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 TD Ameritrade Essential 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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios is a better option with a 4.00 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 alongside TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer tax-loss harvesting. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Both Personal Capital and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer an advanced retirement calculator. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Both Personal Capital and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios 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 offers external accounts analysis while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not.
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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios has live chat support, Personal Capital doesn't.
Overall, both Personal Capital and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios are rated 4.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Investment Approach, while Personal Capital was rated none of these.