This is a time of high anxiety in the financial planning industry: Regulators are on the prowl, there's as much volatility in the U.S. markets as you might find in frontier markets and the nation's economic recovery could hardly be weaker. And yet financial planning remains a compelling profession to build a business in.

The winners and runners-up of this year's Financial Planning Influencer Awards (p. 66) are proof that the industry is awash in innovative ideas to attract clients, build - and protect - client assets and practice profits, and guide the careers of younger advisors.

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