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Meet the Team

You tell us what you want to accomplish.

We show you how to get there.

Our Mission Is Simple

We believe that the best financial behaviors can be learned and taught, no matter your age or current financial status. It's never too early and never too late to learn how to make wise financial decisions. We are committed to helping you do that.


Meet Your Financial Planning Team


Austin B. Colby, MBA, CFP® Photo Austin B. Colby, MBA, CFP® Hover Photo
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Austin B. Colby, MBA, CFP®

Owner / Sr. Financial Planner

Austin B. Colby, MBA, CFP®

Owner / Sr. Financial Planner




“I believe that every family can achieve their financial goals, if the path to do so is clear. This work of building paths and guiding clients along those paths is my passion, and it brings me tremendous joy. After twenty years of doing this, I am more excited today than ever about helping families with their finances. Helping one family at a time make good choices makes a difference. I believe that whole-heartedly and am thankful for the opportunity to serve so many people in this capacity.”

— Austin


Austin is the owner and visionary behind The Wealth Group. His #1 responsibility is to lead our team in devotion to the mission: providing quality financial planning and investment management to the firm’s clients.

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Education/Designations

  • BS from Minnesota State University, Mankato – Finance with emphasis in Financial Planning
  • MBA from Minnesota State University, Mankato – Leadership & Organizational Development
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, and CFP® in the U.S.



Paul M. Bennett, CFP® Photo
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Paul M. Bennett, CFP®

Sr. Financial Planner

Paul M. Bennett, CFP®

Sr. Financial Planner




“I want people to succeed at life and that includes guiding them to achieve sound money management. I enjoy helping individuals and businesses make beneficial decisions in regards to money and investment management. Long range planning is one of my professional passions and moving people from the thought of retirement to the reality of retirement is something I enjoy assisting our clients with.” 

— Paul


Paul has more than 20 years of experience advising business owners and affluent individuals about their finances. Paul has achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. Being a CFP® professional enables him to help clients focus on what is important to them. He has also earned the Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor (CRPC®) designation, which demonstrates his expertise in the area of retirement financial planning for individuals.

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Education/Designations

  • BS in Finance from Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
  • CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor)
  • CKA® (Certified Kingdom Advisor®)

 

Certified Financial Planer Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, and CFP® in the U.S.

Mike K. Earl, CFP®, CPWA® Photo Mike K. Earl, CFP®, CPWA® Hover Photo
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Mike K. Earl, CFP®, CPWA®

Partner, Director of Wealth Management

Mike K. Earl, CFP®, CPWA®

PARTNER, DIRECTOR OF WEALTH MANAGEMENT



“I want to empower our clients to succeed with their money. Too many people experience unnecessary stress and anxiety in their financial lives. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”  We aim to be those counselors that provide safety for our clients. Navigating the world of personal finance is not easy. There are many sharks out there, selling products and giving bad advice. We want to be shepherds that guide our clients around the many pitfalls and landmines that exist in the world of money and investing.

It has been said that a good financial advisor has the heart of a teacher. We agree. We want our clients to understand the advice we give them. We want them to be the driver of their financial plan, with us as their sidekick/coach to help them make their plans and goals a reality.”

— Mike


Mike enjoys the technical aspects of financial planning: leveraging technology to help his clients and the team, helping clients execute their recommended financial planning strategies and better understand their monthly cash flow.

Mike has been quoted as a financial expert in Fox Business, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider.

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Education/Designations

  • BS in Business/Economics from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®)
  • Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®)

Certified Financial Planer Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, and CFP® in the U.S.

Adam Colby, CIMA Photo
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Adam Colby, CIMA

Partner, CFO, Financial Planner

Adam Colby, CIMA

PARTNER, CFO, FINANCIAL PLANNER


“I love working alongside the people at The Wealth Group. Additionally, my younger brother (and now boss) and I have wanted to work together for years. When the opportunity arose within The Wealth Group I jumped at the chance. I have always had a passion for personal finance and investing; the transition into this investment-focused role was a natural one for me.”

— ADAM



Developing and stress-testing the firm’s asset allocation models is a passion of Adam’s.  You may often find him assessing risk metrics for client portfolios and the broader global markets as well as trading and rebalancing client portfolios.

Education/Designations

  • CIMA®
  • BA (Business Major/Math Minor) from Dakota State University

Personal Interests

Adam has been married to his wife, Kristi for 20 years. They have three children: Emma, Andruw and Anthony. Adam is an avid sports fan and an excellent coach of his sons' youth sports teams. He also thoroughly enjoys a round of golf every now and again. 

Questions for Adam

What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received about money?
"Don't borrow it."

What is your favorite book and why?
Total Baseball Encyclopedia because it led to the greatest website of all time (baseball-reference.com)

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don't know about?
I know all 54 Superbowl champions, all 115 World Series champions, and every NBA champion since 1957.



Investments & Wealth Institute TM (The Institute) is the owner of the certification mark "CIMA" and "Certified Investment Management Analyst." Use of CIMA and/or Certified Investment Management Analyst signifies that the user has successfully completed The Institute's initial and ongoing credentialing requirements for investment management professional.


 

Dan Johnson, CFP® Photo Dan Johnson, CFP® Hover Photo
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Dan Johnson, CFP®

Financial Planner

Dan Johnson, CFP®

Financial planneR



“I love being able to see and contribute to the confidence in the families we help when they know they are taking the correct steps towards financial independence. I truly enjoy building relationships with people. The work I do with The Wealth Group gives me the opportunity to do this by building a relationship that will last a lifetime.”

— DAN


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Education/Designations

  • Graduated from North Central University with a degree in Business Administration.
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™


Certified Financial Planer Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, and CFP® in the U.S.




Karie Merritt Photo
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Karie Merritt

Partner, Director of Client Services

Karie Merritt

partner, Director of Client Services



"I have realized there are so many people in the world today who are unsure of how to save or plan for the future. They live paycheck to paycheck and think debt is normal. It’s no big deal to them if they have car payments, credit card payments, student loan debt, etc. We get to help people realize that there’s a different way to live. We get to help people who feel hopeless finally find a clear path for the future while taking control of their finances for the first time. When people are proactive rather than reactive, it’s amazing what can be accomplished. 

I feel privileged to be a part of their journey to financial freedom."

— Karie


Karie’s main role is managing the onboarding process for new clients. She works hard to ensure a seamless transition and to make all clients feel welcome and cared for. As the Director of Client Services & Experience, she oversees the Client Services team, plans client events, processes monetary transfers, handles paperwork for clients and helps to manage the day-to-day operations of the office.

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Education/Designations

  • AA in Liberal Arts & Sciences from North Hennepin Community College
  • BA in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Concordia University St. Paul
  • Notary Public


Misty Tanner Photo Misty Tanner Hover Photo
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Misty Tanner

Client Services Associate

Misty Tanner

Client Services Associate


“I am passionate about my work because I think it is important to make wise, informed decisions with our finances as it permeates into all aspects of our lives. Just as people strive to maintain balance in their overall lives, financial wellness and understanding in your personal life is just as important. ”

— Misty


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Education/Designations

  • B.S. in Business Administration in Sports & Fitness, Minor in Bible & Theology
  • Certificate in Coaching



Ben Thorson Photo Ben Thorson Hover Photo
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Ben Thorson

Financial Advisor

Ben Thorson

financial advisor


“I enjoy helping people make better decisions with their money and I love working with the TWG team! I am surrounded by a great group of people who are experts at their craft and are willing to help make those around them better. 

Every day I feel as though I am going to learn something new that will help me better serve our clients.”

—BEN


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Education/Designations

  • Graduated from North Central University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
  • Accounting experience at CH Robinson in Eden Prairie.





Paige Knier Photo
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Paige Knier

Financial Advisor

Paige Knier

financial advisor


“I have always had an interest in personal finance. Having a plan and setting goals for your financial life enables you to accomplish things that otherwise would never be possible. A thousand small steps in the right direction can lead to a life of stability and ability—The Wealth Group exists to help plot that course and keep our clients on track.”

— PAIGE


Even as a young adult, keeping her finances in order and planning for the future has allowed Paige to experience wealth as a blessing rather than a stressor. She wants people to know that same freedom, especially when life gets complicated. 

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Education/Designations

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and minor in Christian Studies from North Central University




Jaron Kissner Photo Jaron Kissner Hover Photo
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Jaron Kissner

Financial Advisor

Jaron Kissner

Financial Advisor


“In my mid 20’s, I read a personal finance book for the first time. The contents of that book opened my eyes and sparked a passion in me that transformed the financial trajectory of my family. Fast forward a few years, and this passion has now led me to change my career path and pursue becoming a financial planner.

I feel blessed to be able to join The Wealth Group and work with a very talented, high-quality team of people. I can’t think of work that is more rewarding and impactful than being able to help our clients and their families achieve their financial goals!”

—jaron


Favorites


Education/Designations

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and minor in Christian Studies from North Central University

Personal Interests

Jaron married his lovely bride, Jennifer, in 2016. Since then, they have added two children to their family: Vivienne (2019) and Graham (2021), as well as a Golden Retriever named Penny. They settled into their first home in Jordan, MN in 2021. As a family, they enjoy spending time with family and friends, visiting relatives in AZ, hiking, and being on the lake. They are also very involved at River Valley Church in Shakopee, where Jaron and Jennifer serve as deacons.

Jaron has recently become passionate about the game of golf and is striving to break 85. He also enjoys working out and watching the Vikings as they find new ways to lose NFC Championship games.