Individuals must open themselves up to investment risk or they will be poor in retirement, Professional Pensions Investment Conference delegates were told.
Columnist for IFAonline's sister title Investment Week, David Stevenson (pictured) said risk aversion is a massive problem in the UK and will hamper people's pension building potential.
He said: "If they are not willing to take risk they are going to have a poor retirement. It is as simple as that."
Stevenson said Personal Accounts Delivery Authority research revealed almost 40% of people in their early 20s were unwilling to take risk, a statistic he found "astonishing".
He added: "We have a long-term problem here."
Stevenson also said it was interesting investors still have "profound confidence" in the residential property market.
He also warned delegates of the dangers of offering too much choice.
"People do not understand what is out there - they are interested in one-hit solutions. As soon as you present people with more choice, they flee in fear."
SM&CR is the big one
To 'future-proof advice firms'
Latest news and analysis
Three years at Wells Fargo
Effective from 9 December 2019