mikeMichael D. Verble

President of Verble Estate Preservation & Advisors, LLC

Michael D. Verble, president of Verble Estate Preservation & Advisors, LLC is a well known veteran of estate preservation & financial shelter planning. He has been assisting attorneys throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia & Arkansas with their VA, Medicaid, Long Term Care planning and Estate preservation clients for thirteen (13) years. He is a frequent lecturer and presenter on aging issues to attorneys and accountants. He is frequently asked to speak to groups from every walk of life through conferences & conventions across the country. His articles and advice appear in numerous periodicals every year. His professional staff have focused their practice on helping families navigate aging issues and serve more than 500 families every year since 2003 with offices located in Brentwood, Chattanooga and Collierville, TN. Mike has held church workshops in just about every denomination throughout Tennessee with the largest church being Brentwood Baptist Church with a congregation of 9,500.

Michael is one of the 75 VA Volunteer Advocates Specialist for US Senior Vets, (www.usseniorvets.com) a non-profit organization located in California, who travel the country educating as many families as possible.


S. Brad Dozier

Attorney at Law – Estates/Trusts

Brad Dozier has worked with the owners and employees of family-owned and closely-held businesses for more than a decade in the areas of estate, insurance, investment and retirement planning.

Brad has earned the Certified Financial Planner™ professional (CFP®) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) advance designations.   He is also a licensed attorney working primarily in the areas of estate, probate and business succession planning.

Brad’s ability to explain and present complex estate and financial planning topics in an understandable as well as entertaining format as a speaker and instructor to financial professionals and their clients. He has taught several Continuing Education courses for both the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations and also teaches a Federal Income Tax and Estate Planning section at Belmont University’s Executive Learning Center for candidates of the CFP® professional designation. He has become a regular speaker to more than a dozen Middle Tennessee area senior organizations on topics such as Estate Planning, Identity Theft Protection, Long Term Care/Medicare Planning and IRA Education. Brad has also been a presenter at the local Financial Planning Association annual symposium as well as at the National Christmas Tree Growers Association meeting and the Tennessee Home Builders Association has scheduled Brad to speak at their annual conference in Destin, FL in July of this year.   Brad has also been instrumental in helping companies that offer retirement plans with their 404(c) fiduciary duty requirements by providing educational programs to employees on a wide range of topics.


Wayne Schmidt, CFA®

Chief Investment Officer of Gradient Investments, LLC

In October 2008, Wayne Schmidt joined Gradient Investments, LLC to serve as Chief Investment Officer. Boasting over 26 years in the financial industry, Wayne brings invaluable institutional experience and in-depth knowledge of the private client market to Gradient Investments, and offers a global investment management perspective.

Wayne is an essential and direct resource for investment advisors and their clients. He provides vast wisdom, knowledge and tools to help investment advisors both grow their practices and their clients’ assets.

In a nationwide search that included acquisition considerations, AXA Investment Managers, a subsidiary of the European insurance giant AXA Group, handpicked Wayne to build their U.S. investment grade fixed income capabilities and to lead a seasoned portfolio team located in Saint Paul.

During his tenure at AXA Investment Managers, Wayne served as senior portfolio manager for the U.S. investment grade fixed income team. As the lead portfolio manager, he managed $9.5 billion of fixed income assets with a variety of mandates ranging from aggregate, corporate and government bond portfolios.

Before joining AXA Investment Managers, Wayne dedicated over 20 years to Minnesota Life and its’ $14 billion investment arm, Advantus Capital Management. As their portfolio manager, he managed a variety of high-grade funds as part of Advantus’s $1.8 billion Total Return Product for institutional and retail clients. He also served as the lead portfolio manager of the Advantus Bond Fund and the co-portfolio manager of the Advantus Spectrum Fund.

Wayne earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.

Over the years, Wayne has been quoted on the global economy in numerous nationally and internationally recognized investment publications such as: Bloomberg, Pension & Investments, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, Financial Week (2008 Neal Award Winner), Asia Times, InvestorVillage, Safehaven, SFO, Credit Investment News and RGE Monitor (Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitorinvestment). He has also provided market insights on Bloomberg radio and television.

Wayne’s love of Minnesota is Gradient Investments’ great fortune, as he declined to relocate with AXA Investment Managers following their strategic decision to consolidate function into a high-yield operation in Greenwich, Connecticut.



Michael Binger, CFA®

Senior Portfolio Manager of Gradient Investments, LLC

Michael Binger, CFA®, serves as the senior portfolio manager for Gradient Investments, LLC. Michael brings over 24 years of institutional equity investment experience to Gradient. He has extensive experience working directly with financial advisors designing and actively managing portfolios. Michael has successfully managed assets in numerous market and economic cycles giving him a level and depth of experience that is rare in this industry.

Michael started his investment career in Minneapolis with Lutheran Brotherhood in 1987 and gained experience managing assets in a variety of asset classes including convertible bonds, small cap equities and large cap equities. When Lutheran Brotherhood and Aid Association for Lutherans merged in 2001 to become Thrivent Financial, Michael was selected to work as the senior portfolio manager on the Large Cap Growth Team and Large Cap Alpha Team managing over $3 billion in assets. As the senior portfolio manager, he developed and oversaw the tactical investment strategies utilized within mutual funds, variable annuities, pension funds and insurance company products. These investment processes included proprietary portfolio construction strategies, security selection parameters and volatility controlled umbrellas.

Michael graduated from the University of Minnesota earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance. He graduated with honors and was the University of Minnesota’s “Wall Street Journal Award Winner.” Michael is a CFA® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.

Michael’s media highlights include providing market insight on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio. He has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Smart Money, Reuters, Business Week and numerous other local, national and global investment publications.



Medicare Specialist

Ben is a native Nashvillian and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. His main responsibilities at VEPA is in the arena of Long Term Care and Medicare options, as well as Social Security strategies. He has been assisting his clients with their LTC needs for more than 18 years. As a Medicare specialist, Ben was on the ground floor of a Nashville based Medicare Advantage Plan from 2005 to 2012 and had to learn about Medicare from the all aspects. In 2012, he joined a small brokerage company that focused on all Medicare options including Med-Sup/Medi-Gap policies and Advantage Plans. A natural complement to LTC and Medicare is Social Security strategies which he has been doing since 2013. All three of these are critical parts of life after the age of 65. One of Ben’s favorite things to do is to share his knowledge as it relates to these three topics and thus has spoken to over 10,000 people over the past 10 years, helping them navigate and understand how each component works. As a specialist, he is also a published author on these topics as well as many other areas of aging.

His interests include all kinds of sports, including being a board member on the Nashville Sports Council, volunteering for several organizations, and is an active member at Brentwood Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon, is involved in Room In The Inn, DivorceCare, SeniorLink, as well as a Life Group teacher. Ben welcomes the opportunity to speak with you soon.

We regularly work with the above independent professionals to help our mutual clients with products and services that Wealth and Retirement Strategies, Inc. does not provide