More participation on the upside, less risk on the downside." That's exactly how Alan Mus- chott, portfolio manager of the Franklin Convertible Securities Fund, describes the advantages of convertibles securities. Until 2008, those virtues were obvious.

When the market plunged, however, convertibles fell as sharply as stocks. After a robust recovery, though, convertibles may be ready to resume their traditional role: playing a balancing act in a diversified portfolio.

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