Financial Planning Operational Handbook Application Review

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Operation manual


$79 per month or $39 per month if you pay for an annual subscription

Operation manual


$79 per month or $39 per month if you pay for an annual subscription


$79 per month or $39 per month if you pay for an annual subscription

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Pros and Cons

Operation guide features

Why it stands out: The Playbook makes it easy to find a strategy for achieving your life goals, whether that’s saving for a home, investing for retirement, or getting out of debt. The interface guides you through the process of setting up and starting to invest, step by step, and it’s easy to link your accounts.

The program is designed to benefit people who earn at least $100,000 a year, and the pricing reflects that. However, the interface is uncluttered and doesn’t require you to make many decisions to get started. Many of us miss out on tax benefits that could benefit our revenue in the long run because we don’t use them before they expire, and Playbook ensures that you get the most out of those benefits before they expire.

Pricing: $79 per month (billed monthly) or $39 per month if you pay for an annual subscription ($468 per year).

looking for: Playbook is not designed for sophisticated investors. The streamlined interface is probably a plus for some but may not be a good match for the higher net worth investors you’re targeting. The lack of online documentation and FAQ does not build confidence, and it does not (yet) have a mobile app. Playbook launched in July 2021, and it appears to be a platform that hasn’t been fully developed yet. Perhaps future iterations will be more powerful.

Playbook offers a 7-day free trial, which isn’t too long to try out the account before you decide if you want to continue. The lack of information on their website means that creating an account is the only way to find out if it has the features you need.

Because of the pricing structure, it is quite expensive to test this software after the free trial period. If you are new to automated investment management, other platforms will allow you to try it out at a lower cost.

How does the operating manual compare

Side by side shot

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High income earners who want to take advantage of investments to reduce taxes.

Investors who have at least $100,000 to allocate to stocks, ETFs, private equity, or bonds.

Non-dealt investors who want to take advantage of professionally built and personalized portfolios.

Stay away from investors who don’t want to trade on their own.

Playbook is not as full-featured as Betterment or Personal Capital. Improving is a better option if you’re new to investing or don’t have much to put in, and Personal Capital may be the preferred option for high net worth investors who want a more personal touch. And unlike other apps, Playbook doesn’t have a mobile app (although their website says one is coming).

However, the Playbook may well serve those in the middle. Unlike the other two, it offers automated investment management with a fixed fee instead of an asset under management (AUM) fee that takes a small portion of your investment capital and eats away at your long-term gains. And if the amount you pay in taxes is a weakness, all three platforms offer tax-deferred investments, but Playbook has the strongest focus on lowering your tax bill.

When it comes to fees, Wealthfront charges an annual advisory fee of 0.25%, which may be better than the Playbook fee model if you have less money to manage.

Playbook vs Personal Capital

Personal Capital offers free tools that anyone can use, but if you want to access their advisory services, you will have to pay a 0.49% to 0.89% management fee. Since it requires a minimum investment of $100,000, its running costs are higher than those of Playbook.

Unlike Playbook, you’ll be working with live financial advisors at Personal Capital, so it’s the best option if you prefer to get your financial advice from a person. However, if automated investment management works for you, you’ll pay less with Playbook.

Playbook vs. Betterment

The optimization program charges a $4 monthly fee and converts to a 0.25% annual fee once your recurring deposits total $250 or your balance is $20,000 or more. This is still much less expensive than Playbook fees as long as your total investment is less than $187,000. The app doesn’t offer a free trial, but at $4 per month, your first 30 days won’t cost you much.

You can also trade cryptocurrencies for a 1% trading fee, and the app offers a free savings account with 3.20% APY and free checking. Playbook does not provide these additional services.

Like the Playbook, algorithms determine Betterment’s investment strategies.

Improving is an affordable option for novice investors or those with less money to spare. If you want to put a large sum under management, the Playbook may be the most affordable option.

Playbook vs. Wealthfront

Wealthfront charges an annual advisory fee of 0.25%. If you don’t have a lot of investment, this might be a better deal than Playbook’s flat-fee model. For example, if you invest $20,000 in Wealthfront, your annual fee will be $50 instead of $468 in Playbook. However, if you’ve got a big investment, the price cuts the other way: Wealthfront Playbooks’ fees go over if you’re managing more than $187,000.

Is the operating manual trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau gives Playbook a D+ plus rating, even though the company is not BBB accredited. This means that it has not committed itself to responding to BBB complaints. The BBB indicates that many good companies are accredited, but many other good companies are not.

The BBB cites Playbook’s failure to respond to a single complaint and the company’s relatively short time in business as reasons for the D+ rating. The financial planning platform was founded by David Hegarty and launched in 2021. It was incubated as part of venture capital firm Atomic. TikTok and Instagram have mainly been used for marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the operating manual is legit. Its founder, David Hegarty, is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record at reputable financial services companies like Credit Karma. The platform has bank-grade security with 256-bit encryption on their website, and uses Plaid to display your account information securely. Playbook and Plaid do not store personal data.

If you have more than $187k to invest and want to manage automated investing, Playbook is worth it. At this investment level, Playbook’s flat fee (if you opt for the annual plan) is cheaper than investment apps with a total management fee of 0.25% or higher. And if taxes are a pain point for you, consider the Playbook for its focus on tax-cutting strategies.

  • $79 per month, when paid monthly
  • $39 per month on an annual basis (you’ll pay $468 upfront)

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