Reports of the death of stocks and equity mutual funds have been greatly exaggerated.

While a vocal minority is predicting the end of modern portfolio theory and retirement savings plans as we know them, most investors seem to be waiting for the storm to pass and prefer to listen to the steady, reassuring words of financial leaders who continue to preach the fundamental, tried-and-true principles of investing, even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled last Monday to a 12-year low of 7,114, a figure not last seen since Oct. 28, 1997.

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