More than half of the Scottish population opened an individual savings account (ISA) last year, according to a report.
Three million people put cash away in an ISA in 2012, thought to be 51% of the population, but only 16% (850,000) invested in a higher-risk stocks and shares product, the Scottish Widows Savings and Investment report said.
The majority of people surveyed for the report (87%) will not be putting money in a stock market-related ISA in the next 12 months.
A quarter have previously made full use of their annual cash ISA limit, compared with 6% who did so with a stocks and shares ISA.
Scottish Widows said market-linked products involve a degree of risk and require a longer investment period but offer greater returns.
Half of cash ISA owners said the tax-free element was the main reason for investing.
Just 11% are saving solely for the long term, with 20% saving short term and 36% for both, the report said. More than a quarter (28%) of savers defined "short term" as less than a year, while 32% consider "long term" to be five years or less.
Iain McGowan, head of savings and investments at Scottish Widows, said: "It is encouraging to see some small signals of progress in Scots' savings habits from this year's report in relation to the large numbers investing in cash ISAs, plus those who are investing for both the short and long term, but there's still a very long way to go.
"In particular, the savings perspective of the Scottish population remains short term as it aims to generate funds for emergencies or a rainy day. Whilst this is unlikely to change anytime soon, our challenge as an industry is to incentivise additional long-term saving and persuade people that the sacrifice is worth making.
"Offering more flexibility that combines the accessibility of an ISA with a pension or other long-term savings products could help future generations face up to the twin challenge of saving for short term while at the same time setting aside enough for retirement."