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Pinnacle Investments Review

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Pinnacle Investments, LLC

Pinnacle Investments distinguishes itself in that it operates both as a registered broker-dealer and registered investment advisor (RIA). The company is an independent, full-service financial advisor firm located in Syracuse, New York with roughly $526 million in assets under management (AUM). The firm works with a combination of individuals and businesses. Of its individual clients, most do not have a high net worth.

Pinnacle is a fee-based firm, and certain of its advisors may receive additional compensation when clients participate in one of the firm's affiliated advisory programs offered by Wells Fargo Advisors. This is much different from a fee-only firm, which avoids conflicts of interest by earning 100% of its compensation from client-paid fees.

Pinnacle also holds a spot on our top advisor list for Syracuse, New York.

Pinnacle Investments Background

Pinnacle Investments has been in business in 1995, when it was co-founded by two of the firm's advisors, Gregg Kidd and Daniel Raite. Today, Pinnacle is owned entirely by Pinnacle Holding Company, LLC, which in turn is principally owned by FKAPI, Inc., a financial services holding company. 

Pinnacle’s staff includes 32 advisors, many of whom hold professional certifications. Eight advisors are certified financial planners (CFPs), one is a chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), one is a certified retirement counselor (CRC) and one is a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).

Pinnacle Investments Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Pinnacle Investments works with just under 1,100 clients. All but a dozen of these clients are individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm also works with some high-net-worth individuals, as well as a handful of corporations.

Pinnacle Investments has a wide selection of advisory programs, and each has its own minimum account size ranging as high as $3 million. However, the majority of services have minimums somewhere between $25,000 and $250,000.

Services Offered by Pinnacle Investments

Pinnacle Investments offers a fairly standard range of advisory services to its clients. These include financial planning, portfolio management, third-party manager selection and non-discretionary consultations.

With regard to portfolio management services, some instances may occur where Pinnacle Capital Management acts as a sub-advisor to Pinnacle Investments. Pinnacle Capital Management is also a subsidiary of Pinnacle Holding Company, LLC.

The firm also has access to a number wrap fee programs, in which clients are charged a single fee that covers both management and transactional costs. Here’s a breakdown of the different options:

  • Ascend
  • Private Investment Management (PIM)
  • Asset Advisor
  • CustomChoice
  • Wells Fargo Advisors programs
    • Masters
    • Diversified Managed Allocations (DMAs)
    • FundSource
    • Compass
    • Allocation Advisors

Pinnacle Investments Investment Philosophy

Pinnacle Investments generally utilizes a range of securities to flesh out clients' portfolios. These include equities, bonds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal securities, mutual funds, hedge funds, government securities, options, interests in partnerships investing in real estate, residential real estate mortgage-backed securities, collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBSs) and private placement debt securities.

The Pinnacle approach to portfolio construction depends on a number of different factors, including the client’s risk tolerance and financial goals, the type of program the client is in, the investment strategy the client has chosen and more.

Pinnacle Investments Fees

Pinnacle Investments charges advisory fees as a percentage of your AUM. The rate you pay each year will depend mostly on the size of your account, the specific program you subscribe to and the complexity of the services you need. However, the firm may decide to negotiate a different fee arrangement based on other factors.

Pinnacle Investments Advisory Fees
Account Type Annual Fee Rate
AdvisorPro 3.00%
Pinnacle Capital Management 3.00%
Ascend 0.25% - 1.50%
Masters 2.50%
Diversified Managed Allocations (DMAs) 2.55%
FundSource 2.00%
Compass 2.25%
Allocation Advisors 2.25%
Private Investment Management (PIM) 2.75%
Asset Advisor 2.00%
CustomChoice 1.50%

Clients will pay fees on a quarterly basis based on their account value on the last business day of the previous calendar quarter. The firm deducts fees directly from clients' accounts, though authorization is needed to initiate this.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. Fee amounts based on CustomChoice annual standard fee.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Pinnacle Investments*
Your Assets Pinnacle Investments Fee Amount
$500K $7,500
$1MM $15,000
$5MM $75,000
$10MM $150,000

What to Watch Out For

Pinnacle Investments has no disclosures on its Form ADV, meaning it has a clean legal and regulatory record in the eyes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As a fee-based firm, some members of Pinnacle Investments’ advisory staff can earn extra compensation based on client participation in a Wells Fargo-sponsored program. 

Although this has the potential to cause a conflict of interest, the firm is legally bound by fiduciary duty to act in clients’ best interests.

Opening an Account With Pinnacle Investments

The simplest way to become a client of Pinnacle Investments is to call the firm at (315) 251-1101 or toll-free at (800) 982-0421. If you prefer to do things in person, you can also stop by the firm’s office on Plum St. in Syracuse, New York. Feel free to reach out via the firm’s website by heading to the “Contact Us” tab and filling out its form with your name, phone number, email address and a message.

Investing for Your Future: Next Steps

  • Wherever you are on the path to retirement, an adivsor can help build an investment plan and manage your money. Finding the right financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.
  • When investing, it's easy to focus on the potential returns. Be sure that you don’t forget about capital gains taxes, though. To figure out how much you might owe, stop by our capital gains tax calculator.

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

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