Research conducted by savings company Skandia suggests three out of five consumers think 'long-term' savings means five years or less when investing in ISAs.
The study intimates that young people are most at risk from such a 'short term outlook', which leaves savers open to short term falls in the market value of their investment when stocks fluctuate.
Ian Thomas, investment marketing manager at Skandia, says this is in stark contrast to the way consumers view borrowing, with most not giving a second thought to signing up for 25-year mortgages when buying a house.
"There seems to be a 'have it all now' mentality when it comes to saving, with little concern for long term financial security," he said.
"Too many people have a short term attitude towards saving whilst being happy to spread their borrowing over much longer periods in order to reduce the amount they have to repay each month."
Mr Thomas recommended longer term investments when taking out an ISA savings account: "ISA investments are an excellent way for people to invest in shares for the long term and this should be for a minimum of five years, not a maximum." To read more about ISA investment, click here.
© Adfero Ltd