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Pinnacle Financial Group Review

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Pinnacle Financial Group, LLC

Pinnacle Financial Group, LLC is a financial advisor firm located in Western Springs, Illinois with more than $344 million in assets under management (AUM). Something that stands out about this advisor is that it also offers client education services and a blog that tackles complex financial topics.

The firm and its three advisors provide financial planning and investment management services to a client base primarily consisting of individual accounts. There are some institutional clients at the firm too, though.

As a fee-only advisory firm, Pinnacle is compensated solely through client-paid fees (either investment management fees based on a percentage of AUM, or an hourly rate charged for financial planning). This is different from a fee-based firm, which may also earn compensation through commissions (for instance, from the sale of financial products like insurance). By eschewing such commissions, firms like Pinnacle avoid conflicts of interest. 

(Note: Pinnacle Financial Group is not affiliated with Pinnacle Investments in Syracuse, NY or Pinnacle Advisory Group in Columbia, MD.)

Pinnacle Financial Group Background

Pinnacle Financial Group was founded in 1989. Principals Jim Stork and Dan Fitzgerald combine to own the firm, and Lauren Hunt serves as a wealth advisor, rounding out Pinnacle's three-person team of advisors. Each of them hold the certified financial planner (CFP) designation, and Stork is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). This trio has a collective 60 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Pinnacle Financial Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Pinnacle works primarily with individual clients. About 30% of their client base consists of high-net-worth individuals and 60% are individuals below that threshold. A handful of pension and profit-sharing plans, charities and businesses round out the firm's clientele.

Pinnacle's minimum account size is typically $500,000 for all services. However, this can be waived or lowered under certain circumstances at the discretion of the firm.

Services Offered by Pinnacle Financial Group

There are a variety of financial services available to Pinnacle Financial Group's clients. The most prominent among these are discretionary investment management, comprehensive financial planning, retirement planning, Social Security planning and college fund planning. The firm's wealth management service combines investment management and financial planning into one broad offering.

Retirement plan consulting is also available through Pinnacle.

Pinnacle Financial Group Investment Philosophy

Pinnacle uses multiple methods of analysis and strategies when making investment decisions on behalf of clients:

  • Fundamental analysis: This involves doing a deep dive into a company's financial statements, management team and overall financial outlook to determine its intrinsic value.
  • Modern portfolio theory (MPT): MPT focuses on the relationship between risk and return, seeking to either maximize returns for a given risk preference or minimize risk for a given return target.
  • Long- and short-term purchases: Depending on the type of returns you're looking for, the firm may decide to engage in either long- or short-term purchases, or some combination thereof. A long-term purchase will result in a security residing in your portfolio for at least one year; short-term purchases are made with the intention of selling within a year.

While the firm uses the specific practices listed above, it also provides uniquely tailored strategies to all of its clients. If a client is interested in pursuing a particular strategy, the firm will work with that client to stick to that particular approach based on their personal risk tolerance, time horizon, financial objectives and liquidity needs.

Pinnacle Financial Group Fees

Investment management and retirement plan consulting fees come in the form of a percentage of your AUM. Fees are charged on a quarterly basis, in arrears, even though they're shown in annual percentages. They are based on the value of your account on the last business day of the preceding quarter.

Investment Management and Retirement Plan Consulting Fees
Assets Under Management Annual Fee
Up to $1MM 1.00%
$1MM to $2MM 0.75%
Above $2MM 0.50%

Financial planning services at Pinnacle will run you between $100 and $250 per hour. The rate you're given is chosen based on the complexity of your situation and the scope of services needed.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Pinnacle Financial Group*
Your Assets Pinnacle Financial Group Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $40,000
$10MM $65,000

What to Watch Out For

Pinnacle Financial Group does not have any disclosures listed on its Form ADV, which means it has no history of regulatory issues with the SEC. The firm also has straightforward compensation arrangements, so you shouldn't have much to be wary of when investing with Pinnacle. 

Opening an Account With Pinnacle Financial Group

If you're interested in opening an account with Pinnacle Financial Group, go online and submit a form on the firm's website. You can also call its team at (708) 246-6262 or email Jeanne@mypinnaclefinancial.com. If you live near Western Springs, feel free to stop by its office.

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

Retirement Planning Tips

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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.

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