"Stability" and "protection" have become the new investment buzzwords, replacing "wireless," "Web" and "high-tech" - words that wrought so much magic a mere three years ago.

Stable-value and principal-protection funds are two fund categories that have garnered tremendous assets over the past three years because of their decent returns - returns that during the bull run would have seemed pathetic but that investors and advisers are now avidly cleaving to since nearly every fund category is down.

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