FinDEVr Live: Personal Capital Describes Data-Driven Retirement Planning

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PersonalCapitalHomepage | | @PersonalCapital

PersonalCapitalLogoPersonal Capital is a next generation financial advisor, named by CNBC as a “Top Disruptor” for our innovative approach to wealth management. Our award-winning free tools and mobile apps give clients a complete picture of their net worth, and we offer comprehensive financial advisory services previously only available to the ultra-wealthy. This combination of high-tech and high-touch drives our ability to deliver truly personal and objective wealth management for the Internet and mobile age. We believe this is the best way to empower individuals and their money.

Data-Driven Retirement Planning:
Presenting the inner workings of a truly data-driven retirement planner created by leveraging user’s aggregated financial data, enhanced by machine learning and personalized by user’s life events and goals. We will discuss how the investing and financial planning strategies are triggered to update as the user moves through different stages of her life and makes changes to her spending and saving behaviors. Finally, we will show how this functionality is visualized through a UI that makes sophisticated algorithms and complex data easy to use for any user, regardless of investing knowledge.”

Key takeaways

  • How we employ machine learning techniques to forecast growth of a user’s portfolio and
    estimate available retirement spending
  • How we create a connected ecosystem that allows a user and his/her dedicated advisor to collaborate on the same financial data and retirement plan
  • How we use AWS infrastructure to supercharge our data-driven retirement planner



Fritz Robbins, CTO
LinkedIn | @fritz_robbins |
Fritz Robbins is the CTO of Personal Capital, responsible for definition and execution of the technology roadmap and leadership of the technology teams. He has previously led technology and engineering efforts at Wells Fargo, Excite@Home, RSA Security, and elsewhere.

Ehsan Lavassani, VP Engineering & Founding Engineer
LinkedIn | @EhsanLavassani |
Ehsan Lavassani is Personal Capital’s VP Engineerying and its first employee. He architected Personal Capital’s core systems from ground up and formed its world-class engineering team. Previously, he was one of the main architects of RSA’s Adaptive Authentication system.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

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FinDEVr2015LogoV2DateAre you building new financial technology? Be sure to register soon for the only event exclusive for fintech developers, FinDEVr 2015, Oct 6-7 (fewer than a week away!) in San Francisco.

Developer news:

  • Thomson Reuters considers how APIs are changing the fintech narrative.

The latest from upcoming FinDEVr 2015 presenters:

  • FinDEVr San Francisco 2015 Presenters All Mapped Out.
  • PayPal unveils its chip card reader in the U.S.
  • Hyperwallet counts down to next week’s FinDEVr  developer conference.
  • Munich-Based Fidor Bank Launches in the UK.
  • OnDeck partners with Association for Enterprise Opportunity to facilitate up to $10 million in small business loans.
  • Aerospike releases version 3.6 of its NoSQL operational database.
  • TechCrunch: Klarna adds American Express as a partner.
  • Emerging Payments Awards selects Hyperwallet as a finalist for the Best Corporate/Government Payments Program award for 2015.
  • Braintree and PayPal reflect on their two year anniversary.
  • CNET features Personal Capital in a look at investment in robo-advisors.
  • Kaspersky’s blog mentions Twilio’s Authy as a way to protect you ID on a smartphone.
  • Avalara announces the availability of a benefits program exclusively for U.S. QuickBooks ProAdvisors® and their clients.
  • Celent advises banks to be more like Fidor Bank in order to remain relevant.
  • The Neutral Internet Exchange NL-ix will use Interxion Cloud Connect to connect to Microsoft Azure as a part of its new cloud connectivity services.
  • MX Lands $4 Million from CheckFree Founder Pete Kight.

Alumni updates:

  • Xero surpasses milestone of 100,000 subscribers in the UK.

Stay up to date on daily developments by following FinDEVr on Twitter.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

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FinDEVr2015LogoV2DateAre you building new financial technology? Be sure to register soon for the only event exclusive for fintech developers, FinDEVr 2015, Oct 6-7 (fewer than 2 weeks away!) in San Francisco.

Developer news:

  • Fusion, Switzerland’s first fintech accelerator, selects 10 start-ups for its 12-month acceleration program that starts on October 5.

The latest from upcoming FinDEVr 2015 presenters:

  • PayPal explains its recently launched API Transactions Dashboard.
  • BehavioSec joins PwC’s Accelerator Programme.
  • Personal Capital appoints Mark Goines as CMO.
  • Business Insider ranks Currency Cloud among top fintech companies in Britain.
  • Let’s Talk Payments lists 25 top alternative lending startups including OnDeck.
  • Kanto X Hits Over $2 Billion in Currency Exchange Transactions.
  • 7-Eleven and PayNearMe launch PayNearMe Bill Pay app, a full-service bill payment center.
  • OnDeck and Intuit join forces to launch $100 million lending fund for small businesses.

Alumni updates:

  • Dynamic Trend integrates with Tradier Brokerage API.
  • Xero previews two new features – Billable Expenses and Invoice Reminders – for small business users of its platform.

Stay up to date on daily developments by following FinDEVr on Twitter.

FinDEVr Preview: Personal Capital

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FinDEVr2015LogoV2DateToday starts our FinDEVr Preview blog series. On October 6 & 7 in San Francisco, 60 companies will present their latest developer tools, tips, and integrations. Register today and don’t miss out.

Personal Capital will present the inner workings of a truly data-driven retirement planner based on users’ aggregated data and enhanced by machine learning. Each personalized plan is refreshed as the market or user’s spending or saving behaviors change and is served up on a UI that makes sophisticated algorithms and complex data intuitive and actionable.


Why it’s a must-see:
Personal Capital’s AWS infrastructure supercharges a data-driven retirement planner that employs machine-learning techniques to better forecast growth of a user’s portfolio and estimate her retirement spending. The company’s connected ecosystem allows a user and her dedicated advisors to collaborate on the same data and retirement plan.

Check out more of today’s FinDEVr Preview posts:

FinDEVr APIntelligence

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FinDEVr2015LogoV2DateAre you building new financial technology? Be sure to register soon for the only event exclusively for fintech developers, FinDEVr 2015, Oct 6-7 in San Francisco.

Industry news:

  • Expensify launches new fintech investment fund.
  • Yodlee hosts webinar on how to build financial apps to meet evolving customer expectations.
  • The Full FinDEVr: A Look at the Final Line-Up for FinDEVr 2015 San Francisco.

The latest from upcoming FinDEVr 2015 presenters:

  • Wallaby Upgrades Credit Card Optimization Solution with Spend Monitor.
  • Backbase-powered Touch Bank goes live in Russia.
  • PayPal hires former United Airlines executive, John Rainey, as new CFO.
  • EVO Snap* to fast track EMV migration for Software Vendors and retailers; partners with Handpoint.
  • NerdWallet looks at Personal Capital in feature on how automation is disrupting investing.
  • BehavioSec mentioned as one “wild invention of the future” that the Pentagon is behind.
  • OnDeck rolls out mobile app for account management on-the-go.
  • PYMNTS looks at how PayPal’s Paydiant is powering Subway’s mobile payments app.

Alumni updates:

  • Market Visual integrates with Tradier’s API to enable investors to manage stock portfolios and trade on a single platform.
  • Tradier announces 75+ investor platforms and advisors now integrate with its API.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews PayStand CEO, Jeremy Almond.
  • In its latest podcast, Payments Views talks with HCE inventor and CEO of SimplyTapp, Doug Yeager.
  • Mobile Payments Today looks at InComm’s drive to bring open-loop prepaid to mobile wallets.
  • PayNearMe partners with The California Department of Child Support Services to offer a new payment option for cash-paying customers.

Stay up to date on daily developments by following FinDEVr on Twitter.

The FinDEVr APIntelligence

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Are you building new financial technology? Be sure to register now for the only event exclusively for fintech developers, FinDEVr 2015, Oct 6-7 in San Francisco. 


The latest from FinDEVr 2015 presenters:

  • Pinterest turns to  Braintree to power PayPal payment option for browsing consumers.
  • FinDEVr 2015: First Round of Presenting Companies Revealed.
  • Backbase set to launch its first hackathon 19 and 20 of June.
  • Spreedly now supports third party tokens to help merchants continue to process transactions using their existing gateway-specific tokens from within Spreedly.
  • Thinking Capital  announces new name, visual identity and tagline.
  • SandHill mentions  SnoopWall as 1 of 5 Cool Pre-VC Cybersecurity Startups.
  • Avalara  acquires Belgium-based VAT Applications.
  • UPS Capital Partners integrates with Kabbage to offer more SMBs access to a loan through UPS.

Alumni updates:

  • Xero  developing business apps that Apple is using to help market the iPad’s use in business.
  • looks at how Trulioo’s API defends startups against credit card fraud.
  • Xero  reaches 500,000 customers for its cloud accounting service, sets sights on 1 million customer milestone.
  • Verizon Ventures welcomes  SimplyTapp to its portfolio of investments.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, Fandango, Sundance Catalog and Williams-Sonoma have all integrated Visa Checkout into their apps.
  • NerdWallet turns to  Trulioo CEO Stepehn Ufford CEO offers 5 steps to protect against cyberthreats.

Stay up to date on daily developments by following FinDEVr on Twitter.

Personal Capital Announces $50 Million Series D Round

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Personal Capital has announced a new investment of $50 million.

The Series D round was led by Corsair Capital, BBVA Ventures, and USAA, with current investors Crosslink, IVP, and Venrock also participating. The investment takes Personal Capital’s total funding to $109 million.

Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris said, “This infusion will help accelerate our already-rapid growth – we’ve seen revenue increases of 10% or more each month for the past seven quarters.”
It’s one thing to have a banner year in funding for alternative investment services. Between Personal Capital and Wealthfront, the sector is having a banner week. In a statement, Corsair Capital’s Jeremy Schein positioned Personal Capital at the “intersection of consumer technology and financial services.” It will be interesting to see how the platform continues to distinguish itself on what is an increasingly crowded corner.
Personal Capital differentiates itself with an approach that blends the PFM and online investors advisory approaches in order to provide an “end-to-end” money management system. And unlike the “robo-advisors” it is often grouped with, Personal Capital uses a technology-assisted advisor strategy, in which real-live human financial advisors play a key role in helping clients plot their financial plans.
As Harris explained in a talked-about interview on CNBC from earlier this year: 
“We take the best of traditional wealth management, which is typically only available to people with multiple millions of dollars. We take that sophisticated and customized financial management, and bring it down and make it available to regular people, affluent households in this country.”
On the technology side, Personal Capital’s online and mobile apps give clients the ability to discover their net worth, track and manage cash flow and budgets, and check up on investments, including 401(k)s. Clients can review finances on their desktop, tablet, or smartphone and, when ready, schedule a consultation with a Personal Capital financial advisor.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Redwood City, California, Personal Capital demoed its One Click Investment Proposals at FinovateSpring 2014. See a video of the company’s presentation.

FinDEVr Preview: Paradigm4, PayNearMe, Personal Capital, StockTwits, and Tradier

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Here’s Part Three of our final preview of the companies that will be demoing their technologies on Tuesday, September 30, Day One of FinDEVr. In this installment, we look at:

Click here for Part One. Part Two is available here.
FinDEVr is less than a week away. But there’s still time to get your tickets and save your spot.


Paradigm4 develops and supports SciDB: the open source, analytic DBMS; programmable from R & Python. SciDB is designed from the ground up to support more facile data management for Big and Diverse data and to do faster and bigger math. Hard questions. Fast answers. Open source.

Keynote: Crypto-Currency and Massive Network Analysis
We’ll begin with a graphical overview of a crypto-currency financial network, discuss the key issues and challenges around massive network analysis and then demonstrate our solution using SciDB via the RStudio user interface.
Why it’s great for developers:
More data science, less computer science with SciDB:
  • Horizontally scalable on commodity HW
  • Massively parallel matrix math
  • Programmable from R or Python
Big analytics without big hassles. Hard questions. Fast answers. Open source.


PayNearMe enables consumers to pay rent, repay loans, buy tickets, make online purchases, and do much more with cash. Consumers can make cash payments in their own neighborhood in less than 60 seconds through PayNearMe’s network of 17,000 authorized payment locations including 7-Eleven, Family Dollar, and ACE Cash Express stores.

Keynote: Bringing Cash Payments into the 21st Century
PayNearMe secrets unveiled. Why do we even bother with innovating cash? How we developed a system to digitize cash? And how modern development techniques laid the foundation for PayNearMe to become the fastest growing electronic cash transaction network?
Workshop: Strong But Agile: Innovation When Money is On the Line
Innovation in fintech happens faster than ever. When working with other people’s money, there is no room for error. How do you build teams and systems that are flexible for agile product development and rigid for security and reliability? What’s the relevance of historical payment systems? And what about Bitcoin?
Why it’s great for developers:
  • Supports endless number of payment use-cases including mobile, web, printed, and embedded barcodes.
  • Offers real-time communication path and various payment authorization options
  • Multiple implementation paths
The PayNearMe cash transaction platform is extremely flexible, handles the heavy lifting for merchants, and can plug into a large array of payment use cases.


Personal Capital helps people live better financial lives with technology-enabled advisory services as well as free financial software and educational content. Their award-winning apps enable you to effortlessly view your entire financial life in one place. Personal Capital brings to everyone wealth management that previously only the wealthiest could afford.

Keynote: The Art of Data Aggregation
This presentation is for developers and engineers who build applications on top of data gathered from multiple sources. The objective of our data aggregation platform is to model (and report) a user’s complete financial life.
We share the three key architectural principles that have made this platform possible:
  • Owning the aggregated data to improve quality
  • Synthesizing data and developing machine learning intelligence to obtain unique insights
  • Developing APIs that hide data complexities to drive efficient UI development
Why it’s great for developers:
  • Better data quality by owning collected data
  • Unique insights via data synthesis & machine learning intelligence
  • Efficient UI development via APIs that hide data complexities
We create complex models of a user’s financial life using a rich data aggregation platform and present it to the user in a simple and straightforward way.


StockTwits is a social network and publishing platform for investors and traders. We created the $ prefix of stocks (e.g. $MSFT). Follow @StockTwits and go to stock of real-time ideas and stock conversations.

Keynote: Investing in a Social, Local and Mobile World
We are in a mobile boom that has connected people who also happen to be investors. The markets have always been giant mood rings, but the periods of quiet and volatility are more intense. We’re discussing the best ways to use StockTwits to invest in the social era.
Why it’s great for developers:
  • Get caught up on what stocks and markets are trending fast
  • Follow smart people that speed your financial markets learning curve
  • Leverage relationships to make money
Our mobile apps are easy to use and the trending ticker along with our suggested list make staying in tune with markets easy and doable in 10-20 mi
nutes a day.


Tradier is a financial services cloud provider that offers a groundbreaking solution to serve platform providers, developers, and investors. The Tradier solution features an innovative set of fully hosted APIs, modules, and “out of the box” tools that are leveraged by a growing list of providers.

Keynote: An API Like Never Before – Do What Matters and the Rest Is Already Done
Have you ever tried to build a financial market app? It is painful and just about impossible. Too much data, trading, platform and process barriers. Tradier has done all that heavy lifting for you. An API that abstracts the pain and delivers the gain.
Why it’s great for developers:
  • Free developer access (no brokerage account required)
  • Historical market data going back nearly 30 years
  • A Broker who does not compete against you
Removal of barriers to financial market app innovation. Ease of implementation with fully-supported APIs.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our FinDEVr Preview series. We’ll be back in a week with our preview of companies presenting and holding workshops on Day Two / October 1 of FinDEVr.

And if you missed our previous editions of our FinDEVr Preview, the links below will help get you up to date.

Personal Capital’s Financial Management App Now Available on Android Wear

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Thanks to Personal Capital, when it comes to finance and investing, you can take it with you.

Personal Capital announced yesterday that its finance management app is now available on Android’s smart watch, Android Wear.

Personal Capital Chief Product Officer Jim Del Favero called wearable devices “the next evolution of mobile.”  When users have Personal Capital on their Android Wear device, they can access a full suite of PFM functionality with them wherever they go.
The free app is available for download in the Google Play Store. Features include:
    • YouIndex: end of the day notification feature that compares your portfolio (your “YouIndex”) to the S&P 500 and other stock market indices
    • Advice and Alerts: personalized notifications for goal-tracking
    • Actionable Information: an omni-channel experience that allows users to access the app on more than one device
Part of a growing ecosystem of alternative investment management services, Personal Capital differs from so-called “robo-advisors” by not just relying on algorithms to make investment decisions. Technology plays a role, of course. Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris said in a June interview with CNBC that automated tools helped “discipline” the investment process, and refers to his company as “technology-assisted.” But in combining technology with what he calls “sophisticated and customized management” Personal Capital brings a wealth management model that has worked for high net worth individuals to a broader, “mass affluent” market.
Personal Capital is headquartered in Redwood City, California, and was founded in 2009. The company last demoed at the FinovateSpring conference in San Jose earlier this year. See a video of the company on stage here.