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Cornerstone Wealth Management Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Cornerstone Wealth Management is a fee-based investment advisory firm focused on serving individuals and families. Though the firm is headquartered in suburban St. Louis, it has additional offices located across the U.S. 

Cornerstone is one of dozens of firms on the LPL Financial platform, which provides firms across the nation with resources and technology to better serve clients. Cornerstone also offers securities through LPL Financial.

Cornerstone Wealth Management Background

Cornerstone Wealth Management was founded in 2005 by Joe Keifer, Cornerstone's managing partner, and Greg Shoemaker, the firm's principal. Shoemaker and Keifer both hold an ownership interest in the firm, and the remaining percentage is held by various employees of Cornerstone.

Cornerstone is one of numerous names that the firm does business as. As mentioned above, Cornerstone is on the LPL Financial platform. It's considered a "large enterprise group" on the platform.

The firm has three certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff, as well as one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC). 

Cornerstone Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Most of Cornerstone's clients are individual investors, with the majority of that group being high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, Cornerstone is capable of working with trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations, limited liability companies and other types of businesses, as well as other investment advisors. 

Cornerstone generally does not have a set account minimum for its asset management services. The only exception is four available programs overseen by third-party money managers.

The Manager Access Network, which gives high-net-worth investors access to institutional portfolio managers, requires a minimum account value of $100,000. A minimum account value of $10,000 is required for the Optimum Market Portfolios Program, which allows clients to invest in Optimum Funds Class I shares. The Personal Wealth Portfolios Program and the Model Wealth Portfolios Program, which offer access to model portfolios designed by LPL Financial, require minimum account values of $250,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Services Offered by Cornerstone Wealth Management

Cornerstone Wealth Management offers the following services to its clients:

  • Asset management
  • Retirement consulting and management
  • Financial planning and consulting 
    • Investment planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning
    • Charitable planning
    • Education planning
    • Cost segregation study
    • Corporate structure
    • Mortgage/debt analysis
    • Insurance analysis
    • Lines of credit evaluation
    • Business and personal financial planning
  • Investment management and research subscription licensing
  • Selection of third-party advisors

Cornerstone Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Cornerstone Wealth Management designs clients' portfolios based on a particular investment goal and it tailors clients' investment strategies according to their needs. Strategies the firm may use include long-term and short-term purchases, trading, short sales and option writing.

Typically, Cornerstone uses individual stocks or bonds, exchange-traded funds, exchange-traded notes, options, mutual funds and other private and public securities of investments in client portfolios. Clients can place restrictions on which securities are used in their portfolios. Once a portfolio has been created, the firm will review it at least once a year and rebalance the portfolio as necessary.

Fees Under Cornerstone Wealth Management

Cornerstone Wealth Management's fees vary by service type. For its investment advisory services, Cornerstone typically charges clients a percentage of assets under management. Rates range up to a maximum of 2.40%. In addition to these fees, clients will be responsible for brokerage, custody, fees and fund expenses, which Cornerstone says it’s required to explain to clients. Clients who are not in a wrap fee program will be subject to transaction fees.

Assets Under Management Asset-based fee
Up to $499,999 Up to 2.4%
$500,000 - $999,999 Up to 1.9%
$1MM and up Up to 1.4%

The fee for LPL accounts will be detailed in the client’s signed advisory agreement, LPL Account Application or LPL Tiered Fee Authorization form.

For retirement consulting and management services, the firm charges an hourly, flat or asset-based fee. Its hourly rate is $250 and flat fees range from $750 to $10,000. For ongoing services, clients may be charged an asset-based fee of up to 2.50%, depending on the level of assets under management.

For financial planning and consulting services, clients are charged an hourly fee of $300 or a flat fee ranging from $500 to $5,000. 

What to Watch out For

Neither Cornerstone Wealth Management nor its advisory affiliates have been subject to disciplinary actions by regulators in the last decade.

Prospective and current clients of Cornerstone Wealth Management should be aware that employees of the firm are also representatives of LPL Financial, a registered broker-dealer. 

Cornerstone generally recommends its clients to use LPL as their custodian/broker. LPL compensates the firm and its dually registered representatives, which may incentivize them to make this recommendation. However, LPL does not influence the firm’s investment advice.

Additionally, employees of Cornerstone may also be insurance agents/brokers, which may present a conflict of interest as they earn money from the sale of insurance products, which may incentivize them to recommend these products.

Despite the conflicts of interest that these additional roles can create, Cornerstone and its advisors are fiduciaries and must always act in the client's best interest.

Opening an Account With Cornerstone Wealth Management

To find a Cornerstone financial advisor to work with, simply go to the firm's website, hover over “Who We Are” on the menu bar and click “Find an Advisor.” You'll then be directed to a full list of the firm's office locations, sorted by state. Once you've selected a location, you'll be provided the firm location's address, office phone number and links to the bios of each team member at that particular office location. If you pull up an individual advisor's bio, you'll be provided with his or her phone number and email address.

You can also ask Cornerstone a question through the messaging functionality on its website.  Simply fill in your name, email address and question and the firm will get back to you with more information.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When you’re choosing a financial advisor, you should always ask a number of questions before making your decision. Important topics to discuss with a potential advisor are the fees they charge and whether they have any disclosures.

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research