Since the early 1960s, Americans have become less trusting of the world around them, losing confidence in government, religious institutions and the financial system itself, according to a Pew Global Attitudes Survey.

The meltdown of the financial markets, punctuated by the failure of Bear Stearns, has only exacerbated distrust of the financial system. Some financial advisors have felt this lack of trust most acutely in recent years, making it increasingly difficult to serve clients. It's a difficult challenge to help clients who are hesitant to share information, who do not trust financial projections and who are reluctant to follow prudent recommendations.

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