Stable-value products, generally used by investors who cannot tolerate market losses, continued to garner attention at MetLife last year, despite an upswing in the stock market. The company grew its stable value assets by $1.5 billion dollars in 2003, with assets totaling nearly $19 billion.

The continued attraction of stable value may be attributed to investors consider such products a complement to equity-based products as part of a strategy to avoid market losses in the future.

"Investors continue to look for ways to keep their portfolio value stable while still earning attractive returns," said Sherif Zakhary, vice president, MetLife Retirement & Savings. "One way to do so is to include investments that are by design less volatile than stocks and bonds - that is, investments less likely to have sharp swings in value from day to day."

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