David Bugen refutes the tired adage that nice guys finish last. Cordial and unassuming in conversation - disarmingly so - this CFP runs a firm that's one of Financial Planning's top 50 fee-only RIA firms in the U.S., managing $2.4 billion in assets for more than 1,000 clients.

His client base tends to be more well-to-do than ultra-wealthy, he says. About 85% of the clients at RegentAtlantic Capital - the Morristown, N.J., successor to the firm he first co-founded three decades ago - have investment assets ranging from $2 million to $10 million.

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