Account Minimums & Management Fees
Ease of Use
Tools & Resources
Empower is a comprehensive financial management app designed to help individuals take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals.
- Individual securities available
- Free, comprehensive investment management tools
- Dedicated financial advisors
- Advanced tax optimization strategy
- Amazing User Experience
- $100,000 account minimum
- High management fee
We are huge advocates of investing for your future, and if you are serious about starting, Empower is one of the best for helping you with this.
Empower is an online tool that can help you get financial planning- for free! They have changed the way we do financial planning, and think they could do wonders for you, too.
So, of course, we need to do an Empower Review to run through all of the features that Empower offers and show you how we track our investments for free.
Empower Review 2024: Key Takeaways
- Empower (formerly Personal Capital) is a powerful financial app that helps users make smarter decisions about their money with free financial management tools.
- It provides users with a comprehensive overview of their finances, including investment tools, retirement planning, and budget trackers.
- Empower is free to use and offers a secure account that allows users to link all of their bank accounts in one spot for easy tracking and monitoring of their finances.
- The platform also features an impressive array of educational resources, including articles and videos that help users better understand investing basics and how to make informed decisions when it comes to managing their money.
- It works as an investment advisor and offers financial planning services, giving users access to a suite of powerful free financial tools and experienced financial advisors who can provide personalized guidance on how to grow wealth over time.
Empower (formerly Personal Capital) is an online financial advisor and wealth management service that provides free tools and investment advisory.
They were founded in 2009 by Bill Harris, Rob Foregger, Louie Gasparini, and Paul Bergholm, with headquarters in California. They have $12 billion in assets under management.
Empower’s best for people who need free money management tools, maybe an additional paid wealth management service, but it comes down to a bit more than that.
You’ll want to use Empower if you want free and hands-off management, tax optimization, and real financial advisors- but you also need to be an investor with a higher net worth in your portfolio to meet the account minimum.
If you’re new to investing, you may not have the minimum $100,000 in your accounts to qualify- but if you’re a beginner using Robinhood to invest in stocks and crypto, you may get there sooner than you think!
How Empower Works
Empower works by allowing you to link all of your financial accounts so that you can see them all in one place.
Their main focus is on investing, with various dashboards so that you can have a general overview of all of your financials.
In order to do this, you’ll need to go to the Empower login and then link all of your accounts – checking accounts, retirement accounts, etc.
Empower will help you to work on your financial goals each month by seeing a broad overview of your cash flow and income.
Empower’s Unique Features
There are several features that Empower offers so you can review your money, see your cash flow, and more.
Here’s a quick list before we talk more about their most popular features:
- 401(k) Fee Analyzer
- Asset Allocation Target
- Education Planner
- Email notifications
- Exclude From Advice
- Investment Services- Checkup
- Empower Cash
- Retirement Planner
- Retirement Paycheck
- Upcoming Bills
Net Worth Tool
Looking at your net worth is a good idea to get an overall higher look at your finances, and Empower has it all in one easy app for you.
When you do the equation to calculate your net worth, you’ re doing your assets – liabilities.
Your assets are everything that you own e.g. cash, investments, jewelry, etc.
Your liabilities are anything that you owe money on, such as any debts you may have – student loans, credit card balances, mortgages, etc.
But a net worth tracker can do it instantly for you!
With the Empower app, you are able to link all of your assets and liabilities, so it will be able to populate your net worth within the dashboard.
Every time that you log in you will be able to see (hopefully!) the positive growth of your net worth.
Budgeting With Empower
I love the budgeting section of Empower because you can divide your spending into categories, which will allocate percentages to each category.
This helps you to be able to see how much you are spending in each category and make any adjustments as needed.
You are also able to set a monthly savings target and keep track of it within this area.
Cash Flow Analyzer
Empower will log your income and expenses and provide a data chart of your cash flow.
This is helpful because you can have an overall view of your daily spending and how it impacts your finances.
Want to have a look at your portfolio? Empower helps you to do just that with asset allocation and investment check up features.
This is helpful, especially when you have a diverse portfolio – it will save you from logging in to all of your different accounts.
You can create a portfolio that works harder and is more tax-efficient.
Retirement Planning- Fee Analyzer
You may very well want a retirement planner to make sure you’re not working your life away once you hit 65.
You want to retire early, but paying fees on your money may put that off too much!
Empower makes retirement planning easier. In their fee analyzer, you can see how these fees impact your situation and any hidden fees in your mutual funds.
You pay fees on your retirement accounts like any investment assets, but they don’t take any additional funds, which could change your retirement date.
Plus, you can take that information and see what Empower’s financial advisors recommend you do to keep more money in your pocket.
Cash Management Account
They now offer a Cash Management Account, which they call Empower Cash.
As you’d expect, this is an account where you’re money comes all together after you get paid, and it’s insured by the FDIC like most major bank branches.
There is no account minimum, but your money will earn 2.02% APY, which could compete with what your current bank is offering.
The one drawback is that we haven’t seen an update on getting a debit card with the account- it’s in the works for cash management accounts but isn’t there yet.
Empower Wealth Management Tiers
There are 3 tiers to Empower:
Investment Service (Investment Management)- this is the beginner tier to Empower’s offerings, where you get a portfolio geared toward your financial goals, comprised of ETFs that Empower rebalances and manages for you.
The investment accounts are covered for investors with $100,000 – $200,000 and include 1 financial advisor.
Wealth Management Service- this is the middle tier that invests in ETFs plus individual stocks for you.
You have more advisors dedicated to your portfolio, plus they can give you advice on stock options, insurance, and more.
Users in this tier have $200,000 – $1 million, where you get 2 financial advisors.
Private Client- Empower’s final tier invests in all of the above plus bonds, private equity, and more retirement options.
Your account will need to total over $1 million to fall into this category, and all that money means you’ll have more advisors to support you- and help you with tax loss harvesting and tax optimization.
How to Sign Up For Empower
If you’ve decided that you want to now sign up with Empower for all of the great benefits, then here is how to do it.
All that you need to sign up is:
- Your email address
- A password
- Your phone number
Your phone number is used to verify your identity.
Once you’re all signed up, you need to connect your financial accounts. Then you can track your investments and get help with your financial planning!
Wealth Management Service
Empower is free to use unless you qualify for the Wealth Management Services.
You have to pay a fee between 0.49% – 0.89% if you have more than $200,000.
It’s an advisory service with financial advisors available to help you manage your financial portfolio.
Empower is $0 to sign up for and has many free tools to use to manage your money and track your investments.
If you want to use the more advanced (paid) wealth management services that Empower offers, you can opt in if you want more help managing your investments.
The wealth management fees are as follows:
For Investment Services & Wealth Management Clients
- First $1 million – 0.89%
For Private Clients
- First $3 million – 0.79%
- Next $2 million – 0.69%
- Next $5 million – 0.59%
- Over $10 million – 0.49%
Now the fees may seem a bit high to you, but a financial advisor sometimes charges 1% of your account at a minimum elsewhere, so Empower’s fees aren’t necessarily the highest we’ve seen.
Having an Empower financial advisor costs a lot less, and you get a lot more!
Plus, you can get a team of advisors, and Empower does the investing for you- taking work off your hands.
Is Empower safe?
This is a good question and one that you should always ask when setting up something new – especially if it is something hooked up to your bank and investments.
Nobody within the Empower company will be able to access your financial information – they take that aspect very seriously.
You will need to register every computer that you use and authorize the device that you are using to access it.
A handy feature is that you aren’t actually able to do any withdrawals or transfers within Empower- it is just an overview of your finances.
If you want to know more about Empower security, check out their blog post explaining how they do personal security.
Is Empower really free?
If you make more than $200,000, then you automatically qualify for Empower’s Wealth Management services, which charge 0.49% – 0.89% for money management.
If you want to access additional features, that’s where you will pay for those, but there are no hidden charges.
Within the free version, you are able to get a lot of information, such as budgeting, and a retirement planner, which is handy to get a grip on your finances.
Where can I invest my money?
If you’re interested in the best investments, you can get Robo-advisors to help you manage your money as your wealth grows.
Robo-advisors handle investment services from start to finish, including adjusting your portfolio to be beneficial and tax-efficient.
Betterment auto-invests your money, rebalances your investments, and so much more, so if you want to set it and forget it while still making more and saving more, then check it out!
If you’re interested in all that hands-off investing plus more account options (like retirement!) and some lower account minimums, you should check out Betterment.
Read more about this Robo-advisor in my Betterment Review.
Quicken is a comprehensive personal finance software that allows users to efficiently manage their budgeting and other financial needs.
It offers a plethora of features like tracking expenses, creating budgets, managing bills, and even tracking investments.
These capabilities can provide users with a clear picture of their financial health and guide them in making informed decisions.
With Quicken, budgeting becomes a simplified process. Users can set spending limits for different categories and track their expenses against these budgets.
Quicken also connects to your bank and credit card accounts, automatically categorizing your transactions and updating your budget.
This eliminates manual data entry and makes keeping track of spending easy and accurate.
For investments, Quicken provides a platform for tracking and managing your portfolio. You can monitor performance, check balances, and even project income.
It also offers tools for tax planning and preparing, making it easier to comply with obligations and avoid last-minute stress.
As for cost, Quicken offers several subscription plans tailored to suit various needs, starting at $34.99 per year.
I think the price is worth all that you get, but Empower offers a lot of features for $0 and is worth trying out first if you’re looking for a Mint alternative!
The fact that Empower is free and you get access to so much information makes it a no-brainer for us.
My opinion is that you should try out a bunch of different things and find out which works best for you.
If you aren’t sure which one to pick when looking at Mint vs Empower, we recommend checking out our article, which compares the two.