It wasn't the devil, but the bear, that made them do it.

Amidst grim market conditions and widespread layoffs, mutual fund giants have been forced to push wholesaler salary levels down nearly 20%, according to DGL Consultants. In its 2001-2002 Annual Sales Compensation Survey & Analysis, one of the most detailed reports available on investment compensation, the Richford, Vt., research and consulting firm notes that "depressed financial markets combined with the cost associated with keeping wholesalers in the field have caused companies to fine-tune compensation plans to cut costs."

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