Investors with at least $100,000 to invest are sorely in need of guidance on fixed income risk, asset allocation and retirement readiness, MFS Investment Management found in a survey of 613 investors.

Forty-three said their risk tolerance has decreased, and only 14% say it has increased. More than one-third, 36%, said their primary investment objective is protecting principal. Before the economic downturn, this was the goal for only 14%. Before the downturn, 50% were willing to take on substantial risk; today, that’s 23%. Today, 65% say they are very concerned about another serious drop in the market.

“This year, investors have flooded into bond funds, with $216 billion in net flows, while pulling out $18 billion net from equity funds, at a time when a more balanced approach to both asset classes might be more prudent,” said Bill Finnegan, director of global retail marketing for MFS. “Interest rates are at all time lows, potentially creating inherent risks to bond investors’ principal, should rates begin to rise. It appears that investors have understood only half the equation.”

Finnegan continued: “Less than four in 10 have rebalanced their portfolios since the downturn. This type of behavior speaks to a need for many investors to be working with a financial adviser to develop a disciplined asset allocation strategy.”