The three-year bear market and unemployment have caused investors to be less concerned with growing their portfolio than merely protecting their assets, a John Hancock Financial survey shows. And this focus is likely to continue for some time to come.

"We found that financial decision makers today are increasingly conservative, focusing more on protecting their financial assets and families than building wealth," said James Benson, senior executive vice president at John Hancock. "Many have altered their portfolios to reduce their exposure to risk and are more interested in products with guaranteed or fixed rates of return."

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