Author Topic: Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?  (Read 528 times)

alcon835

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Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?
« on: February 25, 2019, 05:38:50 PM »
I've been using Personal Capital for several months now and there is still a lot about it I don't understand. I want to really understand what the dashboard is showing me so I can fully utilize the tool when monitoring the status of my investments.

Are there any good video walkthroughs for the various dashboards on Personal Capital? Their YouTube has some, but I'm looking for someone to go in-depth and explain what everything means and what's being shown on the different dashboards. So far, it seems like people either (like me) don't know what a lot of the dashboards are saying or only give a high-level overview of each one.

I feel like there is a ton of information available to me with this dashboard that I'm failing to utilize.

Travis

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Re: Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 08:37:12 PM »
I doubt there's good videos out there for what you're asking, but I'd be happy to take a stab at whatever specific questions you might have.

alcon835

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Re: Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 03:22:48 PM »
@Travis Thank you!

I'm sort of looking for an overview, honestly. But there are a few things that would be a big help.

I mostly use Personal Capital for an investment & net worth overview that I can check periodically. I've got the Net Worth stuff mostly figured out, but I'm trying to understand how PC can answers some investment questions for me as I review things from year-to-year:

Investing:
  • How can I use Personal Capital to see how my investments have grown over a certain time period separate from my direct investments?
  • How can I see how much fees have been taken from a specific account over a specific time period?
  • Can you help explain the Holdings vs. Balances vs. Performance sections and how I can use them to understand my investments?
  • Does the Retirement planner provide any value for FIRE folks? If yes, how can I set it up to better match what life will look like under FIRE? I feel like the numbers I get from the Retirement calculator are wildly different from what I'm getting off of FIRE calculators.

All in all, I wonder if I'm somewhat barking up the wrong tree with these questions. I may just need to dive deeper into general investment terminology and reporting to get a better understand of what I'm looking at and why it matters. But I'm hoping I can get a general idea of how this tool works to get a firm grasp on how my investments are doing, where my big fees are, and how much growth (or loss) I'm actually seeing from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year.

alcon835

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Re: Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 06:42:22 AM »
@Harry Hannah LOL, I'm scared if I actually talk to someone over there I'll never hear the end of it. They already call me twice a month+ and send me multiple emails asking me to talk to an adviser.


Travis

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Re: Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 08:05:54 PM »
@

Investing:
  • How can I use Personal Capital to see how my investments have grown over a certain time period separate from my direct investments?
  • How can I see how much fees have been taken from a specific account over a specific time period?
  • Can you help explain the Holdings vs. Balances vs. Performance sections and how I can use them to understand my investments?
  • Does the Retirement planner provide any value for FIRE folks? If yes, how can I set it up to better match what life will look like under FIRE? I feel like the numbers I get from the Retirement calculator are wildly different from what I'm getting off of FIRE calculators.

All in all, I wonder if I'm somewhat barking up the wrong tree with these questions. I may just need to dive deeper into general investment terminology and reporting to get a better understand of what I'm looking at and why it matters. But I'm hoping I can get a general idea of how this tool works to get a firm grasp on how my investments are doing, where my big fees are, and how much growth (or loss) I'm actually seeing from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year.

1. The Holdings tab will give you some of that information.  Go to Morningstar and look up the performance of that particular stock or index fund independent of the rest of your portfolio.
2. Under Planning you can use the Fee Analyzer to show you the aggregate of all of your expense ratios put together and how much of your stache is going to fees.  You can also see fees paid per year by fund.
3. Performance is going to be your best measurement of progress.  The day to day changes in Holdings doesn't tell you anything useful.  Balances is similar to Performance, but is just a number representation while Performance is a line graph. 
4. Don't bother with the retirement planner. There's plenty of more detailed apps and websites out there.

You're asking some good questions about what you should know about your investment portfolio; however, this isn't a site you should be checking very often except as an occasional "hmm, isn't that interesting."  PC gives you the opportunity to obsess about these numbers on a daily basis. There's no need to do that. I look at it once a month to calculate my progress.

alcon835

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Re: Are there any Personal Capital Video Walkthroughs?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 06:49:55 AM »
@Travis

Thank you, this is extremely helpful! I only started really investing meaningfully last year and with my current income and savings rate, I think we can get to FIRE in ~10 years. With a new year I've been reviewing my investment strategies and working with the Mrs. to determine how we're going to grow our savings rate for 2019.

Your advice to stay away from it is good and I intend to follow it. My immediate goal is to be certain I understand what it's telling me and then finalize the automation and consolidation of all my investments so I can get to a place where I'm no longer concerned day-to-day about what Personal Capital or anything else says.

Seriously, though, you have been insanely helpful and I will take your advice not to get obsessed with all of this to heart.