Financial advisers were able to save their millionaire clients big money last year, helping to fortify the need and demand for good advice among the wealthy, Fidelity Investments found.

While 2008 was hard on nearly everyone, millionaires who worked with advisers saw their average investable assets drop 4% from $4.01 million to $3.86 million, compared to an average 18% drop from $3.45 million to $2.82 million among millionaires who didn't work with an adviser, according to Fidelity Investments' Third Annual Millionaire Outlook.

The study found that 76% of millionaires credited their advisers for helping them limit their losses during the financial crisis, and 85% retained their advisers throughout the crisis.

“Our research demonstrates the value advisors provide to an investor’s financial well-being and overall peace of mind,” said Gail Graham, executive vice president of Fidelity Investments. “Illustrated by the fact that the majority remain satisfied with their advisers and they plan on maintaining their relationships, millionaires have clearly benefited from the expertise, calming influence and reassuring role advisors often play, particularly during periods of uncertainty.”

A third of millionaires with advisers say they plan to increase their exposure to stocks in the next year, compared to 28% of those without advisers. Millionaires with advisers are also twice as likely to increase their exposure to alternative investments than those without advisers, the study found.

This year, 29% of millionaires preferred to communicate with their advisers once a week or more often, compared to 20% in 2008, Fidelity found. There was a growing preference for e-mail communication from advisers, with 27% saying they preferred to be reached this way, versus 22% last year.

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