The phone lines were jammed at financial advisersÂ’ offices throughout the week as average investors called to find out just what the heck was happening on Wall Street.

Callers wanted to know if their money was safe and whether or not their retirement savings were at risk.

"The word risk has a new meaning in today's world," Barry Glassman, a senior vice president at Cassaday & Co., told The Washington Post. "Families cannot just assume they're covered. They need to take the time to understand where the risks lie."

Even mutual funds are not immune to questioning. While there have been no signs yet that the highly regulated mutual fund companies are in distress, investors are still concerned about what would happen to their savings if their mutual fund company collapsed.

According to Investment Company Institute spokesman Mike McNamee, each fund is a legally separate company from the mutual fund company itself, and its assets are held in a trust account in a custodial bank.

"So if a fund company went bankrupt -- and even if the custodial bank itself went bankrupt -- the funds' assets are still held in trust for the shareholders," he said.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.