Investor confidence has plummeted significantly as a result of the recent credit crunch and ongoing market volatility, Standard Life research shows.
According to Standard Life’s latest Savings & Investment Index, confidence has fallen from 20 to 11 points, matching the previous all time low recorded when research first began in July 2005.
Own property investment sentiment has fallen sharply, from an all time high of 62 points in October last year to just 24 points today.
It is still the most popular class, but the gap has narrowed to basic savings categories such as cash and short term deposits at 20 points.
Buy to let property confidence has dipped more significantly, sinking from 23 points in July to 0.
Stocks and shares are now the least popular choice, with the lowest ever Index score, -10.
ISAs remain the top investment vehicle choice, followed by occupational pension schemes, personal pensions and SIPPs.
Standard Life UK financial services chief executive Trevor Matthews says the “dramatic results” are clearly linked to the recent credit crunch and market volatility.
“Our research shows that there is now a substantial veering towards the less risky cash and short term deposits,” he says.
“At a time like this I believe it is important to remind people not to lose sight of the big picture and to continue to adopt a long term perspective about assets such as property and stocks and shares."
The research also shows the number of people planning to save less has increased and 45% are not saving at all.
“That’s a concern, especially when you add to that the fact that the UK has the highest personal debt levels in Europe,” Matthews says.
“I feel strongly that as an industry, we must work to make it as easy for someone to save as it is for them to borrow.”
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