Thinking of finally making your first big investment? Make sure you understand what you're really getting into first. Don't part with your savings just because your friend tells you it's a good idea or because the returns sound so good.

According to Business Insider contributor Nick Clements, if there's one thing 15 years in the banking industry has taught him, it's that if you don't understand it, don't buy it. "Consumers often accept complicated products without fully understanding them. And people are afraid to look ignorant. Fast-talking salesman provide a well-rehearsed pitch, and people sign on the dotted line without fully understanding the consequences."

Is someone making you an offer? Whether it's real estate, mutual funds, or even a designer bag, do your research first. Probe and ask questions. "If you don’t understand the product, you should not buy it," says Clements. "Don’t be afraid to ask ridiculous questions until it is clear to you."

Need a primer on investments? Check out these stories!

Investing 101: Making Your Money Grow
Start building your wealth with these investment vehicles.

The Busy Girl's Guide to Investments
Up your financial quotient.

15 Designer Bags Worth the Investment
You can be sure these models will never go out of style.

GIRLTalkers Give Advice on "Precious" Investments
Should we all start thinking of becoming an alahera?

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