Nearly one-third of investors who went through the 2008-2009 financial crisis and worked with an advisor say they would have taken a different approach with their portfolios after the market downturn, according to a poll by the Behavioral Investing Institute.

The poll, which was conducted in March by Absolute Management, included 751 high-net-worth investors nationwide with investable assets of more than $500,000 and who worked with a financial advisor. Most of them (85%) were invested in the market during the financial crisis.

More than one-third (37%) of the investors indicated that their strategy at the onset of the 2008 crisis was to have adequate bond allocations in their portfolio; 35% said alternative strategies were part of portfolio; 21%  said hedged equities or loss avoidance strategies were part of portfolio; and 20% said they exited stocks to reduce losses.

But looking back, 29% said they were wrong in how they handled their portfolios. Of those who had second thoughts, 44% said they would have exited stocks to lessen losses during the crisis; 42% said they would have added alternative strategies to their portfolio; 39%  said they would have allocated more bonds; and 34%  said they would have added hedged equities or loss avoidance strategies.

In contrast, when asked what they would do if the market were to fall by more than 50% as it did during 2008-2009, nearly one-third of investors said they would wait it out. Similarly, 37% said they would take no action if the market were to decline 40% to 49%; and nearly half would do nothing if the market fell 20% to 39%, the survey showed.

And while it took a few years after the crisis for some investors to regain confidence in their financial future, 31% said they did not lose confidence in their financial future during that time. Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents said it took them one to three years to regain confidence; 16% said it took them three to five years; 11% said more than five years; and 4% said they have yet to gain confidence in their financial future.

As for today, 31% of the investors said their level of confidence in their financial future is about the same as it was in 2008; 26% said they are somewhat more confident; and 21% said they are significantly more confident.

The survey found that advisors could do a better job of educating their clients during a crisis. It showed that less than half (49%) of respondents said their advisor has proactively shared an action plan with them in the event of a significant or severe market decline, and 26% said only when prompted did their advisor share an action plan. Twenty-one percent said their advisor has not addressed what actions should be taken in their portfolio in the event of a significant or severe downturn.

Respondents indicated that having a plan in place is important. More than half (52%) said it had some positive impact on their peace of mind and 36% said it has significant positive impact on their peace of mind.

On the other hand, 48% said not having a plan in place somewhat negatively impacted their peace of mind, 42% said it had no impact, and 10% said it had a significant negative impact.

When asked to rate their overall level of knowledge with respect to investing or the markets, 32% of respondents they were somewhat knowledgeable, 29% said they were knowledgeable and 25% said they were very knowledgeable.

Fully one quarter of respondents expects to earn a 1% to 9% rate of return on their portfolio in the next 12 months; 16% expect a 10% to 19% increase, while 12% expect a 1%  to 9% decline and 10% expect a 10% to 19% decline.

The Behavioral Investing Institute provides behavioral coaching services offered by Toews Asset Management, a New York-based advisory firm with $1.8 billion in asset under management.