In 1983, Jeffrey Rattiner, an accountant with a practice in New York City, began offering financial planning services to his clients. He was one of the early ones.

At the time, a CPA who told his clients how to invest was virtually unheard of. For Rattiner, it was a matter of personal interest as much as it was a business decision. While his role as an auditor had him poring over his clients' financial histories, he became fascinated with the idea of projecting their futures. "I loved it," he said. And, with a laugh, he added: "I wasn't too good as an auditor, because if you become too creative an accountant you end up in jail."

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