Despite heavy losses in their portfolios, most high-net-worth investors are sticking with their financial advisers, according to the Northstar/Sullivan Rebuilding Investor Trust Survey.

Wealthy investors plan to follow the advice of their advisers and do not plan to work with other financial advisers, according to the survey.

"There is a lot of irony from the survey; investors are disillusioned, but they are optimistic," said Jim Neuwirth, the managing director at Northstar Research Partners. "Investors have been burned by the market; some have even been burned by their advisers; they have lost money, but they are sticking with their advisers."

Eighty-nine percent of wealthy investors in the survey who had advisers when the market downturn began are still working with that adviser, the survey said, and 20% said they rely on the adviser even more than before.

"We are dealing with a highly cynical investor base that still loves their financial adviser," Neuwirth said. "I think it is a lot like people that say, 'I hate the health-care system, but I love my doctor.' "

Northstar's research said that bank-based advisers scored the lowest with wealthy individuals, with 78% of those with bank advisers saying they planned to stick with him or her. By comparison, 89% of wealthy clients of financial planners at national or regional firms and 82% of full-service brokerage firms' clients planned to remain with their advisers.

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