Personal Finance

How to Track Your Net Worth All in One Place [A Personal Capital Review]

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finance-apps

What is LeBron James’s net worth?

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I sat there wondering this to myself as he was sadly taken down by the Golden State Warriors—again. How comfortably could LeBron live if he just hung up the shoes and sat on a yacht drinking vino? Of course, I pulled out my phone and searched Google for the answer. It turns out that LeBron has a net worth of $400 million according to a 2017 article by BankRate, on track to one day become a billionaire. Sheesh! That’s a lot of vino!

This search led me to search other famous athletes’ and movies’ stars net worths—and ultimately lead me to one final question: What the heck is my net worth?

My name is Connor Anderson, and I am a new addition to the BiggerPockets team. What led me to BiggerPockets was my love for real estate investing (and my networking with people I looked up to at BiggerPockets).

Most people get into real estate investing because they want to increase their net worth, but there I was, a semi-recent college grad with the hopes of tackling my first real estate deal by the end of the year, yet I had NO IDEA what my net worth even was!

I turned back to the place where I find the answers to all of life’s great questions, Google. What I was looking for was some program that would automatically track my net worth for me. It didn’t take me long to find exactly what i was looking for: Personal Capital (to learn more about Personal Capital, click here).

What is Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is a one-stop shop for net worth tracking and money management—but the best part is that most of its features are completely free!

How Personal Capital works is you link all of your bank accounts (yes, ALL of your accounts): checking, savings, loans, credit cards, and even retirement accounts. Personal Capital’s software will then add up all your the assets, subtract all your liabilities, and boom, present you with your net worth.

That’s not all, though. There is also a host of charts and graphs to help you track you net worth over time. Numerous metrics help you track your cash flow and compare your spending from this month to last month. These chart and graphs can track your entire portfolio or just a single account. Lastly, there are several tools PC has built for budgeting and even planning for your retirement.

See below for a few examples (not my own accounts) of what Personal Capital's software looks like:

Example of dashboard view

Example of net worth view

Example of cash flow view

Pros and Cons

What I like most about Personal Capital is how automatic they make the process. I simply had to set up my accounts, and then every single time I log in, the accounts are updated and I can see where I stand. The mobile platform also is easy to use and has all the same functionality as the web version, making tracking on the move simple.

There is not a huge learning curve for PC, either; it’s a rather intuitive program. But if you do get stuck, there are some help features and question mark icons that give definitions for non-obvious terms.

The only drawback to Personal Capital I have experienced so far is that some small banks are hard to add to your profile. However, I have a feeling this is on my bank’s end and not the fault of Personal Capital.

Why is it Important to Track Your Net Worth?

Just like all great businesses deeply understand their financials, all great investors and financially savvy individuals know what their balance sheets look like. Say you want to retire early. You need to know how much money you have in assets. Maybe you are looking to buy a house. You won’t be able to do that unless you know how much cash you have. Or maybe you are like me, looking to quickly pay off your student loan debt. You will have no idea where you stand unless your track your net worth. Luckily, Personal Capital exists and can help you quickly and easily know exactly where your finances lie.

Final Thoughts

Personal Capital has tremendously helped me on my investing journey. If it weren’t for this product, I would have had no idea where I stand financially. When I first created my account, I didn’t have a clear picture on my finances, and because of this, I had no way to plan and map out how I was going to take down my first real estate deal. Four months later, I know exactly where I stand and I have a clear idea of what I need to do to begin my real estate investing career.

Hopefully this article was helpful and inspires you to find out where you stand financially, take action, increase your net worth—and maybe one day join LeBron on that yacht.

Learn how you could qualify for 2 months of free advisory service or a free iPad by signing up for Personal Capital here. *Terms and conditions apply.

Do you use Personal Capital? If not, what personal finance software do you prefer?

Comment below!

Connor Anderson is a real estate investor and real estate agent with three years of experience. Connor also works at BiggerPockets managing advertising sales. So far, Connor has accumulated two ren...
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    John C. Investor from New York, NY
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks! And congrats on joining the team!
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thank you John!
    Marcus Lawson from Roselle, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I tried Personal Capital for a couple months, but it takes way too long to update and also was very inaccurate with my student loans. I switched back to the “gold” standard which is Mint and never looked back
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Glad you have found a system that works for you! The important piece is tracking where your money sits.
    Nate Begin
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Nice ad posted as an article.
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thank you for reading Nate – hopefully you got some value from this article
    Dennis Weber Real Estate Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I use Prsonal Capital but there is one thing you need to know. Personal Capital is a stock brokerage and when you enter your most personal financial information you are giving it to the company. If you have over $100k to invest you will receive a call from them trying to get you to invest in their funds which most real estate investors know is not the best way to invest.
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I was unaware of this Dennis, thank you for helping inform the readers about this piece of info.
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Okay, but checking my assets in terms of mutual funds, bank account, etc. is the easy part. And Credit Karma can usually tell me at a glance what my liabilities are unless I’ve paid something big off recently. My challenge is in determining what my real estate assets are worth. Does Personal Capital help with that? If so, how?
    David Cahill Real Estate Agent from Boston, Massachusetts
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Exactly what I was thinking! That was my personal issue with Mint, especially since so much of my net worth is in RE…
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Since real estate is constantly changing in value it is hard to track. You can always do quick calculations by looking at your latest appraisal of property – your remaining mortgage and adding this to your Personal Capital Net Worth. But to answer your question, no you cannot directly track your RE assets.
    Wenecio Godfrey Flipper/Rehabber from Jacksonville, FL
    Replied over 2 years ago
    This type of software is an invaluable tool. As a financial counselor for the military, I find that most people do not have a realistic outlook regarding their finances and they really don’t have a clear picture of where all of their hard earned money is disappearing too. I usually recommend “Mint” as I have used them for about 8 years now and they offer a great tool and resource for managing your daily finances.
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thank you for helping stress the importance of tracking your finances! I am glad you have found a tool that works for you.
    Victor Oben
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Doesn’t the Mint app do something similar?
    Jason Carter Rental Property Investor from Culver City, CA
    Replied over 2 years ago
    This is for bank accounts. It would be nice if one of these would incorporate real estate. Until then, they’re all variations of the same thing. And these guys are going to try to sell you something too.
    Todd Michaels Investor from Chicago, IL
    Replied over 2 years ago
    You can put in real-estate and link it to zillow. For us the zillow estimates are way off (high) so we use the option to manually put in a value for each property.
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks for the helping answer this question Todd!
    Katherine S. Investor from Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Giving all your financial information to an unknown third party isn’t a “con”?
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I have been using Personal Capital for 5+ months now and have seen any negative side affects or con artists reach out to me. So I think it is a safe tool to use.
    Linda Hastings Rental Property Investor from Stockdale, TX
    Replied over 2 years ago
    My thoughts exactly. The biggest drawback, in my mind, to any of these online finance apps is having to give them so much personal info and access to your bank accounts.
    Terry Owens from Madison, AL
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I use plain ol’ Excel.
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    No matter how many tools are created, Excel will always be a trusted tool. Glad you have found a system that works for you Terry!
    Waverly Rennie Rental Property Investor from Dunedin, FL
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I changed over to Personal Capital instead of Mint because of their absolutely fantastic retirement planner, which you can use if you are aiming to see when you will achieve financial independence, you don’t have to wait to retire till you’re 65. You can put in various scenarios about how much you want to be able to spend every year, with the flexibility to spend more some years and less in other years, and then put in how much you will be making from rentals, or selling off parts of your RE portfolio at various times, or doing part-time work, or doing a flip or two a year, or whatever, and see what your income will look like and how long it will last in average or bad markets. For those of us who hold a lot of RE, it’s very hard to make normal “retirement planners” work since they basically just want to know how much you have in your 401k and how much you’ll get in social security and pension, whatever that mythical beast is…….. It’s true, they are aggressively marketing their investment services, but you don’t have to invest with them, you can just say no thanks. I have been pretty impressed by the networth feature and the retirement planner, so am happy with that. Good luck!
    Connor Anderson Rental Property Investor from Grand Rapids, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thank you so much for your comment and additional review of Personal Capital! I know some readers will get lots of value from this information. Cheers!
    Chris Ayers Rental Property Investor from Warrenton, VA
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Until they fix the limited numbers of tags, then it’s Mint all the way.
    Chris Gerrard from Philadelphia, PA
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Congrats on joining the BP team. E-money has an awesome aggregation/planning software. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is directly available to consumers without an advisor. It looks like Personal Capital may accomplish a lot of the same things. I’ll have to check it out for personal use.
    Cornelius Charles Investor from Oxnard, California
    Replied about 2 years ago
    I would love to use something like Personal Capital or Mint, but the idea of a 3rd party having access to all of my accounts outweighs the pros to me. Seems like a data breach nightmare waiting to happen.
    Julie Bellville Attorney from Denver, CO
    Replied about 2 years ago
    The best part of Personal Capital is the “Retirement Fee Analyzer” under the Planning tab. This analyzer tells you how much money is going to fees, and it has already helped me make better decisions in terms of fund selection, so I can keep as much of my growth as possible. Great article, Connor!