Tentative consumers may be missing out on investment opportunities, after two key investor confidence measures recorded strong gains last month.
Four in five of consumers in the UK are doing nothing about their long term investments and pensions.
In addition, over three in five (63 per cent) says they are unlikely to open a savings or investment product in the next few months, according to research conducted by AXA.
This reluctance to re-enter the market following a turbulent period could prove to be a costly decision, as recent investor confidence indices from State Street and Goldman Sachs have showed markedly increased optimism towards long term investments.
Historic precedents suggest that there are worthwhile rewards for investing at the bottom of a cycle, with returns of over 50 per cent on offer to shrewd investors.
The research also found that 60 per cent of consumers believe the downturn will continue for another 18 months, while one in five forecasted difficult conditions for more than another three years.
"People are right to be concerned about the length and depth of the recession," said Mike Kellard, chief executive officer of AXA Winterthur Wealth Management.
"But waiting until the turmoil is over before investing has, in the past, never been the most effective way to make the most from your money, as time in the market is nearly always better than timing in the market.
"People should consider their attitude to investment risk, and explore many of the investment opportunities available."
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