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.
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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.
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."