Long before it was trendy for financial planners to cater to women, Laura Tarbox was building up a substantial retinue of female clients.

Tarbox, who founded her eponymous firm in 1985, says she didn't intentionally target female prospects, she would just meet someone in her day-to-day life - in the stands during one of her daughter's basketball games, at a charity event or while she was teaching - and they'd start talking. The next thing she knew, the woman would be making an appointment to talk.

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