17. Personal Capital

Online 360-degree personal finance platform

Bill Harris, co-founder and CEO of Personal Capital
Source: Personal Capital.
Bill Harris, co-founder and CEO of Personal Capital

Founders: Rob Foregger, Bill Harris (CEO)
Date launched:
2009
Funding: $54.3 million
Industries disrupted: Banks, Investing, Personal Finance
Disrupting: Blackrock, Fidelity, JPMorganChase
Competition: Betterment, Motif Investing, Wealthfront


According to Bill Harris, co-founder and CEO of Personal Capital, wealth management in the 21st century needs to be more dynamic than someone sitting behind a desk doling out investment advice. His company offers moderately wealthy customers—with at least $100,000 to open an account—a more holistic approach to managing their financial lives by linking all personal financial accounts from banks, brokerages, 401(k)s, mortgages, credit cards and loans. Customers can then easily view the whole picture online or through the company's mobile app with crisp graphics, including a pie chart that categorizes spending.

These services are free; Personal Capital makes its money by charging a fee for financial advisors to help customers manage their investments. The advisors are reachable by Web chat, email and phone and charge anywhere from 0.75 percent to 0.95 percent, depending on the total dollar amount of assets under management.

Read More FULL LIST: 2014 CNBC DISRUPTOR 50

The company targets affluent households with a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars to invest. The goal is for advisors to use the data to create a smart asset-allocation plan and find ways to defer gains and harvest losses to minimize taxes.

Harris, former CEO of PayPal and Intuit, created the company, he said, to give individuals more control over their financial lives—with a little help from Personal Capital's advisors, of course.

Who do you dream of putting out of business?

"We want to put brokers like Merrill Lynch out of business by dragging the old world of investment advice into the modern digital age." -Bill Harris, co-founder and CEO

Technology

  • The Lenovo logo is displayed on a screen at a press conference in Hong Kong, May 21, 2015.

    Lenovo will be in a “very different” situation in terms of profit in the coming quarters as the Chinese technology giant implements a turnaround strategy, the company’s president said.

  • An Apple iPhone 6 Plus

    One pro thinks Apple should lease its iPhone in order to maintain its market share and margins, but another expert disagrees.

  • The Samsung Gear S2

    Samsung said it would make its next smartwatch technology available to its competitors who also use Google's mobile platform Android.

Latest Special Reports

  • As the world grows more interconnected, it’s harder to manage global risks. Here's some ways to mitigate the biggest challenges.

  • A globe-trotting look at the world of investing, from developed Europe and Asia trends to the least-traveled frontier markets.

  • Financial advisors stress that now is the time for investors to get serious about year-end financial planning checkup.