Confidence among investors across the UK has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, according to the latest research by Standard Life.
The financial services firm began assessing investor confidence in July 2005 and optimism within the sector is now at the same record low level as it was when data was first compiled.
Property investment has been the most popular since Standard Life's research began, but confidence in the sector as way to secure a better financial future has dipped by almost 48 per cent from July of this year.
Trevor Matthews, chief executive of UK financial services at Standard Life, said: "These are dramatic results. It's clear that the recent credit crunch and market volatility have affected people's confidence.
"Our research shows that there is now a substantial veering towards the less risky cash and short term deposits."
Despite recent unrest in global financial markets, Nationwide's consumer confidence index for September of this year saw a five per cent rise on the previous month.
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