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Whether you are deep in debt or focused on building wealth, tracking your money is one of the best ways to continually meet your financial goals. Working towards a goal can be difficult without progress. That's why I update our net worth every month.
You can look at your net worth as a financial scoreboard. If your score goes down, then you spent more than you made. On the other hand, an increase in your score means you were able to save some money. Just like in most sports, a higher score is always better!
Before Personal Capital, I tracked my net worth using an excel document. So each month, I had to login into all of my accounts and type the updated account balance into my spreadsheet. I still use my excel document to track my net worth, but Personal Capital has made this process a lot easier. It can make tracking your finances easier also!
Reason #1: Tracks Net Worth, Spending and Investing
Personal Capital has found a way to easily track all of your expenses and keep tabs on your net worth on a daily basis. They can do this by the relationships that they have built with both investing companies and banks.
You will be able to connect all of your banking, investing accounts to your Personal Capital account. The website will automatically update all of your accounts when you login. Their program will then calculate your net worth.
So, if you really wanted, you could login everyday and find out your net worth. This is probably not necessary, but I like to know that I could if I wanted.
Reason #2: User Friendly Dashboard
In connection with reason #1, the dashboard gives a lot of great information the minute you login. You can see your net worth, a graph of your net worth over time, and a list of all your connected accounts and their balance.
If you scroll down a little bit, you will notice a listing of cash flow, investment balances and an image for asset allocation. If you want to look at anything more in depth, just click on any image or number and the website will give you more in depth information on that specific topic.
Not only can you see all of your accounts in one place, but it is easy to find out everything that you want to know about your finances with just one click.
Reason #3: You Index!
This is a really cool feature that is included in creating an account. The You Index is always shown as a percentage. This percentage is a combination of the gains and losses of your investment accounts on a given day or even week.
You can also compare your You Index with other percentages that are often used to track the stock market (S&P 500, Dow Jones, Foreign and US Bonds). It is always neat to compare my investments to the results of each index.
For example my investments beat the S&P 500, US Bonds and Foreign Stocks last year, but did not beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Overall, I am pretty happy with my returns from last year and the You Index allows me to track my investments through out the year.
Reason #4: Weekly E-mails
I don't login to my Personal Capital account every week, because I mostly use Personal Capital to track my net worth and keep my accounts all in one place. Since I don't login every week, it is nice to get an e-mail every week updating me on my accounts.
This e-mail is a short overview of cashflow for the month and an update on the You Index. This update also includes the averages for the S&P 500, Dow Jones, Foreign Stocks and US Bonds. This gives you a nice snapshot of how your investments are doing in comparison with the rest of the market.
Some of you may not like receiving an e-mail each week, but I enjoy the nice snapshot of data that this e-mail gives me.
Reason #5: Free Retirement Planner and Advice
Personal Capital has also created a great retirement planner that allows you to put in some assumptions for retirement and amount of savings each year. It will calculate the probability of you being able to have enough money to retire. You can even put in a retirement date and see what will happen to your money based on your spending in retirement.
Not only does this program include a Free Retirement Planner, but it also includes advice. The advice is based off of analyzing your savings, investments and spending. Some of the advice I don't like, but others have made me think and there is nothing wrong with thinking about something in a new way.
Reason #6:They have an APP!
Yes, they have an APP. I downloaded the APP in preparation for this article and it is a good way to get a quick snapshot of your money if you are away from your computer. The APP is password protected and is very easy to use. You can access all of the same information that you can access on the computer.
Reason #7: It's Free!
That's right, FREE! You can't beat all that Personal Capital offers for free. You get a lot of reports and the ability to track your net worth. Therefore, click on any link on this page and get started on becoming more organized with your finances. It may give you the motivation to keep you on track with your goals.