Now, who would have thought it? After being regarded as second rate citizens by many hedge funds leading up to and after the crunch, retail investors now hold the main remaining key to accessing some of the world's most sought-after managers.
Here in the UK, household budgets are currently under attack from insufficient growth in earnings and higher costs for basic goods and services.
‘If in doubt, delegate' seems to be the mantra of a growing number of investors this year, as asset allocation portfolios giving managers discretion to shift capital between markets are a popular choice.
As investment styles fell from favour during the credit crunch, and certain asset classes were unloved as a result of Europe's debt crisis, some veteran asset managers have had to change their spots.
CQS was the most recent asset manager to give its London client conference the theme of ‘uncertainty' - around the global economy and asset classes - but it will not be the last.
Think of light entertainment on the wireless, and The Archers or Desert Island Discs probably springs to mind well before convertible bond arbitrage and volatility trading.
Many retail investors might not have known the name Laxey Partners before this year.
The eurozone was a crowning achievement for many Brussels europhiles, of which they no doubt felt intense pride. As history shows again and again, it came before a fall.
Equity and commodity markets around the world continue to look seriously vulnerable to further significant retracements. We are reminded of summer 2007 when we told clients to get out of equity markets.
Once upon a time, pensions were the ultimate investor for a hedge fund manager. Retail investors could wait while the red carpet was rolled out for bigger hitters.
RAB Capital has been emblematic of the many trials of hedge funds during the financial crisis.
I am not sure what I expected the hedge fund investor would say to my question: "What is the most unusual thing in your industry?"
‘Idiotic' and ‘gratifying', are not adjectives commonly applied to financial markets, but they have been used recently to describe the state of FX rates.
If you ask investors for their least favourite abbreviations from the crunch, CDO, CLO, RMBS and CMBS may spring up.
If you have already invested for clients in an emerging markets fund, but now think a few bob in a US equities portfolio will do better this year, then stop.
When detectives single out your industry as needing anonymous phone lines to uncover insider traders, you know its reputation has room for improvement.
The European Commission may be about to kill two very big birds with one stone. The ‘stone' it is casting from Brussels is the snappily named Regulation on Short Selling and Certain Aspects of Credit Default Swaps.
Headlines claiming ‘Billions of dollars at risk' these days barely raises eyebrows after the crisis, share price plunges, and Bernard Madoff.
Outsize TV screens were showing graphic live footage of the clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square, but watching the soaring musical fountains at the foot of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, one banker confidently dismissed doom and...