Which Account Aggregator Should One Use? A Mint vs Personal Capital Showdown

I want to be clear from the start I am not receiving money from either of these companies and I have no plans of doing so. I started questioning using Mint as my current aggregator after constantly hearing about this other site, Personal Capital. Mint and Personal Capital are sites where you can link your various financial accounts and see your whole financial picture in one convenient spot, ala an “aggregator”. This post reflects on my past Mint usage and my findings from tinkering in Personal Capital.

I have been loyal to Mint for most of my adult life. When I was first starting out I didn’t appreciate its power, as I didn’t have too many accounts to keep track of. As time grew though, and my accounts seemed to multiply, I began to appreciate the power of Mint. It brings in all of your accounts such as checkings accounts, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, HSAs/FSAs, 401ks, IRAs, credit cards, mortgages, etc. Instead of having to logging into every account and record the balances I could log into Mint and all of my accounts’ information would update. Now people can readily access their net worth by visiting one site. As they say whatever gets measured gets managed.

When I started to tinker with Personal Capital I started realizing there were things that Mint didn’t have or I wasn’t aware of them incorporating, and guessing these have been changes over the recent past. One is its ability to show trends. For those of you that follow my financials update every 10ish days one has heard me speak of my excel spreadsheets that helps me track my net worth. Every 10ish days I log into Mint and record my account balances from Mint into my Excel spreadsheet, at which time I’d be able to incorporate the latest numbers into my long term trend. Personal Capital appears to be able to show trends and after investigating Mint also has trends albeit in a less aesthetically pleasing way. Here were a few other things I looked at during the comparison:

After going through this exercise I’d say Mint is a tad more geared towards budgeting and bill payment organization where as Personal Capital is a bit more on the trends and retirement planning side. The Retirement Planner in Personal Capital is the area that really stood out to me, which I’ll analyze more in tomorrow’s post.

The Personal Capital Interface is very sleek and I found some of the features to be more intuitive than Mint. While Mint may be able to add a personal mortgage/loan I couldn’t figure it out and found it quite easy on Personal Capital. While many people won’t care about this functionality I do raise private capital and I plan on doing more in the future:

While I typically keep track of my unlinked accounts, such as loans, bitcoin, and gold, in my excel spreadsheet it’s nice to know I have the option in these aggregators. When I first started using Mint I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an option but I’m speculating with competitors entering this personal finance space it’s been a necessity to add some functionality.

It does appear I’m having some syncing issues with Personal Capital however. I received a paycheck today that hit one of my checkings accounts. It was updated in Mint and while the time stamp in Personal Capital shows a recent update that same checking account is not reflecting the added money to the account. Going forward I think I will use both accounts to spot check the other. I do like the credit rating feature in Mint just to monitor that nothing wonky is going on and I can tell that I’m falling in love with this retirement planner in Personal Capital.

I tried coming into this exercise as open-minded as possible and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. If I was told I could only use one I would go with Personal Capital. While I still need to dig into some of the details of the assumptions, used in the Personal Capital Retirement Planner, I find it unbelievably intuitive and comprehensive. If someone uses a different aggregator that they find incredibly useful please let me know.

“Whatever Gets Measured Gets Managed!”

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