Empower (formerly Personal Capital) Review (2023)


Private Capital provides a collection of funding instruments and entry to a monetary advisor, fully free. Better of all, they allow you to combination all your monetary accounts, after which they supply an investment-related evaluation of your total portfolio. Discover out extra about this nice service in my full evaluation of Private Capital.

One factor that I’ve craved for traders is a instrument that means that you can sync all of your monetary accounts – your funding portfolio, checking and financial savings accounts, bank cards and different mortgage accounts – in a single place, after which supplies an investment-related evaluation of your total portfolio.

Mint does a incredible job of providing you with numbers, however falls brief on offering any monetary perception.

Then there’s Blueleaf, which I subscribe to for my shoppers and discover to be glorious on each accounts, however it’s not obtainable to the DIY investor.

So once I found Empower (previously Private Capital), I used to be so excited to study extra that I instantly signed up and synced all of my funding accounts to it.

  • Use their Charge Analyzer™ to seek out hidden charges
  • The app is 100% free
  • See all of your cash accounts in a single place, in actual time

What’s Empower (previously Private Capital)?

Private Capital is a web-based instrument, obtainable out of your desktop or telephone, that may make it easier to:

  • Monitor all your monetary accounts in real-time – whether or not checking account, certificates of deposit, or retirement account
  • Get goal funding recommendation designed to make you – not the advisor – cash
  • Present funding choices which are tailor-made to your targets

That is incredible. You see, monetary advisors that focus totally on wealth administration might be pricey to maintain round. They cost both a proportion of belongings managed or a flat hourly price that may run as excessive as a number of hundred {dollars} per hour, plus buying and selling commissions and administrative charges.

So, whereas these advisors can actually be glorious, they’re largely unreachable until you might have tens of millions of {dollars} to take a position.

What’s extra, these wealth advisors aren’t actually there to show you easy methods to put collectively a funds, they strictly handle your cash.

Private Capital to the rescue.

I do know what you’re considering. “Okay, nice, however why ought to I belief these new guys?” I’ve received to be trustworthy with you. There have been two phrases I noticed on Private Capital’s web site that made my coronary heart skip a beat.

These two phrases? Are you prepared?

Fiduciary Obligation

Right here’s copy straight from their web site:

Goal Recommendation: The sorry reality is that bankers and brokers are motivated to assist themselves, not you. They’re salespeople paid to push merchandise, incomes commissions and kickbacks once they do. In stark distinction, Private Capital is an funding advisor. We settle for a fiduciary obligation to behave in your greatest curiosity, and our recommendation should be geared toward creating wealth for you, not for us.

That is completely key with any monetary advisor you speak to, whether or not in individual or on-line. Fiduciary obligation means the celebration has a authorized obligation to place your pursuits above their very own.

Whereas regular brokers receives a commission commissions by getting you to churn your investments again and again (which prices you 1000’s of {dollars} in misplaced percentages right here and there), Private Capital is placing a requirement on themselves to place your pursuits above theirs.

That is enormous!

Severely, main factors for Private Capital from me on this one.

How Empower Works

Private Capital provides a free model and a premium model that options direct funding administration. Whichever model you utilize, your account is definitely held by Pershing Advisor Options, who acts as trustee on your account.

The Free Model

With the free model, you get full use of the Private Capital platform in addition to a free session from a monetary advisor. That advisor gives you a customized evaluation of your investments and proposals as to what you are able to do along with your portfolio. Your monetary advisor might be contacted by telephone, e mail, or by on-line chat.

In reality, the one function that differentiates the free model from Private Capital’s premium product is their personalised portfolio administration. Apart from that, the free model contains the entire many options and advantages which are obtainable on the platform, together with the power to combination all your monetary accounts, the 401(ok) analyzer, goal funding recommendation and funding check-ups, a real-time monetary dashboard, and entry through the cell app.

To point out you ways complete their free platform is, check out this screenshot of their Portfolio Assessment from my free account:

That is simply the “Holdings” tab on this function. You may as well get data in your efficiency and asset allocation. I can’t stress sufficient how priceless this data is for all sorts of traders – newbie or seasoned.

The Premium Model

Also called their Wealth Administration program, Private Capital’s premium program contains energetic administration of your funding portfolio. Like different related merchandise, they first decide your threat tolerance, private preferences, and funding targets. Utilizing that analysis, they then create a portfolio tailor-made to suit inside these parameters.

The charge construction for this service is as follows:

  • 0.89% of the primary $1 million
  • 0.79% of the primary $3 million
  • 0.69% of the following $2 million
  • 0.59% of the following $5 million
  • 0.49% on balances over $10 million

These charges are fairly affordable in comparison with charges of 1% to 2% which are typically charged by energetic funding administration providers. The charges apply solely to the belongings you might have beneath administration at Private Capital, and to not different investments that could be aggregated on the location, reminiscent of your 401(ok) plan.

And, that’s it. There aren’t any further charges. Private Capital doesn’t cost buying and selling, fee, administrative, or another forms of funding charges. Your solely value is the annual, all-inclusive proportion that applies to your portfolio stage.

Funding Technique

Private Capital makes use of Fashionable Portfolio Concept (MPT), to handle your portfolio. MPT focuses much less on particular person safety choice, and extra on diversification throughout broad asset courses. These asset courses embrace:

  • US shares (which might embrace particular person shares)
  • US bonds
  • Worldwide shares
  • Worldwide bonds
  • Different investments (together with ETFs and commodities)
  • Money

Although Private Capital makes use of funds in developing your portfolio, they could additionally embrace as much as 100 particular person securities in an effort to keep away from being too closely concentrated in a small variety of corporations.

I additionally found by means of my evaluation that Private Capital makes use of an built-in funding strategy to managing your investments, which is a fairly distinctive function. Which means that they think about all your funding holdings – together with these not managed by Private Capital – in managing your portfolio.

For instance, although they don’t handle your 401(ok) account, your 401(ok) allocations will be thought-about when making selections about your investments that are truly managed by Private Capital.

There’s a lengthy listing of instruments and advantages in utilizing Private Capital. A few of the extra attention-grabbing ones embrace:

The Funding Checkup

This instrument analyzes your funding portfolio and provides a threat evaluation of it, to be sure that your stage of threat is constant along with your targets. This may make it easier to to create an asset allocation that may get you the place you might want to go along with your investments. Right here’s a screenshot of their Funding Checkup from my Private Capital dashboard:

401(ok) Fund Allocation

This instrument can be utilized to research your employer-sponsored 401(ok) plan, though it isn’t beneath the direct administration of Private Capital. It may be used that can assist you along with your asset allocation, a minimum of based mostly on the funding choices that your plan contains. This is a wonderful instrument since most 401(ok) plans don’t, any type of funding administration recommendation.

Retirement Planner

You possibly can usually discover retirement planners or retirement calculators on numerous websites all through the Web. However what higher place than to have it obtainable the place you even have all your funding accounts listed? Private Capital’s Retirement Planner means that you can run numbers in your retirement to just remember to can be ready when the time comes. It means that you can incorporate main modifications in your life into your retirement planning, such because the start of a kid or saving for school.

Internet Price Calculator

Since Private Capital aggregates all your monetary accounts on the identical platform, they will additionally give you ongoing monitoring of your web price. This may allow you to get probably the most complete view of your monetary scenario because it not solely takes into consideration your belongings but in addition your money owed. Internet price is one of the best single indicator of your general monetary power, and this gives you a possibility to trace it.

Money Stream Analyzer

Although our focus on this article has been totally on the funding aspect of Private Capital, it’s essential to acknowledge that it additionally features a budgeting functionality. The Money Stream Analyzer tracks your earnings and bills from all sources, letting the place you’re spending cash (or spending an excessive amount of of it), which can make it easier to to make changes that may enhance your general funds.

Cellular App

Private Capital’s cell app is a free function that may be downloaded on Apple iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Android. The cell model has the whole lot that’s obtainable on the desktop platform. It should allow you to trace your funding portfolio, in addition to your banking and bank card exercise when you’re on the go.

Tax Optimization

Private Capital makes use of tax optimization within the administration of your portfolio. This function is accessible to premium Wealth Administration shoppers, and never if you’re utilizing the free model.

They use a number of techniques as a part of tax optimization. For instance, they embrace income-producing investments in tax-deferred accounts, whereas growth-oriented investments – that benefit from decrease capital positive aspects taxes – are held in taxable accounts.

As well as, they don’t use mutual funds, however as a substitute use exchange-traded funds with a mixture of particular person shares, since shares might be simply purchased and offered for tax-loss harvesting. And talking of tax-loss harvesting, they use this technique to promote dropping shares, which offsets the positive aspects on the sale of profitable shares. This technique minimizes the unfavorable impression in your funding portfolio from earnings taxes.

Web site Safety

Private Capital makes use of bank-level, military-grade encryption on the platform. Additionally they carry out ongoing third-party safety audits to check their methods. Additionally they use gadget authentication so that every gadget you hyperlink your account to should first be authenticated in an effort to be used

Crash Take a look at Your Portfolio

Investing bills and taxes are the 2 issues you’ll be able to completely rely on throughout the investing world. You possibly can’t depend on positive aspects yearly, however you’ll be able to assure you’ll be taxed and you’ll pay bills. That makes lowering these bills as certainly one of two methods you’ll be able to management your investing future.

Fortunately, Private Capital realizes this and provides you a extremely useful gizmo to research the price of your investments. The place this will get attention-grabbing is you are able to do an evaluation in your employer’s 401 (ok) plan (as mentioned above)  to find whether or not your plan is wonderful, simply okay, or horrible because it involves prices. You is perhaps the individual to go to HR to disclose simply how costly your plan is, lay out a brand new plan that may lower prices for everybody, and find yourself getting a promotion only for working a price evaluation.

Even if you happen to don’t get promoted to move funding advisor on your employer, on the very least you’ll save your personal retirement from exorbitant charges. And that’s an enormous win we are able to all accept.

Is Private Capital for Me?

The thought of wealth administration means you might want to have wealth to handle. When you’re struggling to get out of debt, that’s okay, however Private Capital most likely isn’t one of the best match for you. In that case, Mint is perhaps a greater choice and you may see a full comparability in my full private capital vs mint evaluation.

Nevertheless, if you’re build up your retirement belongings and wish to have the ability to maximize your nest egg with out playing on penny shares, then it’s best to positively join the service. All the options apart from the personalised portfolio administration are completely free, so there’s actually no motive not give them a attempt.

  • Use their Charge Analyzer™ to seek out hidden charges
  • The app is 100% free
  • See all of your cash accounts in a single place, in actual time

FAQs on Private Capital App

Is Private Capital reliable?

Private Capital is a monetary administration firm that gives a spread of economic providers, together with monetary planning, funding administration, and retirement planning. The corporate is registered with the Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC) as an funding adviser and is topic to regulatory oversight.

They had been based in 2009 and offered to Empowe for as much as $1 billion in enterprise worth. You possibly can learn their formal ADV filed with the SEC right here.

Generally, Private Capital is a good and reliable firm. The corporate has obtained constructive opinions from prospects and trade consultants, and it has a powerful monitor document of serving to its shoppers obtain their monetary targets.

What are the cons of Private Capital?

Listed below are a number of potential cons to contemplate earlier than utilizing Private Capital’s providers:

Charges: Private Capital expenses charges for its monetary planning and funding administration providers. These charges could also be larger than these charged by different monetary establishments or monetary advisors. It’s essential to fastidiously evaluation the charges and perceive how they’re calculated earlier than deciding to make use of Private Capital’s providers.

Restricted entry to advisors: Private Capital’s monetary planning and funding administration providers are primarily performed on-line, and it’s possible you’ll not have in-person entry to an advisor. This generally is a downside if you happen to want to have in-person conferences or when you have complicated monetary questions that require in-depth dialogue.

Restricted funding choices: Private Capital provides a restricted variety of funding choices, together with mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In case you are all for investing in particular person shares or different securities, it’s possible you’ll have to look elsewhere.

It’s essential to fastidiously contemplate these potential cons and to do your personal analysis earlier than deciding to make use of Private Capital’s providers.

Private Capital Assessment

Product Identify: Private Capital

Product Description: Private Capital is a monetary advisor and funding administration firm. They supply providers reminiscent of wealth administration, retirement planning, and portfolio administration.


Private capital is an organization that gives monetary planning and funding administration providers.

  • Price and Charges
  • Buyer Service
  • Person Expertise
  • Funding Administration
  • Portfolio Evaluation


  • The app is free to make use of
  • Person-friendly interface
  • Offers a complete overview of your monetary scenario
  • Affords quite a lot of instruments that can assist you handle your funds


  • Restricted options
  • Funding administration charges
  • Restricted entry to advisors
  • Restricted funding choices
  • Potential conflicts of curiosity