Improvement in investor confidence is borne out in a survey that finds 36% of investors expect their advisers will be able to navigate them to profits in any market environment.

Investor-adviser relations are improving, Fidelity Investments and National Financial found in a survey of 350 investors and 218 brokers and advisers.

Fully 70% of advisers believe their relationships with clients have improved in the past year, up from 38% in the 2009 Fidelity survey. That is borne out from the investor viewpoint as well, with nearly half of investors who work with an adviser indicating that they would likely follow their advisers if they were to break away to a new practice.

More importantly, 36% of investors expect—and believe—that their adviser has the know-how to steer them to profits should there be a repeat of the financial downturn that took markets to near-historic lows in 2008-09. At the very least, 55% of investors expect their adviser to minimize losses.

“Despite their high expectations, our survey reveals that investors have shown confidence in advisers’ ability to provide investment advice in this challenging market environment,” said Bobbi Masiello, EVP, Relationship Management, National Financial.

That said, Fidelity and other leading mutual fund companies also expect their selling partners to continue to come through with flying colors for end clients, Masiello said.

“While advisers have done an outstanding job of helping their clients through the financial crisis, they need to continually work to ensure that their clients have realistic expectations for what can be achieved in a turbulent market environment,” Masiello continued.

The two biggest challenges ahead, agreed advisers and brokers, are: tax increases and regulation.