Capitalizing on recent market volatility, Putnam Investments of Boston started offering insurance on all of its funds Feb. 1, becoming the first independent fund company to offer this type of product.

"The guarantee offered by Putnam Insured Investor will offer peace of mind to investors during a time of volatile markets," said Richard A. Monaghan, chief of Putnam mutual funds, in a prepared statement. "We believe this type of investor protection option will become an industry standard in the near future."

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