When Sheryl Garrett moved her financial advisory practice to an hourly-fee compensation model 17 years ago, former colleagues and industry peers called her an "absolute idiot." 

"I certainly wasn't the first to do so, but it was extremely rare then for people to charge an hourly fee for financial advice," said Garrett, founder of Arkansas-based Garrett Planning Network, a channel of about 320 RIAs around the country who set an hourly rate for their services. 

Since then, she's been working behind the scenes for years with other industry voices in calling for heightened fiduciary standards to be applied throughout the industry. 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.