SAN ANTONIO - Advisors flock to the Financial Planning Association annual conference to rub shoulders with and learn from peers with big client rosters and multibillion-dollar assets under management. But more than 100 attendees of the nearly 2,000 planners here have a far more modest AUM: zero.

"This probably shows how small town I am, but I didn't know how many planning firms there were," says Tyler Davis, a 21-year-old senior at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., attending his first FPA conference. He was attracted to the profession when he was 17 and was hired in his high school senior year by a bank in his hometown of Stillwell, Okla.

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