The value of your investment can go down as well as up

My advice to anyone is isn't completely confident investing in the financial market (and that is most of us) is to employ an independent financial advisor.

If not, you risk losing money.

AN ELDERLY couple have won £23,000 compensation from Barclays after the bank lost part of their life savings in a high-risk investment.
Bob and Lilian Baldwin, of Waddington, took legal action against the banking giant after investing £80,000 in a bond linked to Norwich Union.
The scheme, recommended by Barclays' Clitheroe branch, was labelled a ‘cautious’ bond but was in fact a high-risk investment - and lost the couple £14,000.

Now this isn't one of those occasions where I say they have no comeback because they entered into a contract with full knowledge. It turns out Barclays admitted to miss selling the investment, that's why they paid compensation.

Barclays eventually offered the couple £23,000 in compensation after admitting mis-selling.

My point is, Barclays, as a bank, are selling this investment because they intend to make money out of it, just like the customers are. However, if the investment fails, they don't loose money because it's someone else's cash they are using.

An independent financial advisor charges a set fee for their services so they will tell you exactly what you need to know. If it's a bad investment, they will warn you off it. Either way, they get paid.

“My advice to anyone else in our position would be avoid these policies. Make sure your money is safe and guaranteed.”

That is never going to happen in the investment market. If you want your money to be "safe and guaranteed" then put it in a building society account. Investments can yield a high return but they are risky. Only those who know exactly what they are doing should take the risk.

Me and Mrs Bucko hired a financial advisor when we bought our first house. (If you think that was unnecessary, I know a lot about finance but two thing have always completely baffled me. Mortgages and pensions. Hence, professional help)

We had a bad credit history at the time and had been quoted 700 quid+ per month for an 80 grand mortgage. He found us an affordable one that halved after the three year fixed term.

The Baldwins’ case was one of more than 12,000 products mis-sold by Barclays, resulting in a £7.7million fine for the bank from the Financial Services Authority.

Whatever you are buying, if you are unsure, don't trust the salesman, get impartial advice.