Michael Smith has a rare perspective on the state of wages in the American labor market.

The financial planning business he founded in 2002, Avidian Wealth Management, is fed by a burgeoning stock market and has expanded at a healthy clip. Headquartered in an upscale shopping center in the Energy Corridor, his analysts and planners get cost-of-living raises, merit increases and bonuses as Smith tries to lure talent in an industry where wages, adjusted for inflation, have risen 22 percent in the past decade.

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