Jim Pittman (Photo: MDRT) James Pittman (Photo: MDRT)

Live-human advisors may have a big effect on what happens to their clients’ assets during periods of market volatility.

The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), a group for life insurance and financial services professionals, raises that possibility in a summary of results from a new, online survey of 500 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older.

(Related: Mutual Fund Assets Continue to Slide for Third Straight Month: Cerulli)

A firm hired by MDRT conducted the survey on June 1 and June 2, after a week of dramatic swings in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

MDRT analysts found that the consumers who said they had financial advisors were much more likely than other consumers to say they follow news of investment market volatility closely.

About 51% of the consumers with advisors said they follow volatility news closely, compared with 31% of  the consumers without advisors.

About 48% of survey participants with advisors said they would talk to their advisors before adjusting their portfolios to cope with future volatility.

MDRT also found consumer resistance to the idea of holding on to assets when investment prices drop.

Many economists support the idea that future market performance is so difficult to predict that most investors should simply allocate assets between fixed assets and variable assets, then keep those asset allocations in place, no matter how investment markets are doing.

But 46% of the consumers who participated in the MDRT survey said they adjust their portfolios if they thought the market was going to continue to decline, and 27% said they would adjust their portfolios if they lost a certain amount of money.

MDRT President James Pittman said in a statement about the results that advisors need to continue to educate clients, to deter them from making decisions about their portfolios based on emotions.

“Savvy advisors are providing clients with solutions that help their portfolios withstand market volatility while delivering peace of mind during turbulent market conditions,” Pittman said.

— Read James Pittman to Lead Million Dollar Round Tableon ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on Facebook and Twitter.