Only six per cent of British savers are risk-takers when it comes to their investments, new research from Aegon has found.
The majority, 56 per cent, said that their risk appetite is either low or zero, and they prefer minimal potential losses with modest gains.
Most British savers surveyed preferred cash over equities.
These attitudes can hurt overly-cautious investors, however, as they can see their savings stagnate.
The most common reason behind this attitude to risk is a fear of making a wrong investment decision, which was cited by 26 per cent of savers.
Twelve per cent of British savers said they are more cautious now that they were 10 years ago – 31 per cent of them due to nervousness about the overall state of the global economy and 24 per cent due to concerns that there will be another financial crash.
Another 19 per cent were put off by financial losses in the past.
Fourteen per cent of surveyed savers said they would be open to taking a greater investment risk with the knowledge that higher returns required more risk.
Aegon investment director Nick Dixon says: “Regardless of the current turbulent political and investment landscape, failing to take measured risk is not prudent.
“Over the long term, reckless caution is the biggest risk of all. Our research shows that the majority of UK consumers are exposing their money to stagnation and putting their assets at risk of falling well below the rate of inflation.
“This highlights the great value of good financial advice, which can build savers’ confidence and improve their understanding of risk to inform the right long-term investment decisions.
“With careful analysis, both adviser portfolios and multi-asset funds can be constructed to meet specific risk and return objectives.”