Martin, an Arkansas native, graduated from Southwest Missouri State University with a degree in biology in 1973.

"I took a job with RadioShack in Independence, where a man came in, looking for a $10 calculator and ended up leaving with a $250 pocket computer," Martin said. "He left and came back in with his business card and said I'd impressed him."

The name on the business card was fairly well-known in the 1980s, according to Martin.

"It was Ted Jones, the president of Edward Jones at the time," he noted. "Two years later, Radio Shack wanted to transfer me to Fargo, N.D., so I started looking at other jobs."

Martin moved to Washington in 1983, where he worked as a financial adviser for Edward Jones. He later worked for Hilliard Lyons.

"I worked with Les Avery, who was the very first stockbroker in Washington," he explained. "I learned a tremendous amount from him."

In 1994, Martin along with Eric Park formed Steamboat Financial, located at 416 Elm St., which has grown into a staff of 16.

Within Steamboat Financial's first year, it served over 1,000 local clients. Today, the business has over 2,500 clients. Last year, Martin purchased the entire business from Park.

"I am so fortunate to work with such a great group of people," Martin noted. "We are truly a family in ourselves. We're such good friends and enjoy working together."

Martin has received many awards, his most recent is being named a 2008 Five Star Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Manager, featured in St. Louis Magazine.

The owner said Steamboat Financial is unique because it custom-designs investment portfolios for its clients.

"There are no cookie-cutter designs here," he said. "We don't have to meet any quotas or goals. We can truly do what we feel is best for our clients."

Martin said without his loyal clientele, he would not be here today.

"Money is obviously very important to our clients and I think one of the biggest honors given is people trusting you with their life savings," he noted. "I have had lots of clients who started out with a few thousand dollars and today they are very wealthy."

Martin said that he still sees clients who he sat down with at the kitchen table in 1983.

"The people in Washington and Franklin County are the best people you can ever deal with," said Martin. "Living in Washington has been a wonderful experience - becoming a part of its business has been the highlight of my life."

An open house marking Martin's 25th anniversary will be held at Steamboat Financial Friday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.