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Financial Planners Try to Allay Investors' Fears

Financial planners are spending a lot of time these days trying to allay their clients' fears. Anyone who works with a financial adviser most likely has money in the stock market and, therefore, has experienced steep losses in the past year.

But so far, most investors are not blaming their advisers for the market mess. Instead, they are relying on them more heavily.

"If you're not down, you're not investing," Mike Brown, first vice president at UBS Financial Services, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You must have your money in CDs or cash or under the mattress."

UBS, in fact, is one of the few firms that has been actively reaching out to investors, Brown said. His own message to clients has been to remain calm and unemotional in the face of the financial storm.

"The key to long-term investment success, I think, is to minimize activity and to make investment decisions without emotion, if at all possible," Brown said.

Thomas Eyssell, head of the financial planning program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said he instructs his students that part of the job is "being sort of an amateur psychologist."

Due to the oncoming wave of retiring Baby Boomers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts there will be a 41% increase in the use of financial planners between 2006 and 2016, with the number of people working in the field jumping from 176,000 to 248,000.

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