For our 2017 Robo-Advisor Review we assessed, rated, and ranked eight different firms. Instead of relying on website information and marketing materials as most editorials do, we opened and funded an account with each robo-advisor
to acquire a true client experience. Here, we will compare Personal Capital vs TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios to see which robo-advisor is best.
To start our comparison, we will take a look at the annual fees for both services. Cost is broken down into two separate buckets: the annual management fee charged for having an account and the annual fee charged for holding each ETF in the portfolio. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios is a better option with a 4.00 star rating over Personal Capital's 3.00 star rating.
Exploring both robo-advisor feature sets, we can also find differences. Personal Capital offers tax-loss harvesting while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not. For running calculations on being ready for retirement, clients will want a retirement calculator. Personal Capital offers an advanced retirement calculator while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not. Some customers like to monitor their personal financial goals. Personal Capital and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios both offer goal tracking. Finally, an attractive feature includes providing deeper account analysis thanks to the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts. Personal Capital makes external accounts analysis available to clients, while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not.
Lastly, more web savvy customers may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo provides live chat support as an option. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios has live chat support, Personal Capital doesn't.
Overall, both Personal Capital and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios hold a 4.50 star rating. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios posted awards Best in Class - Investment Approach, Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Customer Service in 2017, while Personal Capital found itself with none of these.