Personal Capital Web-based financial management

Over the last several years I’ve had the opportunity to look at a multitude of personal financial applications, all of which offer useful collections of tools for managing your money matters. Of all these apps, none comes close to offering the breadth of features and capabilities of the free, Web-based Personal Capital.

As is the case with all applications of this sort, setup is the initial hurdle you have to clear if you hope to track all of your financial data. Personal Capital makes this process incredibly easy, although it’s important to note that in order to use this application you will already have to have some kind of online relationship with all the financial institutions you want to track using Personal Capital.

Adding accounts to Personal Capital is easy, all you need to do is select or search for the bank, credit union, credit card, or investment company you want to track data for and then enter your current login information for that entity. Personal Capital will then log in to the site and begin aggregating your financial data. If the financial site you’re connecting to requires additional authentication information, like your mother’s maiden name or the first elementary school you attended, personal Capital can handle this too, without any problems. This is in stark contrast to Mint which always seems to need me to log in to fix some sort of authentication problem related to the extra questions banks require you to answer to see your financial information.

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How to Manage Your Finances

Personal financial management is a subject that is not taught in many schools, but is something that nearly everyone has to deal with in their lives later on. Here are some statistics: Some 58% of Americans do not have a retirement plan in place for how they’ll manage their finances when they get old.[1] While people generally believe they’ll need about $300,000 to support themselves in retirement, the average American has only about $25,000 saved at the time of retirement.[2] Average household credit card debt among Americans now stands at a distressing $15,204.[3] If these facts are alarming to you, and you want to reverse the trend, read on for specific, targeted advice geared towards giving you a better future.