Empower, formerly known as Personal Capital, is definitely still our favorite net worth tracker by far. We love it for its incredibly intuitive interface, the fact that it allows you to aggregate all the different accounts that you have, and because it’s absolutely free! So, let’s dive into our Empower review and why we think it’s the best net worth tracker available.
If you take some time to think about it, you may come to realize just how spread out your investments really are.
Maybe you have a 401(k) with your employer and a taxable account with Vanguard. You might also have a traditional or Roth IRA at Fidelity. And what about those stocks that are just orphaned over at M1 Finance?
Maybe you’ve had multiple employers over time and you haven’t rolled over your 401(k)s, so they are all just sitting there with your previous employers. Then you likely have multiple banks that you do business with, all of which have several accounts.
Without a service like Empower, you have to visit a lot of websites to keep track of all of those separate accounts. You may have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets of information – tracking your different investments. Why not combine all of your data into one easy-to-use net worth tracker?
Empower is the best net worth tracker because you can keep track of your entire portfolio in just one place. You don’t even have to move your accounts. Leave them exactly where they are and Empower will consolidate them in one place. Not only that, but it also has other important features like cash-flow tracking, a retirement fee analyzer, and an allocation checkup. The best part? It’s totally free!
Although it’s fundamentally a net worth tracker, Empower is so much more than that. Here are all of the different ways that Empower can serve you and help you keep track of every piece of your financial portfolio.
Empower Net Worth Dashboard
As soon as you set up Empower, you’ll get a personalized net worth dashboard. It pops up when you log into your account and allows you to see all your accounts in one place. It combines all your accounts into a single clean chart that gives you a great visual representation of your current net worth and your progress over time.
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Financial Tracking Made Simple
We love simplicity here at ChooseFI. We don’t want to log in to 30 different sites just to get an update on where we stand financially. Not when we can use a site like Empower that just takes care of all of it for us.
Don’t get us wrong – we still love Excel sheets because we are nerds and love doing future value calculations and tweaking pivot tables. So don’t worry; we’re not saying that you’re never going to look at your Excel sheet again. But Empower does all the heavy lifting for us. Happy dance right here.
Better Tracking Of Cash Flow Month To Month
You can add your monthly expenses to your Empower dashboard to see how they’re factoring into your spending and net worth.
This is a great option for many people who want to have a truly holistic picture of where they stand financially. Some people choose not to use this feature. That’s not because it’s not a good feature, but because they prefer to avoid adding the noise of monthly expenses to their overall net worth tracker.
Check your FI plan for free with Empower here.
Tracking Real Estate Investments With Empower
You also have the option to put it in your home, rental property value(s), and mortgage balance(s) as well.
Empower will pull estimated market values from Zillow and the mortgage balances from your lender. You can also add the market value of your properties manually if you aren’t a fan of Zillow’s estimates. That is just incredibly convenient!
You’ll link each individual account that you want to set up and then from there it kind of takes care of everything for you.
Start tracking your net worth today.
It’s a pain to have your accounts spread out all over the internet. What’s more, it could be dangerous to your bottom line if you can’t get a clear view of your allocation. Empower fixes this for you with its investment checkup tool.
This tool looks at all your investments and gives you a breakdown of exactly what you are holding. In turn, this breakdown allows you to look at your cap weight and your allocation models. You know how much are you weighted in various sectors and U.S. stocks. This is a fantastic feature.
For example, let’s say you are aiming to have 80% stocks and 20% bonds. If you have mutual funds or EFTs in several different accounts, say your Roth and your 401(k), it’s very difficult to know exactly what you are holding in each fund, and how that relates to your allocation goals.
But with the Investment Checkup, you can see exactly where you stand and can then decide if it’s time to take action.
Get started for free with Empower here.
Allocation Against The Efficient Frontier
Empower can show you where your allocation is on the efficient frontier curve. This is a type of risk modeling. Basically, it assesses where you are on this curve in terms of being able to expect a higher return without substantially increasing your risk. The implication is that there is a point of diminishing returns: where you’re really taking way more risk than you need to for very little in returns. It’s good to know where you stand so you can take action on your accounts if needed.
Retirement Fee Analyzer
If you are just starting to pay attention to your expense ratios, Empower has a feature that allows it to look at all the expenses that you’re paying on your various accounts. It will highlight any of them that are exorbitant.
If you have accounts with past employers, you may find that they have some monstrously high fees. This is a quick way for you to assess that. After all, knowledge is power. Once you identify that you’re paying too much in fees, in many cases you can choose to course correct and get into a fund that has much lower fees.
The difference in the fee percentages can be millions of dollars over your working career, so it’s well worth looking into.
Retirement Planning Calculator
Empower has a wonderful retirement planning calculator. It allows you to put in projected monthly spending and projected investments, and then actually allows you to determine whether or not you’re going to be able to pull off this retirement.
You can actually input scenarios to see if they are viable or not. For example, if you say “I want to be able to spend $60,000 a year and I plan on living off of my portfolio at the age of 40…can I pull this off?” It runs 5,000 different calculations and then finds the likelihood that your plan will be successful.
This calculator is incredibly flexible and will allow you to play with all the variables.
It can tell you precisely whether or not you’re going to be able to accomplish your goal. Beyond that, you can actually add extra features like your Social Security estimate, your spouse’s Social Security estimate, to make your retirement planning as accurate as you want.
They continue to improve this tool, so continue to watch for changes so you can keep going deeper into your retirement planning.
Check your FI plan for free with Empower here
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the reason that we love Empower so much is the simplicity of being able to track net worth in one single place. It’s a longtime favorite in the FI community and we highly recommend it to the uninitiated.
You can get started for free right now!