And so begins a new year in the money management industry, fraught with anxiety over whether the nation's capital markets will bounce back from a relatively flat 2005, or if December's dreaded inversion of the bond yield curve and what is surely to be further tightening of short-term interest rates are a harbinger of darker days to come.

Whatever the markets might hold in 2006, experts say, this much is for sure: Regulators will continue and perhaps even expand the intensity of their police work, particularly in the hedge fund area; the fee reductions that began in post-scandal 2003 and accelerated in 2004 are likely to continue, albeit a bit subdued; and the business of compliance will be the primary job creator in the industry yet again this year.

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