Historically, U.S. investors have been known to be rather skittish when it comes to risky investments such as commodities and international, small-cap and aggressive stocks. However, recently they have been bullish when it comes to these asset classes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"This is beyond clients just following our advice to be more balanced," said Mary Doucette, a senior vice president at Northern Trust. "It's startling that in almost every client meeting I go to these days, clients are saying the same thing: 'I want higher returns; I want higher risk.'"

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