About Us


Tim Pierson, ChFC
President/CEO

Tim, a native Wisconsinite, along his wife, Lisa, and two daughters, Alix and Jessica, have been residents of the growing Lake Oconee community since 2003 and thoroughly enjoy all the area has to offer.

As a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Tim is prepared to meet the financial planning needs of individuals, professionals and small business owners. He employs a rather simple process – actively listen to attain information and a risk profile specific to each client; analyze and evaluate this data; develop and present a personalized solution to the problems or concerns to be addressed; reach agreement on implementation responsibilities and begin a monitoring schedule.

Tim provides you with the framework and tools to help you reach your financial goals!

Strategic Alliances

wayneWayne Schmidt, CFA®
Chief Investment Officer
Gradient Investments, LLC

In 2008, Wayne brought 30 years of institutional investment experience to the private clients of Gradient Investments. 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.

Wayne has been quoted on the subject of the global economy in numerous nationally and internationally recognized investment publications such as Bloomberg, Reuters and The Los Angeles Times. He is a Chartered Financial AnalystTM and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.


schmidtMichael Binger, CFA®
Senior Portfolio Manager
Gradient Investments, LLC

Mike brings over 24 years of institutional equity investment experience to Gradient Investments and its affiliated advisors and clients. He has extensive experience working directly with financial advisors designing and actively managing portfolios. Mike has successfully invested in numerous market and economic cycles giving him a level and depth of experience that is rare in this industry. He spent more than 20 years at Thrivent Financial where he managed numerous equity funds through various economic cycles. Mike’s media highlights include numerous appearances, providing market insight on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio.

Mike 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.


mariannMariann Montagne, CFA®
Senior Investment Analyst
Gradient Investments, LLC

Mariann has 20 plus years of working with both institutional and high net worth clients and has amassed a strong breadth of investment experience in her tenure. This experience includes company and industry sector analysis, risk monitoring and portfolio management in both the equity and fixed income markets. She is highly attuned to economic and market conditions, and has extensive experience selecting individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. In addition to being a CFA, she is a member of both the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute. Mariann’s media highlights include quotes in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, NPR, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News.