The events of Sept. 11 confirmed uncertainty about the future of the economy, precipitating a recent spate of wholesaler layoffs. Is this a trend?

"One of the things that a lot of people have asked lately is, where are we in the cycle of layoffs in the mutual fund and annuity industries. Some people feel we've just started and others feel it's just been blips here and there," said Matt McGinness, an analyst at Cerulli Associates.

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