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Pinnacle 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.

Pinnacle Wealth Management is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Denver. This fee-based firm primarily works with individuals and high-net-worth individuals, although it is open to working with institutional clients as well. 

Pinnacle offers a number of resources that current and prospective clients can explore when analyzing their own personal financial situations. It has tools built for tax considerations, investment styles, retirement planning, lifestyle planning, insurance planning and more.

Pinnacle Wealth Management Background

Pinnacle Wealth Management has been in business since 1998. President Thomas Stefaniak is the principal owner of the firm, although he co-founded it with Joanne Gipple. It was established after Stefaniak spent 11 years in the financial services and management industry with American Express. During his time there, he was recognized at a district level for his attention to customer service.

Stefaniak holds a certified financial planner (CFP) designation, while two other members of his team are financial paraplanner qualified professionals (FPQPs).

Pinnacle Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Most of Pinnacle Wealth Management’s client base is comprised of individuals, both those with and without a high net worth. Estates, trusts, charitable organizations, small businesses and pension and profit-sharing plans are also typical clients of this firm.

Pinnacle Wealth Management does not require a minimum account size to open or maintain an account. So regardless of how much money you have ready to invest, this firm will not turn you away as a possible client.

Services Offered By Pinnacle Wealth Management

Pinnacle Wealth Management is primarily known for creating Wealth Plans for its clients, which are based on clients’ personal financial needs. These plans generally include the following information:

  • Net worth overview
  • Cash flow statement
  • Current investment account review
    • Asset allocation analysis
    • List of investment repositioning recommendations
  • Full review of life, disability and long-term care insurance policies
    • Recommendations for changes
  • Review of current estate plans
  • Education planning with funding strategies

Depending on your existing retirement savings and any debt, this firm will also figure out what kind of investment return is needed to reach your objectives. Taxes are taken into account at every juncture, as your advisor will always look to minimize the impact of taxes as much as possible.

If you have specific questions for an advisor at Pinnacle, the firm also offers consulting services. These is meant for people who have questions regarding a particular area, such as retirement planning, real estate, employer-sponsored retirement plans, estate planning and more.

Pinnacle also offers retirement plan advisory services for businesses that need help creating and maintaining an employee retirement plan program. Not only will the firm help businesses select investment types, it will also help businesses to educate their employees about their choices.

Pinnacle Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

The cornerstone of Pinnacle Wealth Management’s investment philosophy is the “Surge and Protect” investing strategy. At its core, this ideology is meant for clients who are seeking capital preservation over appreciation. The objective is to capitalize during advancing markets and protect assets during sideways and negative markets. To do this, the firm will purchase a combination of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). When an ETF is initially purchased, a stop loss order is placed at 10% below the purchase price (15% for small-cap international stock ETF holdings) to minimize losses. 

The firm also offers a diversified strategy for investors who prefer a buy-and-hold approach and a dividend income strategy that emphasizes income as its primary goal.

Your portfolio’s exact asset allocation will depend on your risk tolerance, which your advisor will figure out with you prior to your portfolio’s creation.

Fees Under Pinnacle Wealth Management

Pinnacle Wealth Management’s fees are based on the amount of assets under the firm’s management. The fee rates listed below are annual rates, though the firm bills clients and deducts fees from accounts in advance on a quarterly basis.

Portfolio Size Advisory Fee
Less than $500,000 1.50%
$500,001 - $750,000 1.45%
$750,001 - $1.5MM 1.25%
$1,500,001 - $4MM 1.00%
$4,000,001 and above 0.75%

Here's how much you're likely to pay in advisory fees based on the size of your account:

*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 Wealth Management*
Your Assets Pinnacle Wealth Management Fee Amounts
$500K $7,500
$1MM $14,250
$5MM $53,000
$10MM $90,500

What to Watch Out For

There are no legal issues or other disclosures to report for Pinnacle Wealth Management.

Clients should be aware that Pinnacle Wealth Management is a fee-based financial advisor firm. This means that the firm earns money in ways other than the fees its clients pay for advisory services. Some of Pinnacle’s advisors can earn commissions from selling certain insurance policies to clients. However, the firm is still a fiduciary, which means it must always act in clients’ best interests.

Opening an Account With Pinnacle Wealth Management

Pinnacle’s only physical location is in Denver, so if you live in the area, feel free to visit the office in person. You can also reach the firm at (303) 806-0988 or have an advisor contact you directly via email through the “Have a Question?” form available on the firm’s website.

Tips for a Successful Retirement

  • Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Robo-advisors are a modern, digital take on financial advisors. They typically have lower fees and account minimums than traditional financial advisors. Vanguard and Betterment are two of the top options on the market, as they allow you to customize your portfolio without requiring a high account minimum to open or maintain account.

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