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Pinnacle Advisory Group Review

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Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc.

Pinnacle Advisory Group is a financial advisor firm with just under $2 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm has 28 advisors that maintain relationships with more than 1,200 clients, including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, other advisors, retirement plans and businesses.

Pinnacle, which is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, is a fee-only firm. This means that all of its earnings come from advisory fees paid by clients. This differs from a fee-based firm, which may earn commissions from additional sources, such as insurance sales or securities transactions.

Pinnacle Advisory Group Background

Pinnacle Advisory Group was founded in 1993 by three individuals: CEO John Hill, chief investment officer (CIO) Kenneth Solow and managing partner Dwight Mikulis. The trio still principally owns the firm to this day, along with director of wealth management Michael Kitces and wealth managers Debra Kriebel, Jake Mason, David Kauffman and Jeffrey Troll.

Pinnacle employs 28 advisors in total. Among them are 19 certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs).

What Types of Clients Does Pinnacle Advisory Group Accept?

Pinnacle Advisory Group currently works with roughly 1,230 clients. This client base is made up of individuals, high-net-worth individuals, corporations and pension plans and other retirement plans. Additionally, the firm works with other investment advisors through its division called Pinnacle Advisor Solutions.

Pinnacle Advisory Group Minimum Account Sizes

Pinnacle Advisory Group requires a minimum household investment of $500,000. In other words, multiple individuals in the same household can have accounts with values below this threshold, but they all must add up to at least $500,000.

Services Offered by Pinnacle Advisory Group

The hallmark offering at Pinnacle Advisory Group is its investment management services. However, the firm also provides financial planning, which can cover a wide range of topics including cash flow management, tax planning, retirement planning and more.

Pinnacle also provides advisory services to retirement plans, and this may include:

  • Employee enrollment and education tracking
  • Investment policy statement (IPS) design
  • Investment management
  • Performance reporting
  • Ongoing investment recommendation and assistance
  • ERISA 404(c) assistance
  • Vendor analysis

The firm’s offerings for outside advisors are comprehensive and cover investment and operations services, along with retirement and event planning solutions. Here’s an overview:

  • Level 1 investment services
    • Sub-advisory services
  • Level 2 operations services
    • Access to service and technology platforms
    • Strategic business consulting services
    • Marketing content
    • Financial planning research
  • Continuity and succession solutions
    • Allows clients of advisors who subscribe to move to Pinnacle in the event that the advisor dies, becomes disabled or retires
    • PRISM
    • PRISMPLUS

Pinnacle Advisory Group Investment Philosophy

Pinnacle Advisory Group has a number of different investment strategies that it pulls from depending on which best suits a client’s individual needs. According to the firm’s Form ADV, these strategies fall into a handful of broader categories:

  • Prime Series: Portfolios designed for investors that want an actively managed, globally diversified portfolio.
  • Market Series: Portfolios that allow investors to capture specific market returns most of the time, but also offer a limited amount of active management.
  • Strategic Market Series: Portfolios that attempt to passively capture market returns in a tax- and cost-efficient manner, while attempting to maximize the risk-reduction benefits of diversification.
  • Quantitative Series: Portfolios in which a material portion of the portfolio runs on a rules-based engine.
  • Alpine Series: Portfolios consisting of a diversified mix of five institutional-quality asset classes that are systematically rebalanced to retain predefined targeted allocations over time.
  • WISE Strategic Market Series: Similar to “Strategic Market Series,” but with a particular focus on investing a portion of assets in companies that demonstrate greater gender diversity within senior leadership and/or have positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics.
  • WISE Dynamic Market Series: Follows the same principles as “Market Series,” only with the same focus as “WISE Strategic Market Series.”

Fees Under Pinnacle Advisory Group

Pinnacle Advisory Group charges investment management fees as a percentage of assets under management (AUM), which is a standard practice. The exact percentage you’ll pay depends on the size of your account. These fees adhere to the following schedule:

Investment Management Fees
Assets Under Management Fee Rate
Up to $500,000 1.30%
$500,000.01 - $1,500,000 0.85%
$1,500,000.01 - $2,500,000 0.80%
$2,500,00.01 - $3,500,000 0.75%
$3,500,000.01 - $5,000,000 0.70%
$5,000,000.01 - $7,500,000 0.60%
$7,500,000.01 - $10,000,000 0.50%
$10,000,000.01 - $15,000,000 0.40%
Above $15,000,000 0.30%

For financial planning fees, Pinnacle typically doesn’t charge anything extra if clients have more than $500,000 in investable assets and are also seeking investment management services. For stand-alone financial planning, the firm usually charges a fixed fee of $5,000. Clients that are receiving investment management services with less than $500,000 are charged an hourly fee of $300.

Disclosures

Pinnacle Advisory Group has no disclosures, meaning it has a clean legal and regulatory record in the eyes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Opening an Account With Pinnacle Advisory Group

Opening an account with Pinnacle Advisory Group can be done by filling out the contact form provided on the firm’s website. The form requests your first and last name, email address and a brief message or question. If you’d prefer to reach the firm’s headquarters by phone, you can do so at (410) 995-6630.

Where Is Pinnacle Advisory Group Located?

Pinnacle Advisory Group is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland on Woodside Court, not far from where Broken Land Parkway intersects with Columbia Pike. The firm has secondary offices in Miami and Naples, Florida.

Investing For Your Future

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How Many Years $1 Million 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.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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