The huckster's adage that you have to spend money to make money doesn't hold water with P.C. "Pete" Vrontakis.

He opened Bank of Salem, Ore., in 1990, and it quickly began to make money hand over fist. In the seven years since, Bank of Salem has been so successful that some start-up banks are now copying its low-budget, six- product strategy, hoping for the same success.

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