For a guy with $2.1 billion in assets under management, Dale Yahnke is self-effacing about his success. The founding partner and CEO of advisory firm Dowling & Yahnke explains: "Ours is a general practice - no particular exotic niche. And we have a penchant for passive investing that is definitely not sexy. I guess we just execute better."

Better execution may be an understatement. Yahnke says one employee told him, "I had no idea what detail-oriented meant till I worked for you guys!" Each of the firm's 700 clients is served by a financial advisor as well as the firm's support team, which includes three additional CFAs who handle trading, retirement analysis and other planning issues.

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