Financial advisers proved their worth in the second half of 2008, with their clients' average returns 16 percentage points higher than the S&P 500, Fidelity found in a survey of 300 investors and 200 advisers.

Investors lost an average of 27% between Aug. 27, 2008 and Feb. 27, 2009, while the S&P 500 dropped 43% in that period.

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