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 Wealthfront 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. Wealthfront is a better option with a 4.50 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 Wealthfront both 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 Wealthfront offer an advanced retirement calculator. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Both Personal Capital and Wealthfront 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. Both Personal Capital and Wealthfront offer external accounts analysis.
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. Personal Capital nor Wealthfront offers live chat support.
Overall, Wealthfront comes out on top with 5.00 stars over Personal Capital's 4.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront was rated Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, while Personal Capital was rated none of these.