Skip to content

Fixing Account Sync Errors in Personal Capital

Robert Greiner
Robert Greiner
1 min read

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 (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.

Please consider subscribing, it's free.

Robert Greiner Twitter

Professional optimist. I write a weekly newsletter for humans at the intersection of business, technology, leadership, and career growth.