A new study by Natixis Global Asset Management shows that even well-heeled investors may not fully understand the potential risks in passively managed investments such as exchange-traded funds.

Among investors with at least $200,000 in investable assets, 71 percent said ETFs and other index funds are less risky. That suggests many investors "have expectations that don't reflect a full understanding of the risks of index funds versus the benefits," according to language in a company release.

All told, Natixis and its family of affiliated asset managers oversee about $885 billion in global investors' assets.

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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.