In 1996, Don Tharp left a Fortune 100 financial services company that was focused on profit to start an independent registered investment firm that focuses on sound advice to clients. As a registered investment advisory firm, we are held to a higher legal standard of doing what’s best for our clients. For a period of time, Don was both a registered representative, which meant that he could sell products to clients for a commission, and a registered investment advisor. In 2006, it became clear that the best path forward was to focus on becoming a fee-only investment advisor to eliminate all conflicts of interest. We continue to work at moving towards becoming 100 percent fee-only. In 1996, we created The Financial Masterpiece Program® which is designed to empower our clients to make smart choices.