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Pinnacle Wealth Management Review

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Pinnacle Wealth Management, Inc.

Pinnacle Wealth Management, Inc. is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado. With just over $111 million in assets under management (AUM), 719 client accounts and a three-person advisory team, the firm is fairly small in the grand scheme of things. More than half of the firm’s accounts belong to individuals and high-net-worth individuals, though it also traditionally works with small businesses, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.

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. The only other advisor at the firm who holds a certification is wealth advisor Gail Hansen, who is a financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP).

What Types of Clients Does Pinnacle Wealth Management Accept?

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 Minimum Account Sizes

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 more 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 some 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 looking for some level of financial gain, but who also want to protect their assets against losses. Thus, the money that you want to appreciate is placed in index funds and other similar securities, while everything else will reside in sideways and negative markets.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds, stocks and equities make up the majority of the investments that Pinnacle makes. 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
Below $500,000 1.50%
$500,001 - $750,000 1.45%
$750,001 - $1,000,000 1.35%
$1,000,001 - $2,000,000 1.25%
$2,000,001 - $5,000,000 1.10%
Above $5,000,000 1.00%

If you choose to engage the firm only for its consulting services, you will be charged at a rate of $200 an hour. You must pay these charges every month as they are billed to you.

The below table provides an idea of how Pinnacle Wealth Management’s fees compare to the national median. Keep in mind that these are only estimates and actual rates may vary.

Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Pinnacle Wealth Management National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $7,500 $5,000
$1MM $13,500 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $55,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $100,000 $50,000
*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount. **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.

What to Watch Out For

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.


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

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.

Where Is Pinnacle Wealth Management Located?

Pinnacle Wealth Management only has one office. Its sole office is located in Denver, Colorado, at 2696 South Colorado Boulevard, Suite 430.

Tips for a Successful Retirement

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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