How have people's attitudes and values changed with respect to the financial markets and investment opportunities?
This is a good question. As you know the markets are now very volatile, to say the least. After 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns, the financial world is a different place. The swings are absolutely tremendous. For instance, the price of oil and silver can go down 30% in a week and then bounce back up. There really is no telling what can happen.
All the old assumptions are now being challenged. For example, the buy and hold strategy may not work at all, when companies are filing for bankruptcy. Even the idea of diversifying is not great. To put it in short, we are living in new times. For this reason, we have lost many investors. Many people no longer have faith in the stock market and we will probably never see them back.
Just look at the price of gold. It hit 2000 dollars an ounce a month ago. This states that we are in a place of fear.