Most financial advisers share their clients' level of concern about the mutual fund scandal, according to a survey of 124 financial advisers conducted by Select Sector SPDRs, for which State Street Global Advisors serves as investment advisor. A quarter of advisers expressed little concern about the scandal, mostly because they feel the problems are limited to only a few certain companies.

The media has blown the scandal out of proportion, according to 42% of advisers. An equal number says that they are "quite upset." A third characterize their concern as "average," and a quarter feel that the scandal has helped them focus attention on fees and policies that they don't like.

"Our survey shows us that there is no single, standard response to the mutual fund scandal," said Daniel Dolan, director of wealth management strategies at Select Sector SPDRs. "What's most interesting to us is that a substantial minority (30%) think their clients are less upset than the advisers themselves."

Almost three-quarters of advisers are generally optimistic about equity market performance this year, with 57% expecting gains below 2003 levels. Another 15% expect 2004 to at least equal 2003. Fully 21% remain uncomfortable about the market.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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