For three types of colloidal magnetic nanocrystals, we demonstrate that postsynthetic cation exchange enables tuning of the nanocrystal's magnetic properties and achieving characteristics not obtainable by conventional synthetic routes. While the cation exchange procedure, performed in solution phase approach, was restricted so far to chalcogenide based semiconductor nanocrystals, here ferrite-based nanocrystals were subjected to a Fe(2+) to Co(2+) cation exchange procedure. This allows tracing of the compositional modifications by systematic and detailed magnetic characterization. In homogeneous magnetite nanocrystals and in gold/magnetite core shell nanocrystals the cation exchange increases the coercivity field, the remanence magnetization, as well as the superparamagnetic blocking temperature. For core/shell nanoheterostructures a selective doping of either the shell or predominantly of the core with Co(2+) is demonstrated. By applying the cation exchange to FeO/CoFe(2)O(4) core/shell nanocrystals the Neél temperature of the core material is increased and exchange-bias effects are enhanced so that vertical shifts of the hysteresis loops are obtained which are superior to those in any other system.