WASHINGTON—While investors have overwhelmingly stayed the course and remained invested in mutual funds following the financial crises of 1987, 1990, 2000 and 2008, the latest credit crisis has greatly reduced investors’ risk tolerance,  said Investment Company Institute Chairman Edward C. Bernard in his opening keynote address to the ICI’s General Membership Meeting Wednesday here.

“The financial meltdown of 2007 and 2008 created sharp setbacks for investors,” said Bernard, who is also vice chairman of T. Rowe Price. “Across a wide spectrum of ages, investors have a reduced appetite for risk. Fewer investors say they’ll take above-average or substantial risk in exchange for comparable returns. Among households owning mutual funds, the share willing to take such risks has fallen by almost one-fifth—from 37% to 30%--since 2008.”

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