Moneydance vs Personal Capital 2024

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
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Navigating the world of personal finance software can be a daunting task, with numerous options available, each offering a unique blend of features and tools designed to help users manage their finances effectively. Two notable contenders in this space are Moneydance and Personal Capital (now known as Empower).

While Moneydance offers a comprehensive suite of tools aimed at providing users with detailed insights into their financial picture, Personal Capital (Empower) brings to the table a robust platform focused on investment tracking and wealth management, coupled with budgeting capabilities.

This comparison aims to dissect the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, providing readers with a clear understanding of what each software excels at and how they cater to different financial management needs.

Moneydance is Better for:Personal Capital is Better for:
Ideal for users preferring a one-time purchase with no ongoing feesPerfect for users focused on investment tracking and retirement planning
Best for those needing advanced budgeting and transaction managementOptimal for individuals looking for a free tool for financial oversight
Suitable for users who favor desktop applications with optional mobile syncingIdeal for those who prefer a comprehensive wealth management dashboard
Great for individuals seeking extensive customization and reporting capabilitiesBest suited for users who value personalized investment advice (with premium services)

Introducing the Platforms


Moneydance is a versatile personal finance software that offers users a detailed and customizable view of their financial life. From budgeting to investment tracking, bill payment, and more, Moneydance provides an all-encompassing solution for those looking to take control of their finances.

Its one-time purchase model makes it an attractive option for users seeking to avoid monthly or annual subscription fees associated with many other personal finance tools. Moneydance’s powerful reporting capabilities allow users to generate detailed insights into their spending, income, and overall financial health, making it easier to make informed decisions.

Detailed Moneydance Review

Personal Capital (Empower)

Personal Capital (Empower), formerly known as Personal Capital, has rebranded itself as Empower, expanding its suite of financial tools and services. Empower stands out for its emphasis on investment management and retirement planning, offering users a clear view of their asset allocation, investment performance, and opportunities for portfolio optimization.

While its core features are available for free, Empower also offers premium advisory services for users seeking personalized financial advice. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive dashboard make tracking your financial life, from cash flow to investment growth, both simple and insightful.

Full Review of Empower

Moneydance logo Personal Capital
Type of Service Personal Finance Software Wealth Management & Personal Finance App
Best Use Investment Tracking & Budgeting Comprehensive Financial Planning
Customer Support Email Support & Knowledge Base Phone Support, Email, and Live Chat
Unique Features Local Data Storage, Customizable Reports Personalized Investment Advice, Retirement Planner
Accessibility Desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux), Mobile App Web, iOS, and Android App
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Modest Money Overall Rating
4.4 rating based on 5 ratings
4.4 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: User Interface and Accessibility

Moneydance offers a customizable interface that caters to users who enjoy tailoring their financial software to their needs

  • Personal Capital (Empower) provides a streamlined dashboard that presents all financial data in an easily digestible format.
  • Moneydance is preferred for its adaptability and customization options.

While Moneydance features a somewhat traditional interface, it compensates with extensive customization options, allowing users to adjust the layout, reports, and functionality to their liking. This flexibility is particularly appealing to users who have specific requirements for how they track and analyze their financial data.

Personal Capital (Empower), on the other hand, simplifies the user experience with a modern, clean dashboard that aggregates all financial information, offering a comprehensive overview at a glance. However, Moneydance’s adaptability and the ability to tailor the software extensively give it an edge for users seeking a personalized finance management experience.

Factor 2: Investment Tracking and Analysis

Personal Capital (Empower) excels in offering advanced investment analysis tools and personalized wealth management advice

  • Moneydance provides detailed investment tracking features, including support for various types of securities and real-time updates.
  • For in-depth investment tracking and analysis, Personal Capital (Empower) is the superior choice.

Moneydance’s investment tracking capabilities are robust, with support for stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more, making it an excellent tool for users who want to keep a close eye on their investment portfolios.

However, Personal Capital (Empower) takes investment analysis to the next level by not only tracking but also analyzing your portfolio’s performance against various benchmarks and providing personalized investment advice.

Factor 3: Budgeting and Expense Tracking

Moneydance offers advanced budgeting features, including customizable categories and detailed reporting

  • Personal Capital (Empower) provides an intuitive budgeting tool with automatic categorization of expenses.
  • Moneydance stands out for users who prefer detailed and customizable budgeting options.

Moneydance shines with its budgeting capabilities, allowing users to create highly detailed and customized budgets tailored to their financial goals. With its ability to track expenses across various accounts and categories, users gain a comprehensive understanding of their spending patterns, enabling more informed financial decisions.

On the other hand, Personal Capital (Empower) offers a more streamlined approach to budgeting, with an emphasis on simplicity and automatic categorization of expenses, making it ideal for users who prefer a hands-off approach. However, for those who value depth and customization in their budgeting process, Moneydance offers a superior toolkit.

Factor 4: Security and Privacy

Moneydance prioritizes user privacy with local data storage and robust encryption

  • Personal Capital (Empower) ensures security with encryption and other protective measures but stores data in the cloud.
  • Moneydance is preferred for users who prioritize high-level data privacy and local storage.

In the digital age, security and privacy are paramount, especially when dealing with sensitive financial information. Moneydance understands this concern and addresses it by storing all data locally on the user’s device, protected by robust encryption. This approach not only secures the data against unauthorized access but also gives users full control over their financial information.

While Personal Capital (Empower) also employs stringent security measures to protect user data, its reliance on cloud storage might not sit well with users who are particularly cautious about online data storage. Moneydance’s commitment to privacy and local data storage gives it an edge for privacy-conscious users.

Factor 5: Accessibility and Integration

Personal Capital (Empower) offers a highly accessible web-based platform and mobile apps with seamless integration across devices

  • Moneydance supports a wide range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile devices.
  • Personal Capital (Empower) is preferred for its cross-platform accessibility and ease of use.

Accessibility plays a crucial role in personal finance management, as users often need to access their financial data across multiple devices. Personal Capital (Empower) excels in this area by providing a seamless experience whether accessing the platform via web or mobile apps. The intuitive design and synchronization ensure that users can manage their finances effortlessly, regardless of the device they use.

Moneydance, while offering broad platform support, including for Linux users, may not provide the same level of seamless integration and ease of use as Personal Capital (Empower), especially for those who rely heavily on mobile and web access for their financial tracking.

The Verdict

In the comparison between Moneydance and Personal Capital (Empower), both platforms exhibit strengths in different areas of personal finance management. Moneydance appeals to users seeking a one-time purchase software with extensive customization options, advanced budgeting and investment tracking features, and a strong emphasis on data privacy and local storage.

On the other hand, Personal Capital (Empower), with its holistic approach to financial management, advanced investment analysis tools, and seamless cross-platform accessibility, is ideal for users looking for comprehensive financial oversight and wealth management advice.

Ultimately, the choice between Moneydance and Personal Capital (Empower) depends on individual preferences, financial goals, and priorities in terms of budgeting, investment tracking, and data privacy. Users should consider these factors carefully to select the platform that best aligns with their financial management needs.

To explore Moneydance’s features and see if it fits your financial management style, click here. If Personal Capital seems like the right choice for your needs, go here. If you’d like to weigh out more options, check out my best net worth tracker article.

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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.