Some 64% of Italian investors said they did not stick with their investment plans during the high volatility period recorded in the last three months of 2018, according to Schroders' latest annual Global Investor study.
From this share, some 31% made their changes towards high risk options while 36% said they had moved to lower risk investments. A remaining 15% reallocated part of their portfolios into cash.
Conversely, over a third (36%) of investors in the southern European country held their nerve during the market tumble and kept their risk allocation unchanged. The figure is slightly higher compared to 30% globally and 30% at a European level.
The study, which comprises 25,000 people from more than 32 countries - all of whom will invest at least €10,000 or equivalent over the next 12 months, also found investors expect an average income of 10.3% over the next 12 months.
Schroders' research also showed that Italian investors hold their investments on average for 2.2 years, less than half of the recommended five-year period and less than global and European investors, whose average are both 2.6 years.
Millennials resulted to be the most impatient generation, holding their investments for an average of 1.9 years, compared to the 2.6-year average holding period for Italian baby boomers.
Almost half (48%) of Italian millennials agreed that the biggest danger to their investments was not taking enough risk to achieve their investment objectives.
Charles Prideaux, Global Head of Product and Solutions, Schroders, commented: "The ebbs and flows of markets are always going to keep investors on their toes but the key is to focus on the long term. Chopping and changing investments particularly during challenging markets is likely to be detrimental for investors' portfolios and ultimately lead to disappointing investment returns.
"Instead it is critical to look through the uncertainty: our goal at Schroders is therefore to deliver investment solutions that reflect investors' needs through time and which also suit their risk appetites."