There's also the question of whether or not advisors and investors are ready for the message he's preaching. As he notes, the facts about the risks of stocks are not breaking news. Yet advisors, relying upon historical performance, have generally held the view through both bear and bull markets that diversification and buy-and-hold strategies mitigate risk for even risk-averse clients.

Bodie, however, feels the time could be ripe for a change in attitude. He feels there will be an increased demand for the type of "worry free" products he's been advocating. As part of this effort, he serves as a managing director of Integrated Finance Limited in New York City. This recently formed consulting and investment company is specializing in trying to create more low-risk options for investors, utilizing the hedging and insurance-protected strategies touted by Bodie. One of its first forays has been to build a technology platform that will allow company 401(k) programs to take bids from insurance companies on annuity contracts.

Bodie, meanwhile, acknowledges that he continues to face a tough audience, partly because his message in some ways makes investment advisors, and their asset-based fee structures, irrelevant. But he does find he's made some progress in one respect: More people are willing to listen.

"All I can tell you is that I'm trying my hardest," he says. "I find it encouraging that I'm being invited to conventions of financial planners to speak."

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