After the TSP, I invest my money in Betterment and Vanguard. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. I also wrote a short, 2 hour book summarizing this site. You can buy it here.
If you haven’t signed up for Personal Capital yet, here’s a chance to see all your financial accounts in one place AND enter a lottery to win a free trip to Hawaii! Maybe you can even hang out with my blogging buddy Doug Nordman while you’re soaking up the sun.
If you sign up for a PC account between now (Feb 5, 2016) and Valentine’s Day (only 9 days away guys, you’ve been warned!) and connect an investment account to the site, you’ll automatically be entered to win two round trip tickets valued at $2000 and $1000 in accommodation. What a great Valentine’s Day present that would make for your special someone!
I’ve written about Personal Capital many times before on my site. (My initial review is here.) I use the website almost daily to see the ups and down of my portfolio. I’ve been a happy user of PC for over 2 years now. It allows me to instantly check my net worth, see all of my financial accounts in one place, view my asset allocation at a glance, and see how my investments have been performing. Here’s a snapshot from Personal Capital of the roller coaster I’ve been on for the past 90 days with my TSP, Vanguard IRAs, and my Betterment taxable account.
Another awesome feature is the Retirement Planner Tool, just one of their free tools they offer to help you plan your future financial success. You put in the variables, it runs the Monte Carlo simulations and figures out the chance of your plans working out. In this simulation, I’m only at a 66% success rate. I’ll need to adjust some variables to get it into the 85-90% range so I’ll feel more comfortable about my financial freedom plan.
Besides the chance of winning a $3000 Hawaiian vacation, a Personal Capital account will give you a better understanding of where your money comes from, where your money is going, and how your investments perform. It would be awesome if one of my readers won the trip. Let me know if you sign up in the comments!
2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.
The best way I know to achieve financial independence is to keep your investments simple, diversified, automatic, and low-cost. Costs eat into your returns like you wouldn't believe! A 1% difference in expense ratios can mean $100,000s lost to fees over a lifetime of investing.
Even if you're a DIY (do-it-yourself) investor like I am, you need to check out Betterment. You can read my full review here, but the bottom line is for only $250 per $100,000 invested (0.25% expense ratio) you get simple, diversified, and automated investing. In addition every account now gets free Tax Loss Harvesting+ features, which should increase returns for the average investor more than the minuscule management fee.
If you're not a DIY investor or are just getting started with investing, then you definitely need to check out Betterment. It's what I recommend to my family and friends who aren't strong investors or don't care to learn about asset allocations, diversification, or rebalancing.