CathyA, you have gotten good warnings and should beware. Salesmen abound out there whether strangers, family members, or trusted individuals (ministers, doctors, etc.) I saw a lot of the fallout while working at the IRS and it was pretty sad.

If you really want advice, find a fee based (not salesman) qualified financial adviser and never ever invest your hard earned money in something you do not totally understand.

We have a good chunk of our personally managed portfolio in the market but all in low fee index funds. We don't buy and sell. A good chunk is in cash which is my insurance policy. You need good household money management and family financial goals to work on. Beware all the media about easy money or safe money or such. They prey on those who don't understand the instruments being discussed and sold.