Personal finance: My dumbest investment

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While in the fire service, I took out what I thought was an endowment savings plan, which would pay out when I retired. Five years before the date of retirement I found out my investment was worth nothing because what I had bought in fact was not an endowment but a life insurance policy that only paid out if I died during the time that I was paying into the policy. I had been cheated but had no redress. Letters to the company resulted in "have your money back or shut up". BR by e-mail

Fool responds: A painful story and one that arises through the conflict between the interests of a salesman paid by commission and those of a customer. How independent can any advice be when it comes from someone paid on a commission basis?