Thanks to opening, funding, and spending over 100 hours testing accounts with eight different robo-advisors
, we know our robos inside and out. For this review, we will compare Personal Capital vs Schwab Intelligent Portfolios to see which robo-advisor is better.
When it comes to financial advice and selecting an automated advisor, the total annual cost charged is significant. Most sites just look at the annual account management charge assessed. For an accurate comparison, however, you also have to take into consideration the annual management fees (expense ratios) charged by the ETF holdings themselves. We included both. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is a better option with a 5.00 star rating over Personal Capital's 3.00 star rating.
Features are also important to compare when selecting a robo-advisor. Some robos do a much better job than others with technology. Personal Capital and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios both offer tax-loss harvesting. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Personal Capital has an advanced retirement calculator, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios doesn't. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Personal Capital and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios both offer goal tracking. Finally, syncing data from your other financial accounts (brokers, banks, etc) can open the door to deeper analysis of fees, holdings, and retirement planning. Personal Capital has external accounts analysis, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios doesn't.
Lastly, some customers want access to customer service via web friendly methods such as live chat as a compliment to the standard phone and email options. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios makes live chat support available to clients, while Personal Capital does not.
Overall, both Personal Capital and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios hold a 4.50 star rating. And, as far as individual category awards go, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools in 2017, while Personal Capital was rated none of these.