Real financial planning requires a comprehensive focus on client needs, according to Kathy Stepp, principal and founder of Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. a financial advisory firm in Overland Park, Kan. To make that happen, Stepp says, her firm uses “very high ratio of us versus them.” In fact, she says, the firm has a staff-to-client ratio that is “probably unheard of in the industry.”

Stepp & Rothwell has 15 employees and 170 clients. The firm manages more than $450 million. Its staff includes six certified financial planners, each of whom head a team for every client, plus a staff of assistants to the planners called analysts. Each of the three analysts works with different planners on different clients.

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