Mutual fund investors are not alone in how the financial crisis has profoundly changed the way they approach saving, risk management and asset allocation. Without question, investors are more conservative and interested in flexible products that minimize risk and use alternative investments during heightened market volatility or a prolonged downturn as we saw in 2008.

For asset managers who serve this dramatically different public, the financial crisis has changed the products and services that they must offer. Today, asset management firms must be more nimble and client-centric than ever and, particularly as clients' retirement balances grow, do a far better job of educating investors through proper guidance and advice.

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