One in four savers are feeling more nervy than this time last year, as they prepare to shift their portfolios into less risky assets, according to new research out today.
Swings on the stock markets, along with uncertainties surrounding the EU referendum, the Chinese economy and oil prices were all cited as reasons by retail investors for seeking out slightly safer havens for their investments.
With today marking the final day of the 2015/16 tax year, investors will be rushing to beat tonight’s midnight deadline to take advantage of the option to invest £15,240 tax-free through an Individual Savings Account (ISA).
Read more: Your guide to 2015/16 ISAs
The survey by The Share Centre revealed that 25 per cent of investors want less risk from their portfolio, while just 20 per cent are feeling bold enough to seek out potentially higher returns.
Two-fifths of those who were worried about higher risks said they were anxious about the outcome of the EU referendum, 42 per cent said that the FTSE was too volatile for their liking, while more than a quarter also pointed to the Chinese slowdown and low oil prices as cause for concern.
“With political uncertainty weighing down on markets, including the EU referendum, personal investors are hedging their funds towards safe options until the mist clears,” said Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre.
ISA schemes have undergone a number of changes in recent years. George Osborne has raised the limit individuals can invest tax-free from £7,200 in 2009/10 to £20,000 from next April. There are no longer separate limits on the amount which can be saved in cash, compared to stocks and shares, and the brand has also been extended to products such as the help to buy, innovative finance and lifetime ISAs.