Investors are taking their money into their own hands, according to recent research by independent financial services provider Fair Investment Company.
The firm, which specialises in investment, savings and pensions services, has found that only 36 per cent of its customers sought advice before making a decision about where to invest their money.
"This research simply backs up the general feeling amongst private investors," explains George Ladds, head of investment and pension research at Fair Investment Company.
"Many feel let down by advisors who have not provided an adequate service and are starting to take matters into their own hands."
Online shopping now represents 15 per cent of all sales, up from two per cent in 2002 [uSwitch] as people realise they can get a much bigger choice via the internet, and the same is true of investment products and services.
"With so many investment and savings products available online it is now so much easier for people to do their own research and then make an informed decision about their own assets," says Mr Ladds. "They can cut out the middle man, and often get a much better deal than they would on the high street.
Fair Investment Company’s survey also suggests that despite recent market volatility, investors are not scared to move away from cash investment products.
Just over half (51%) still have the greatest exposure in cash, but it seems this may soon no longer be the case, with most investors looking to diversify their assets further.
"With the interest rate right down at just half a per cent, savings rates are simply not producing the returns people are looking for - even when they opt for tax free options the returns are often still very poor,” says Mr Ladds, “so people are considering other options."
Thirty seven per cent said that going forward, they were most likely to invest in structured products, with just 22 per cent saying they would look at cash investments.
Thirty five per cent of those surveyed said the current low interest rate environment has made them review their investments in search for higher returns, with 51 per cent saying returns are the most important investment element, compared to just 34 per cent which state safety as more important.
"Our clients are realising that they are going to have to start taking some risks and move their money away from safer cash investments in order to start getting better returns," said Mr Ladds.
He concluded, "I think it is clear from our research that people’s perception of investment is changing.
"Low savings rates and a lack of choice on the high street combined with the fact that there are services like ours available means that people are starting to realise that they don’t have to seek advice to make good investment choices."