CHICAGO – Long before the litany of market timing and trading scandals swept the mutual fund industry, wealthy investors pulled back slightly for more favorable assets, according to a recent survey. Researchers at Spectrem Group, a consulting firm, polled more than 300 respondents with at least $5 million in net worth over the summer. The survey revealed mutual funds dropped to roughly 6% of assets in August, falling behind stock options and restricted stock, which comprised 3% of the respondents assets. High-net worth investors are turning to managed accounts for higher returns and certificates of deposit for safety, the survey discovered. Since 2001, managed accounts assets grew from 13 to 26%, individual stocks and bonds increased from 26% to 31% and cash edged up more than half from 3 to 9%, Spectrem reported. In 2004, nearly 67% said they planned to invest cash in individual stocks, 22% expect to invest cash stockpiles in real estate and 33% will shift cash to fixed income. Mutual funds were not an option, the respondents indicated.

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