• Firm: Cornerstone Investment Services
  • Job Title: Managing Partner
  • Certifications: AIF


The foundation of Cornerstone (CIS) lies in the history of her founder, John Riley. As a new broker working for Dean Witter Reynolds in the mid 80’s, John realized the value of conservative investment strategies when he saw investors and brokers, who were not prepared, get surprised by the devastating Crash of 1987. Seeing these events unfold first-hand lead John to focus on conservative and disciplined strategies to grow his clients’ assets.

John established Cornerstone Investment Services in 1999, to offer investors an alternative to Wall Street. Since breaking free of the crowd, John has been able to manage clients’ money in the way that prepares them for the trends he sees and the surprises Wall Street misses. Cornerstone is not beholden unto anyone except their clients.

To best serve his cliental, John passed the Series 86 and 87 exams to become a registered Research Analyst. These registrations were created by the regulators after the research scandals over a decade ago at several of the major wirehouses. “In my experience,” John says, “very few money management firms have a licensed Research Analyst on staff and the number of stock brokers with this registration is minimal. They must rely on others for their research. At Cornerstone I am constantly researching and strategizing, preparing for whatever hand we are dealt.”

John Riley, is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®). The AIF® designation is only given to those with expertise in testing and analyzing Plan Sponsors for their compliance to fiduciary standards.  Through John, CIS offers several tests and services that can give Plan Sponsors a clear picture of their fiduciary processes and potential liabilities.

Cornerstone’s primary focus and desire is to help as many investors as possible. You can see this in the way the office staff gets to know everyone personally and works hard to fulfill their administrative needs. You can see it in the way the advisors spend time making sure they understand the needs and wants of each client. And you can see it in the way John runs the company, he is determined to help investors in what, contrary to popular opinion, is not an easy venture for many investors.

The first investment strategy Cornerstone introduced was the Model Portfolio, which utilized “real” risk management. Surprisingly, this was a concept that had been continually discussed but never really practiced by Wall Street. In 1999 the market had become overvalued, to the indifference of many on Wall Street.

Unable to warn clients effectively at a wire-house, John established Cornerstone. Over the years Cornerstone has added other strategies to meet various needs of investors. Financial Planning was also added as a way to help investors get a full view of their financial circumstances and to develop a focused strategy.

Cornerstone’s strategies are foreword thinking, research driven, and based on their own internal analysis and that of some of the most respected research firms in the world.

But John's passion, their collective passion, remains helping investors make sense of investing and helping them achieve their life goals.

Disclaimer: Securities offered through Cantella & Company, Inc., Member, FINRA, SIPC, Fee based money management and Financial Planning offered through Cornerstone Investment Services, LLC's RIA.

Quote from John Riley

“John is the Chief Investment Strategist & Registered Research Analyst for Cornerstone Investment Services, located in RI and TX, which offers Financial Planning, Money Management, Estate Planning and Plan Sponsor Consulting.”