Managing your life is like running a company. But are you its CEO?

Managing your life is an endless string of mostly spontaneous decisions about your family, home, career, and finances. All those aspects combine to make up ‘life’ as we know it.

Spontaneous decision-making might work in most aspects of your life, but it doesn’t work for your finances, especially not for your retirement. Over a lifetime, the amount of dollars that will flow through your hands – and the amount accumulated as you save for retirement – is equivalent to what a small business owner might be responsible for managing.

As a result, for your retirement, it’s essential that you adopt the more formal role of Chief Executive Officer or CEO.

And what is the role of the CEO? Identifying and facilitating the ultimate vision, then managing the company’s operations and resources to achieve it.

That concept may seem daunting at first, but here’s what CEOs know:

The best CEOs do two things really well. First, they run their business according to a business plan. (For you, that would be a retirement plan or your ‘business plan for retirement.’) Next, they surround themselves with the right people to help them run the business: CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals. In your case, one professional will be a financial advisor who helps guide your decisions as you follow your plan to and through retirement.


Each person we help has a different understanding of investing and retirement. We approach each initial conversation with an educational mindset to fill any gaps in financial literacy. The planning process and the strategies we recommend will be less understandable without the foundational concepts and financial terminology. The relationship, if you will, really does start with education.

We care enough to invest in what could be called college-level adult education classes. We make them available several times a year at Cedar Crest College and over 500 other schools nationwide, where we cover retirement soup to nuts. Classes have a macro focus, covering topics on a general basis. For questions regarding your specific personal finance situation, you can choose to meet for a one-on-one session in the office or on a Zoom call.

Another part of our educational process is related to employee/employer arrangements. The most common – and often the only – retirement savings come from your employment. Yet few people understand that their involvement needs to be more than just greenlighting deductions from their paychecks. You typically have the choice of placing 401(k) funds in default investments or choosing and monitoring your funds in other options. Being proactive increases the value of your 401(k)s exponentially, especially when considering compound growth over a long career. We help you make the most of your contributions into employer retirement accounts.

Lastly, we help with behavioral coaching around your finances. A confident and coherent mindset about investment management and retirement planning doesn't come naturally to everyone. Sadly, schools don't provide the tools needed to master your finances – especially where financial markets are volatile and the economy seesaws uncomfortably. Pinnacle aims to help you ride the waves calmly – based on your accumulated knowledge – and avoid costly overreactions.


As building the educational foundation begins, Pinnacle will have used the information you provided in a financial inventory document to generate a preliminary 'where you are today' analysis. Conversations about strategic options come next, followed by the critical planning process.

As with a small company, moving ahead without a comprehensive plan is like shooting from the hip and will likely lead to bad decisions, most likely driven by the wrong factors.

Our discussions go beyond straightforward retirement planning to include how effectively you are using employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s. These tax-advantaged plans can benefit significantly from adopting a proactive role where your funds are invested, for example, instead of a simple 'set it and forget it' mindset.

Your legacy also plays a role in planning: What defines your life purpose? What do you want to achieve in this lifetime? What do you want to leave, and for whom?

The resulting longer-term strategic plan becomes the guiding force toward your dream retirement vision. However, as the CEO of this effort, you need a shorter-term tactical operating plan that lets you execute the steps to follow during the upcoming year.

When a plane flies from Los Angeles to New York, its navigational settings are constantly course-corrected to compensate for crosswinds and other factors. In the case of retirement planning – especially with longevity projections reaching age 90 and beyond – we update that retirement plan every single year.

Our annual conversations will have inputs on how your expenses may have changed, how your portfolio performed, what economic forecasts look like, if inflation is a factor, and how your vision may have changed.

Reviewing the year in the context of a long-term plan helps put worrisome 'off years' into perspective and reduces the distracting fear that a bad year could otherwise trigger.

The planning process ensures that you maximize your resources while working – including retirement accounts and investment opportunities. Then, when the regular paycheck stops after 40 or more years, we can provide reassuring guidance on drawing down resources to cover essential and discretionary expenses.

Once you have retired, we work hard to ensure you can enjoy the result of your years of diligent saving and investing by helping you make smart distribution decisions. Your unique, holistic strategy considers your taxable accounts, projected tax brackets, and anticipated expenses in retirement, where the timing and source of withdrawals minimize the loss to taxes. In short, we revisit strategies each year to reflect the reality of your everyday life while protecting the integrity of your lifelong funding.

Of course, none of this works without a transparent line of communication. We make sure you're involved and informed at each step of the way by always being open to a conversation with you.

Our mantra is, ‘We make recommendations; you make decisions.’ That's how a CEO works with the company's team of professional advisors. And that's why we emphasize education throughout our working relationship: to make sure you make decisions fully informed.

As your financial advisor, we at Pinnacle see our planning process as one of the central components of our relationship. Embracing the process is essential as we work toward bringing your vision into reality.


With an education foundation started and a financial overview in place, it's time to explore a series of strategies that span from investment and risk management to income distribution, tax optimization, family wealth planning, and business succession.

We help you answer questions like when and how to take a pension, when to take Social Security, and what Social Security spousal strategies will make the most of your lifelong efforts.

Managing your investment portfolio will be where our expertise kicks in and where we can shine. With the support of leaders in our industry, we can craft custom strategies that support your goals and prioritize the appreciation of wealth, risk mitigation, and capital preservation.

What's not overlooked is your estate planning – the legacy you want to leave behind – and business succession planning if that's part of your asset base.

Contact Us to Schedule an Initial Consultation

We’re happy when our clients are happy

Finding Value in Working With Us

Deciding who to engage to help you manage your money can be a big decision. When selecting a financial professional to work with, you must consider their qualifications, their responsibilities, and how they are compensated.

Certified Financial Planner

Tom Roberts, founder and Principal of Pinnacle Advisor Group, enjoys the CFP® designation, which means he has met all the requirements set by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Board of Standards, covering education, examination, experience, and ethics. This designation ensures he has the knowledge and skills to objectively assess your existing financial status, identify possible problem areas, and recommend appropriate options.

Even if you're used to handling your financial affairs, the unchartered waters of recent years may mean you could benefit from consulting a CFP® professional to review your financial health and offer suggestions of how to better achieve your financial goals.

Registered Fiduciary

Pinnacle Advisor Group is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). This business model allows an advisory firm to provide independent advice to investors seeking comprehensive financial guidance. RIAs must be registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which holds them to strict fiduciary standards.

What is a "fiduciary" obligation? It means having the fundamental duty to act solely in the best interests of you as the client – with the exclusive purpose of managing your assets to accomplish your goals. (In contrast, non-fiduciary advisors are held to a ‘suitability’ standard; recommended products must be suitable for you but not necessarily the best product for you.)

As a fiduciary, Pinnacle puts you and your needs at the heart of every financial planning engagement.

Fee-Based Advisor

How your financial professional is compensated can significantly impact the long-term outcome of your investments, as well as your comfort level when dealing with the professional. Fee-based firms provide advisory services for a fee that comes directly from the client. This structure avoids additional third-party costs, unlike firms charging a percentage of assets under management (AUM) or commissions.

Pinnacle's fee-based model is entirely transparent and puts you in the best possible position: it provides personalized investment management in a structure that encourages Pinnacle to continue adding value by focusing on solution selection and holistic wealth management.

Why choose Pinnacle?

When you pair the fee-based model of compensation with the expertise of a CFP® and the ethical obligations of a registered fiduciary, we at Pinnacle are confident that our clients will benefit at every turn.