Fixing Account Sync Errors in Personal Capital

I love collecting data about my life. I track the things I get done, the foods I eat, the dollars I spend, the books I read, and my net worth.

I recently switched from Mint.com (better for tracking spending) to Personal Capital (better for tracking investments) to more effectively track my investments and make better decisions for the long term.

When I was making the move to Personal Capital, I found that some of my accounts weren’t syncing properly - Personal Capital said the username/password I was supplying was incorrect. I knew this couldn’t be the case since (1) I just logged into the account successfully outside of Personal Capital and (2) I use a password manager and was copy/pasting directly into Personal Capital.

Searching Google offered some help, but not much. I found other people having trouble connecting their accounts like me, but nothing resolved (folks, this post is for you). Even so, I figured the problem had to be on my end, since these were pretty significant financial institutions I was using and I thought there was no way syncing was broken for everyone.

After trying a few different things, I settled on my password manager. I’ve had troubles in the past with various websites balking at the length or choice of special-characters 1Password picked for me.

I changed my password on one of the broken account links to a strict alphanumeric password under 15 characters (something like Lhfey982DP7Z2FF) and everything worked.

I played around with the configuration some more and from what I can tell, Personal Capital is stripping out characters it doesn’t like from your password, and sending the cleaned password to your financial institution with characters missing - which will make your password incorrect.

From what I can tell, here are the characters not allowed in your password that Personal Capital won’t warn you about. The list may be a bit different, but this is probably a safe place to start: >, <, /, \, ], [.

If you are experiencing the same problem, change your password to something without the characters above and try again. Hopefully, everything will work out for you.

In retrospect, a warning on Personal Capital’s side would have been nice, but all my accounts are syncing properly now, so I’m over it.

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