Investors are less confident and more conservative about their retirement savings and personal finances following the financial crisis, but this presents a tremendous opportunity for advisers and mutual fund companies to help them, according to The Hartford.

What’s most notable is that investors are open to fresh approaches to asset allocation and are looking for guidance and input on the investments and allocations they currently hold.

Key findings of a survey The Hartford conducted among investors found that 50% are less confident about their financial picture, and 41% are less confident about the market. Fifty-three percent are more invested in bonds or cash, and nearly 70% are taking a wait-and-see approach to investing, despite the market’s recent rally.

“This may sound like bad news, but it’s actually a tremendous opportunity for financial advisers,” said John Diehl, a senior vice president with The Hartford’s investment and retirement division. “Investors admit they are unsure what path to take as we emerge from the financial crisis, and the adviser can play a crucial role in helping to identify next steps.”

Specifically, The Hartford believes advisers need to work with investors on bond diversification, and the firm has developed marketing and education materials to make it easier for advisers to talk to their clients about fixed income diversification.

The firm has also developed a brochure called “Managing Risk Through Fixed Income Diversification,” in which the four main criteria fixed income investors should consider are addressed: credit risk, interest rate risk, inflation risk and income generation.

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