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TBH (Tortoise Beats Hare)

A Private Wealth Management Company Serving

Brentwood | Nashville | Franklin

And Families All Over America

Learn About Our Firm

Taking a Careful, Diligent Approach

To Investing and Advice

TBH (Tortoise Beats Hare) is an independent registered investment advisor delivering proactive and purposeful wealth solutions to affluent clients in every stage of life. Operating under a fiduciary standard, we provide transparent and unbiased advice while working closely with your trusted advisors for an all-encompassing experience.

Located in Brentwood, we proudly serve affluent and entrepreneurial individuals or business owners throughout Tennessee and the U.S. As an independent, fee-only firm, we are fiduciaries to the core. Our role is to help you stay focused on your long-term goals and objectives and tune out the noise and distractions that prevent financial success.

  • Saving Money for Your Future

  • Managing Your Investments

  • Education Saving

  • Protection Planning

  • Estate Planning

  • And More

Whether you have a lack of time, interest or experience with investment management or have received subpar service in the past, TBH Plan can work with you to develop impactful financial behaviors moving forward.

Discover More About How We Help

Delivering Proactive and Purposeful Wealth Solutions

To Affluent Clients in Every Stage of Life

Our Approach Is Advanced and Comprehensive

At TBH, our process revolves around three critical components:

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We must listen before we plan and we must plan before we invest. It’s that order that gives us the greatest chance for success. While life can be a fluid process, it’s the planning process that is essential in achieving one’s goals.

 The interests of the client are of paramount importance. A relationship with TBH should exude exceptionalism and professionalism with every interaction.

- David Merrell, Founder & Managing Partner

Since it's founding, our firm has consisted of professionals who have had the client’s best interest in mind. Today, we have extensive experience working with a variety of individuals and continue to operate as two halves of a whole. This means you can expect collaboration and a team-based approach to your financial needs.

What Else Can You Expect?

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Deep Bench of Experience

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Uncompromising Ethics

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Extensive Due Diligence

Over the years, we’ve consistently provided trusted, personal service and individualized solutions to help you succeed. We look forward to building a relationship that starts with you.

Get to Know Our Team

Meet Your TBH Plan Team

Schedule Time to Meet

David Merrell Photo

David Merrell

Founder and Managing Member
Read Bio

David Merrell

Founder and Managing Member

TBH (Tortoise Beats Hare) Plan was founded in 2007 by David Merrell right before the Great Recession. Some might call that bad timing, but it was ideal for a company that prides itself on giving transparent and unbiased advice. David’s vision of serving clients on a truly independent, fiduciary basis came to fruition after working for various institutions over a 10+ year period. David has leveraged his vast experience in the markets and financial planning world to provide like-minded advisors and financial planners a platform with the freedom to do the same.

From David’s early days as a financial advisor to running an investment management and trust division and being part of a group that managed a multi-billion dollar portfolio, he learned the intricacies of the financial planning and investment world. Now, with over 20 years of experience stewarding clients through tumultuous market environments and economic cycles in various wealth management roles, David prides himself on providing exemplary service and wonderful client experience.   

A graduate of Sewanee, the University of the South, David currently resides with his wife, Holly, and their youngest son, Lincoln, on their farm in College Grove, TN. Beyond the menagerie of animals (way too many to list), David and Holly also have children, Bryce and Caroline, attending Clemson and SCAD, respectively. When David is not watching the markets or reading the latest economic reports, he enjoys traveling, horseback riding, running and simply relaxing on their farm.

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Brett Walters, CFP®

Lead Financial Planner
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Brett Walters, CFP®

Lead Financial Planner

With over 10 years of experience in financial planning, Brett brings a depth of knowledge and familiarity with complex financial strategies in his service to clients. Service has long been a defining characteristic for Brett and his unconventional path to his calling as a financial planner provides him with a unique perspective to serving his clients.

Soon after graduating high school, Brett enlisted in the U.S. Navy and completed the arduous training to become a Navy SEAL. He had the honor to serve in the presence of heroes through two overseas deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Although few of the elite skills from the military translated over to his current profession, many of the traits he learned at an early age provide unique advantages in his current role as a fiduciary financial planner, among them attention to detail, disciplined process, dedication to the mission (the client) and a commitment to excellence.

After the SEALs, Brett graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a Bachelor’s in Finance, with honors. Brett resides in Nashville with his wife, Emily, and two young sons, Kingston and Troy. A lifelong learner, he attends West End Community Church and spends his free time in the outdoors with his family.

Holly Merrell Photo

Holly Merrell

Client Experience Officer
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Holly Merrell

Client Experience Officer

Holly brings a personal touch and a wealth of knowledge to each client relationship. She instills a “control what you can control” philosophy and seeks to remove roadblocks and unknown obstacles, allowing her clients to find clarity and to focus on their desires.

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Melissa Hines

Client Service Advocate
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Melissa Hines

Client Service Advocate

Melissa is our Client Service Advocate. The most rewarding part of her job is communicating with our clients to learn more about them, their family and where they call home. She comes to us most recently from the orthodontic industry, where she worked for nine years in both clinical and administrative roles. Melissa believed in treating every patient as if they were her child and she were their parent. As a result, she earned the loyalty and trust of her patients and co-workers. She brings this same philosophy to TBH Plan, where she works with a goal of showing every client that they are heard and valued.

Melissa’s background also includes administrative and marketing roles at a consulting firm for the accounting industry and group events for the Nashville Sounds AAA baseball team.

Melissa graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and has lived in Tennessee her entire life. She grew up in White Bluff and now resides in Nashville.  On the weekend, she enjoys cooking new recipes for her husband Allen, who is a good sport. She also enjoys playing pickleball, riding her bike, hiking and reading. She has a boy and a girl who are eight years apart. From superheroes and video games to ballet and tea parties, there are always a variety of activities going on at her house.

Melissa is passionate about animal rescue and has even served as a cat foster for a local animal rescue group. As with any animal lover, she has kept a few of her fosters along the way.

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Nick Warf

Chief Compliance Officer
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Nick Warf

Chief Compliance Officer

Nick joined TBH in July of 2015. He brings over 20 years of experience in the investment industry to the team. Nick’s role as a Financial Planner allows him to interact with clients and help them build comprehensive financial plans for their future. Nick also serves as the firms Chief Compliance Officer. 

He obtained his Certified Financial Planner™ designation while working with TBH in 2020.  Prior to joining TBH, Nick worked as an investment officer with Independence Trust Company in Franklin, TN and at Hays Advisory in Brentwood, TN.

Nick received his Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Belmont University in 2000. He enjoys golf and all things Vanderbilt athletics. He is a lifelong Middle Tennessee resident and currently lives in Franklin with his wife and son.

Strategies Built With You in Mind

Planning Is At the Core of What We Do

Planning provides peace of mind so you can focus more of your time, energy and attention on the things in life that matter most. We work closely with you and your trusted advisors i.e., accountants, attorneys, etc. to ensure cohesive, uniform solutions. If we are your first trusted advisor we will be happy to assist in building out your team.

Our Capabilities Include:

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Financial Statement Preparation & Analysis

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Insurance Planning & Risk Management

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Employee Benefits Planning

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Investment Planning

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Income Tax Planning

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Retirement Planning

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Estate Planning

What It’s Like Working With TBH

Step 1: Initial Phone Call

We make scheduling your first meeting easy. Simply select a time that works for you, or give us a call to learn more about how we serve our clients.

Step 2: Paperwork

Next, we’ll take the time to understand your goals and interests to ensure that you feel better prepared to achieve a confident financial future. We’ll complete the necessary paperwork and begin implementing the details of your plan.

Step 3: Continue the Relationship

Over time, our relationship will change based on your preferences and what financial approach should be taken. We want to instill financial confidence through our experience, knowledge and passion to help you move forward.

Schedule Your First Meeting

Not All Investment Returns Are Created Equal

Not exactly prophetic, but incredibly important to understand when investing. Too often investors are disappointed in their results and the reasons are vast. High fees, poor tax-efficiency, severe losses and most often, investments that never matched the goal or risk of the investor.

Four Fundamental Principles Drive TBH’s Investment Philosophy:

1. Goal Investing

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Create clear, appropriate goals.

2. Balance

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Develop suitable diversified investments that match goals.

3. Minimize Costs

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Strive for the highest risk-adjusted after-tax returns possible.

4. Behavior

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Maintaining perspective and discipline in volatile times is critical for success.

Embedding these principles to an investment strategy greatly increases one’s success. By focusing on the things within your control, you will experience peace of mind and time to enjoy those things that matter most in life.

Contact Us to Learn More

Driven | Exceptional | Professional

Connect With Us

Our financial services aren’t confined by a physical address. While we are primarily located in Middle Tennessee, our clients span across the country. We enjoy working wherever is most convenient for you so schedule a meeting or fill out the form below, we look forward to getting to know you.