NEW YORK - Many financial advisers are feeling extremely guilty for failing to protect their customers from the 30% equity drop in 2008, but it will take more than remorse to earn clients' forgiveness.

As stocks tumbled off a cliff in early October, advisers reassured worried investors to stay in the market and to invest for the long term, while reminding them that selling at the bottom meant locking in losses. They repeated this widely held mantra again in January, February and March as stocks continued to search for a new bottom.

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