The words sunk in as I listened to a group of smart advisors vividly describe the steps they would take to grow their firm. As I sat through a special TD Ameritrade Institutional summit last year for advisors, I couldn't get the conversation out of my mind.

The discussion with Trovena's Christopher Van Slyke and Scott Leonard was the inspiration for my firm - Searcy Financial Services of Overland Park, Kan., - to create a new but affiliated company: Allos Investment Advisors. That week, with the idea still fresh in our minds, Mike Searcy, the firm's president, and I began to sketch out a plan that we would unfold when we returned home.

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