Defined contribution and defined benefit participants are adopting goal-oriented approaches to offset risk, as opposed to pursuing the highest potential returns, according to research commissioned by Principal Global Investors. 

The study sees the shift to more cautious investing as a fundamental change, not a short-term trend. 

"We are seeing investors operate with more caution," said Barb McKenzie, chief operating officer of Principal Global Investors. "Income and risk are more important than high returns. Goal-oriented investing is the major theme with investors today." 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.