Personal finance services are all the rage these days. Could it be because everyone's broke and trying to sit on their money like Scrooge McDuck? Could be. But that's not why Bill Harris, former CEO of Intuit and PayPal, created Personal Capital. Personal Capital bears a couple of key differences from other personal finance services, like Mint and Pageonce. For one thing, as Harris explains to me in this interview, Personal Capital is not just a piece of software designed for financial organization. It's actually a financial institution, which means it's not designed to compete with Mint.com, but with a company like Schwab.
Secondly, the service isn't built just for budgeting and getting out of debt. It's designed for users with complex financial lives who need to go beyond seeing how much they're spending on gas each month (though Personal Capital allows them to do that, too) to see how their assets are allocated, how much their paying in mutual fund fees every year, and so on.
The service is not for the 20-something college grad who just got the phone call from Mom and Dad that it's time to start paying his own car insurance. Personal Capital is targeting users between the ages of 35 and 65 who have a higher net worth and lots of other obligations.
The obvious question is, why now? All of the other personal finance options out there popped up for a reason: we're in a recession and we're all losing money like nobody's business. Is now the right time for a personal finance service for the moderately wealthy? Find out in my next interview with Bill Harris.