to track yourself compared to the expense side of the coin. PC's ability to link to all credit cards, checking accounts, paypal, etc. is actually where I get the most value from it. I can tag all my expenditures across any spending platform and easily produce monthly or annual expense reports broken down by category so I really know what my true expenses are. That really helps when forecasting retirement spending to feed into things like FRP, i-orp, firecalc, etc.
I was responding to his specific point, he uses Vanguard for specific analysis.

I use Quicken for all my tracking, and don't provide any log ins, nor do I use any online component of Quicken or their app.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

lostdog
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by lostdog » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:32 am

Quicken is a good one.

The new company that took over the software development has really turned it around for the better.
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

Mr.BB
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by Mr.BB » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:40 am

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:48 pm
If you prefer, you can use Morningstar X-ray. It's pretty easy. You create a comma separated value file in "ticker, value in USD" format and load it in. There are a few ways to get free access. I get it through my TDA account and through a long since drained but still functional TRP account.
+1
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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birdog
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by birdog » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:54 am

Did you really believe they couldn't see your account info? How else would they do their job? Perhaps you're only seeing PC as a free tool that some company spent millions on just for you. The truth is that they use the data to market their advisory service to users of the website. You can say no to their marketing attempts and they will then leave you alone (they don't call me anymore, at least). But they will still allow you to use their platform for free even if you refuse their marketing attempts. Enough people say yes and use their advisory service and that allows them to generate a profit and provide the website for free to anyone that wants to use it, advisory clients or not. If they couldn't see your data, they couldn't be in business.

ohai
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by ohai » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:01 am

OP seems most concerned that a human has access to his account details, like holdings, net worth, and spending. This is admittedly pretty creepy and requires a higher trust threshold than something like Facebook looking at your social media activity for sorting advertisements. As others have stated though, if you are not comfortable with this level of access, your possible response is to just not use their service.

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generallyspeaking
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by generallyspeaking » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:40 am

I've used software where you can easily enable/disable access at the click of a button.

I get that it's free software and I have to pay for it somehow. Well on Mint I'm served ads, which is mildly annoying but at least no one has a complete view of my entire financial history.

Clearly I agreed to this without reading the T&C, but who does anyway for every service they use?

Ultimately what it came down to was that the PC advisor called me and made "recommendations" to my portfolio. Then when I did a screenshare I saw that he could see and do everything I could do on PC (which is admittedly limited to just viewing the account). Further the account was linked of their Salesforce integration. So, it's clear that any wealth advisor can go into any customers account and view all the data.

My question would be this: would you trust a company like Facebook with all your financial information? They can't take action on it, but they can certainly view all your income, spending habits, budgeting, etc.

After what happened yesterday my concern is that as PC grows as a company the number of people that have access to your data will unfettered will continue to grow and that's something I'm uncomfortable with.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:50 am

generallyspeaking wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:40 am
I've used software where you can easily enable/disable access at the click of a button.

I get that it's free software and I have to pay for it somehow. Well on Mint I'm served ads, which is mildly annoying but at least no one has a complete view of my entire financial history.

Clearly I agreed to this without reading the T&C, but who does anyway for every service they use?

Ultimately what it came down to was that the PC advisor called me and made "recommendations" to my portfolio. Then when I did a screenshare I saw that he could see and do everything I could do on PC (which is admittedly limited to just viewing the account). Further the account was linked of their Salesforce integration. So, it's clear that any wealth advisor can go into any customers account and view all the data.

My question would be this: would you trust a company like Facebook with all your financial information? They can't take action on it, but they can certainly view all your income, spending habits, budgeting, etc.

After what happened yesterday my concern is that as PC grows as a company the number of people that have access to your data will unfettered will continue to grow and that's something I'm uncomfortable with.
Yes, of course things like this make us uncomfortable.

So we don't play with vendors like that. Very simple.
(Same with Morningstar. I read things there, but don't use it as any sort of aggregator.)

OTOH, places like Vanguard already have our detailed financial info, or some of it, due to our accounts being there. So aggregating is less of a concern, not much different than if we had all of our accounts there.
But there's no need to give "outsiders" access to personal/sensitive data unless they are a vendor.
Same with medical.

I don't use Facebook, either.
And won't use "services" like 23 & Me, either...

So much "stuff" is already "out there". No need to volunteer more.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 2120
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:57 am

generallyspeaking wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:40 am
I've used software where you can easily enable/disable access at the click of a button.

I get that it's free software and I have to pay for it somehow. Well on Mint I'm served ads, which is mildly annoying but at least no one has a complete view of my entire financial history.

Clearly I agreed to this without reading the T&C, but who does anyway for every service they use?

Ultimately what it came down to was that the PC advisor called me and made "recommendations" to my portfolio. Then when I did a screenshare I saw that he could see and do everything I could do on PC (which is admittedly limited to just viewing the account). Further the account was linked of their Salesforce integration. So, it's clear that any wealth advisor can go into any customers account and view all the data.

My question would be this: would you trust a company like Facebook with all your financial information? They can't take action on it, but they can certainly view all your income, spending habits, budgeting, etc.

After what happened yesterday my concern is that as PC grows as a company the number of people that have access to your data will unfettered will continue to grow and that's something I'm uncomfortable with.
You're welcome to feel that way. I think most of us are reacting to your surprise at discovering that Personal Capital could see your data, and then sounding an alarm to forum members. Most of us already knew all this stuff, and some of us have assessed the risk as not significant.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:05 am

I guess I don’t understand how something like Mint is better than PC. They both aggregate accounts and store financial data on their servers. There are, of course, employees at both companies that have the ability to look at the data. And we have no idea who they are or how well they’ve been vetted.

All of the aggregation functions that other brokers and such have work the same way.

FIREmeup
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:00 pm

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by FIREmeup » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:16 am

I thought anyone who signs up for this would know you are basically providing Personal Capital with a cold call list, where they can give you the best sales pitch since they know everything about you up front.

I went back and forth early on about the security issues. I have accounts at several of the low cost brokerage houses. As I got older the time saved by doing a couple minute checkup each night in Personal Capital has been worth it as opposed to signing in to all CC bank and brokerage accounts. I believe them that their security on accounts is top of the line because if they mess that up,they are done. I would catch fraud or suspicious activity in my accounts quicker with my nightly checking than waiting for once a month or quarter. That combined with 2 factor, email notifications and automated phone calls give me confidence that fraud would be promptly caught so the snapshot benefit is worth it to me. And daily check ins have helped to make me more immune to big swings.

GrowthSeeker
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by GrowthSeeker » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:40 am

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:23 pm
I know many in this community use Personal Capital to manage their finances, particularly investment income.

I used the free tool for the past year and found it really beneficial to see things like my market allocation. However, I went on one of their complimentary wealth management calls and realized that without me giving explicit permission the Personal Capital Wealth Advisor had complete and unrestricted access to my account.

I immediately deleted my account and am not going to use them going forward.

Am I being paranoid?
I don't think you're paranoid. See my signature phrase.

And obviously change all your passwords.
It could be that just by agreeing to the one hour wealth management call was considered permission to look at your account. And just because the guy could see your Personal Capital account doesn't mean he could access your Vanguard account for example.
But still, I for one don't trust anyone to have access to all my stuff.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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sleepysurf
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:59 am
Location: Florida

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by sleepysurf » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:44 am

'67Bosox wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:51 am
I use the Vanguard site for some of this type of analysis. Am i missing something by doing so? in the Vanguard "accounts and holdings" page, there is a way to add non-Vanguard accounts, like bank accounts where you might have cash or CD's, other stock accounts like a 401K at another brokerage house through employer, etc. It then shows those holdings when totaling your total net worth.

and via "Portfolio Watch" you can set up various views, such as viewing just your Vanguard accounts, or your vanguard plus your other tax advantaged accounts, or all your holdings. this page then can tell you what you are holding in terms of % of stocks, bonds. it then looks deeper into each category and shows % of equity that is domestic, Int'l - or large cap, small cap, etc And for bonds it also looks into % of short term, long term, etc.
So This then allows for asset allocation viewing.
Unfortunately, the Vanguard Portfolio Watch tool is inaccurate in assigning equity holdings into their respective sub-classes. For example, PW assigns VSIAX (Vanguard Small Cap Value Index) as 100% Small Value, when, in fact (per Morningstar and Personal Capital) it has significant Small Cap Blend, and Mid Cap Value/Blend exposure. For that reason, I use Personal Capital (also Morningstar) to give me a more accurate snapshot of my "true" allocation. I have enabled 2 Factor Authorization with Personal Capital, and if you enable their daily email summary, it adds yet another layer of reassurance that nothing untoward is going on with any of your investment, bank, or credit card accounts. After telling Personal Capital I'm a committed DIY investor, they have stopped calling me.
Retired 2018 | ~50/45/5 (partially sliced and diced)

MittensMoney
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:59 pm

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by MittensMoney » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:32 pm

Just to reiterate what's on their privacy page, no employee at Personal Capital has access to your account names or passwords. Everything is read only, your credentials are stored as a Hash, and therefore the risk of someone stealing or moving your money from any of the accounts you've linked is as low as it could be. I think their CTO said something along the lines of "it's safer to log into our software on a regular basis than typing your username/password into your banks web browser." The visibility concern is another issue but at least they aren't selling your data to other businesses.

wolf359
Posts: 1643
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by wolf359 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:45 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:57 am
generallyspeaking wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:40 am
I've used software where you can easily enable/disable access at the click of a button.

I get that it's free software and I have to pay for it somehow. Well on Mint I'm served ads, which is mildly annoying but at least no one has a complete view of my entire financial history.

Clearly I agreed to this without reading the T&C, but who does anyway for every service they use?

Ultimately what it came down to was that the PC advisor called me and made "recommendations" to my portfolio. Then when I did a screenshare I saw that he could see and do everything I could do on PC (which is admittedly limited to just viewing the account). Further the account was linked of their Salesforce integration. So, it's clear that any wealth advisor can go into any customers account and view all the data.

My question would be this: would you trust a company like Facebook with all your financial information? They can't take action on it, but they can certainly view all your income, spending habits, budgeting, etc.

After what happened yesterday my concern is that as PC grows as a company the number of people that have access to your data will unfettered will continue to grow and that's something I'm uncomfortable with.
You're welcome to feel that way. I think most of us are reacting to your surprise at discovering that Personal Capital could see your data, and then sounding an alarm to forum members. Most of us already knew all this stuff, and some of us have assessed the risk as not significant.
I'm assuming you have a bank account and/or a credit card, and have had one for at least 2-3 years. If this is so, then you are probably one of the 143 million people who had all their credit information stolen in the 2017 Equifax breach. Assuming that you're taking steps to protect yourself after that, Personal Capital can't use the information you're providing them. The bad guys already have all of that and more.

megabad
Posts: 1844
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by megabad » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:00 pm

generallyspeaking wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:23 pm
Am I being paranoid?
Maybe. Depends on why you are unhappy. If you are unhappy because the risk of fraud exists, than I would refer you to the articles regarding the Vanguard employee that stole money from client accounts and say that can happen anywhere. If you are unhappy due to lack of privacy, I would point out that you should stop using Google, Apple, browsers and basically all technology. However, if you are concerned due to the legal ambiguity around aggregators, than I am firmly in support of your stance. I don't think the liability has been legally tested and I have no idea if SIPC even applies in the circumstance of an aggregator employee criminal act. In fact, it is not entirely clear to me that the courts would not immediately throwout your case upon hearing you had freely given all your passwords to someone else.

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beyou
Posts: 2643
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Northeastern US

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

Post by beyou » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:17 pm

For day to day banking, bills look at https://countabout.com/
For investments I use the vanguard portfolio watch, it is an approximation of my AA and can look through to some details.
It tells me my domestic/international breakdown, bonds by duration/credit buckets etc.
No security issue for Vang PW. CountAbout allows you to download/recon from other bank sites or enter manually and recon manually.
No sales calls from either firm.

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