However, we have also seen the emergence of relatively straightforward and simple products, such as multi-asset growth, multi-asset balanced and multi-asset income, which use non-traditional assets such as renewables, infrastructure or asset backed-securities to achieve the diversification they need and the outcomes investors want.
Looking at multi-asset investing today shows that, much like in the 1970s, the industry is still trying to deliver a one-stop solution for investors that meets their investing needs, matches their liabilities and provides a smooth return pre-, at- or post-retirement.
The only difference is that fund management teams are able to use a much broader range of assets to achieve these goals, and the institutional skill of multi-asset investing, which is already available to most of the population in a defined contribution pension scheme, is also available to advisers.
Add to this the more competitive total cost of ownership of a directly invested multi-asset fund and it is perhaps clear why they have become so popular among such a wide range of investors, and the trajectory looks like it is only going in one direction.
Fergus McCarthy is head of UK and Ireland intermediary distribution at BNY Mellon Investment Management