The “stay the course” message is wearing thin with American investors. According to today’s Associated Press, many have simply stopped listening to their advisors as they become increasingly skeptical that the government will be able to pull the nation out of the slump.

“The rapid decline in prices in the stock market is really amazing, and I think it’s created a very uneasy feeling,” Fred Fraenkel, chairman of investment policy at Madison, New Jersey-based Beacon Trust Co. Investors, tells the Associated Press. “(Investors are) very scared and confused, hoping this thing will get better but wondering what will happen if it doesn’t.”

Plummeting market prices and sinking retirement assets are driving increased concern among pre-retirees who are finding it hard to believe investing in the stock market offers long term returns.

“That is what I had always believed,” Deborah Allen, 52, tells the AP. “But at this point I just feel it’s more of a mantra than good wisdom.”