Our mission at Assured Retirement Group is to help people live the retirement they want.
We will steer you in the right direction so that retirement will be a smooth process. You will not have to experience retirement planning alone.
We serve the entire Minneapolis, MN region, including Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, and St. Louis Park. We have the knowledge and experience to show you the process of financial management help provide you with some peace of mind.
Retirement Advice, Tailored to you
At Assured Retirement Group of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and as Financial Advisors and Retirement Planners, we know there is no retirement without income. And we know that every client is different; some want to delve deeply into the specifics of their investments while others want to focus on how their money impacts their life and the lifestyle it can enable during retirement.
It all starts with planning – a thorough look at what you have and what you can expect through Social Security and pensions compared with where you need to be financially and how you want to live. Going through the planning process will reveal what you need to do to achieve your goals.
We are Certified Financial Planning TM (CFP) professionals at Assured Retirement Group, which means we adhere to the practice standards and methods of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the professional regulatory organization that fosters professional standards in personal financial planning. The CFP designation is your assurance that not only are we nice people to work with, but we are qualified financial planning practitioners.
Meet Our Team
Vincent L. Oldre CFP®
Financial Advisor and Retirement Planner
I have always respected and admired my father. He built a very successful financial services firm in the Twin Cities. Of course, long ago I asked him what the secret was to his success. He always told me, as well as to others who asked, two major things that have always stuck with me.
• Find something that you really enjoy doing regardless of what you think how it may provide financially.
• Don’t attempt to become the biggest or grow for growth’s sake. Strive instead to be the very best at what you do as defined by those you serve. Take care of your clients and those you serve, and they will take care of you.
This is the foundation and goal of Assured Retirement Group. I am so fortunate to have found something I really enjoy doing and helping people I enjoy working with achieve their goals provides a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction.
We aren’t looking to be the biggest Retirement Planning firm, but striving to be the best. We do that by working with one client at a time, focusing on getting to know you and what you want to do in retirement: we want to understand your goals, your needs, your desires, before going through our comprehensive planning process.
We know that there is no “one size fits all”—we know that you may have worked hard for 30 or more years. We will make sure that it is YOUR retirement, not ours. Our background is strong, with the history of experience and a family heritage that has been in the business since 1974. We are more than just working with investments, we are all about helping you retire in confidence.
After my years of working in a large insurance company and a sister company of that insurance company, where I worked with financial advisors helping them put retirement plans together, I learned that I had a niche in creating income plans that were less risky for the client. Because of this experience, and because I wanted to work with clients directly, I decided to start Assured Retirement Group.
As part of my commitment to my clients, I have obtained my CFP® designation. The CFP® Board has what is referred to the four “E”s which stand for Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics. To obtain a thorough explanation of the required standards, you can go to www.cfp.net.
I knew that if I wanted to do a great job for my clients that I would have to continue to educate myself and a good source of evidencing my education is passing a board exam to obtain my Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. The CFP® Board of Standards requires me to act as a Fiduciary meaning that I will always act in the best interest of my clients. It would be my intention to do so regardless of the CFP® Board of Standards.
About me personally: I was born and raised in Golden Valley MN and attended grade school and secondary in Hopkins School District. I grew up in a “blended family” that my parents refer to as “his, hers, and ours” and I was the youngest and the “ours” of this blended family. I am close to all my “his and hers” siblings.
My father and his brother founded a financial services firm with one employee in 1974, and by the time I was born the company had grown to approximately 60 employees, with my father becoming 100% owner of the company. (His brother continued to work for the company.) The company was CFG Financial Services; my mother also worked in the company, in a Human Resources capacity.
While attending school, I was active in many sports, and participated in football, wrestling, hockey, soccer and cross country. After High School, I attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, as did two of my siblings. I participated on a nationally ranked Division Three soccer team.
While going to middle and high school, I wanted to do what my Dad did because he liked it so much. He worked very long hours and many weekends, but he always called it “playing hard”. Before I started High School his company had become one of the largest independent insurance brokerage and financial services firms in the country with over 175 employees. When I was 15 my father was diagnosed with a serious cancer. He was treated, but as most of us know cancer has a way of re-appearing, and he made a decision that he would sell the company while he was still on earth. He wanted to assist in transitioning the company for the sake of the employees and clients.
My father beat the odds and survived his cancer even though he was only given a 30% chance of surviving it. I speak with him several times per week about Assured Retirement Group, as he remains a valuable resource for me, and is still to this day involved in Assured Retirement Group.
In addition to my good fortune to having discovered the career that I enjoy, I have also had the good fortune of meeting and marrying the love of my life, my wife Emily. She has been supportive of my desire to start my own firm and to follow my father’s footsteps, knowing that it would require some initial financial and personal sacrifice. We have both been blessed with a son, Colton. I am looking forward to being his soccer coach someday, that is, if he likes soccer. The other member of my family is my British lab that I named Merlin because of the shape of his ears and forehead when he was a puppy. I love to go pheasant hunting with him. My wife Emily also enjoys hunting with him, and if she goes with us, she usually shoots the bird before the rest of the hunters get a bead on it.
Now that you know a little about me, I can’t wait to learn more about you and what your desires are in retirement.
Eldon Oldre is part of the Advisory Board of Assured Retirement Group, Inc. He was the founder and CEO of Combined Financial Group Insurance Services in Minnetonka, MN and has been in the industry for over 46 years. He grew CFG Insurance Services to over 175 employees before selling the company to Associated Bank. After a short retirement, Eldon Oldre joined the Advisory Board of Assured Retirement Group to help bring the same models and ethics that CFG Insurance Services was built on.
Eldon helps bring in new innovated ideas and new ways to better serve clients and the community. He also brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience in the financial and retirement industry. Even for as old as he is, he still feels exhilarated when a client or prospective client realizes how Assured Retirement Groups team of specialists can help them achieve a vision they have for their retirement. He continues to work to understand the problems and potential problems that threaten our clients success in achieving their dreams and vision, and more importantly, develop and find solutions to problems one might have in retirement.
Administrative and Marketing Assistant
Starting out as a customer service associate in a large insurance company, Sarah found interest in the financial industry. She since has worked as an administrative marketing assistant, supporting financial professionals for the past five years by helping create retirement income and investment plans. Sarah is highly qualified, holding her FINRA Series 6, 7, and 63 licenses. She has planned seminars and events that range anywhere from 10 to 250 attendees. Working in the industry for the past 5 years has allowed Sarah the opportunity to build and grow relationships with clients, helping them build successful retirement plans. The environment has also given her the chance to wear many hats and learn different aspects of the industry which helps brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. Sarah likes to spend time with her friends and family, as well as go to the gym in her spare time.
Mary Jo Belisle
Event First Impressions
Mary Jo specializes in helping out at our events and seminars. She is the most friendly and happy person you will ever meet and always excited to meet new people. Before joining Assured Retirement Group, she was a family friend of Vincent Oldre and has known him his entire life which makes working with Assured Retirement Group a great pleasure for her. Now she is excited to be a part of the Assured Retirement Group team and help those seeking a better retirement. You will be happy to meet Mary Jo at one of our next events and I know she looks forward to meeting you.
Wayne Schmidt, CFA®
Chief Investment Officer of Gradient Investments, LLC
In October 2008, Wayne Schmidt joined Gradient Investments, LLC and serves as Chief Investment Officer. With 26 years of investment experience, Wayne brings decades of institutional experience and in-depth knowledge of the private client market to Gradient Investments, and offers a global investment management perspective.
Wayne is an invaluable and direct resource for affiliated investment advisors and their clients. He provides vast wisdom, knowledge, experience and tools to help investment advisors grow their practice, while also growing 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 St. Paul, Minnesota.
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 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 the 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. Binger 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. Binger has successfully invested in numerous market and economic cycles giving him a level and depth of experience that is rare in this industry.
Binger started his investment career in Minneapolis, Minnesota 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, Binger 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.
Binger 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.” Binger is a CFA® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.
Binger’s media highlights include numerous appearances, 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.
Founder and Chief Investment Strategist with FormulaFolios
Jason Wenk is the founder and Chief Investment Strategist for FormulaFolio Investments. Prior to FormulaFolios, he worked for Morgan Stanley, and also founded Retirement Wealth Advisors (an SEC Registered Investment Advisor) in 2002. While building portfolios for private clients at Retirement Wealth Advisors, FormulaFolios were first developed. In addition to his work with FormulaFolios and Retirement Wealth Advisors, Jason writes a popular investing blog that is followed by thousands of individual and professional investors from around the world.
Nick Stovall, CPA/PFS, Stovall & Associates
Founder and President of Stovall and Associates, LTd., Certified Public Accountants
Nick Stovall CPA/PFS, CGMA, MBA boasts an extensive background in accounting, finance and investments. With over 20 years of experience, he brings decades of private industry accounting, public accounting, business taxation, IRA taxation, technical taxation, tax law, and tax policy knowledge to the organization. With an in-depth knowledge of the financial services industry and solid understanding of the complex demands of diverse business settings, his experience provides an invaluable perspective on the intricate relationships between tax and business issues.
During his tenure in the private industry sector, Nick served as the chief financial officer for Glenn Corporation, E Energy Adams and Gradient Financial Group, LLC. He has also consulted in the public sector serving individuals and businesses in the areas of financial and tax planning. Nick was an instructor with National American University, teaching upper division accounting courses and remains a mentor for aspiring accountants in the Twin Cities area.
Nick earned the Masters of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of St. Thomas where he graduated with distinction. In addition, he attended Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota for the Masters of Business Taxation. Nick also holds his series 27, 7, and 66, as well as his life and health license.
Nick remains active in the accounting industry and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MnCPA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Nick is a member of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group.