As I reflect back on my early days in the business, I think I was destined to work in a fiduciary environment. I started in the San Francisco office of a major Wall Street firm, and like many of us who entered the industry during that period, I had to face the reality of smiling and dialing: getting prospects on the phone so I could pitch them the latest mutual fund, stock, bond fund or whatever else the firm was highlighting that week.

But something about that approach never made sense to me. Who was I — a kid barely out of college, who had never experienced the responsibility of managing a significant amount of assets — to be telling these people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s the best way to invest their money? What did I know about these people, really? What basis did I have for advising them about something so important?

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