A financial expert has attacked the "blame culture" afflicting Britain.
John Cadwallader, managing director of the Birmingham office of broker Brewin Dolphin, said people were now living in a "health and safety environment that seeks to eliminate risk completely from our daily lives".
He went on: "Coupled with this, is the emergence of a blame culture which fosters the belief that for every misfortune that be-falls us there is someone to blame other than ourselves.
"The consequent threat of litigation has resulted in risk warnings being posted everywhere and desirable activities being suspended, curtailed or even outlawed completely by the nanny state.
"My plastic cup of cold water from the office vending machine warns me that ' contents may cause serious injury' and conkers are banned from the school playground unless goggles are worn."
And it was all impinging on the sector's attitude to risk when considering investment options.
He said: "Any investment adviser has a duty to highlight the risks associated with a particular product or scheme of investment and to ensure that a potential investor fully understands the degree of risk to which he could be exposed as well as the potential gain.
"Tolerance of risk is a very personal thing and a portfolio comprised of say 30 per cent fixed interest and 70 per cent equities might be considered relatively 'low risk' by a high earner in secure employment whereas the same portfolio could be 'high risk' for a pensioner dependant upon the capital for income.
"But without knowing the circumstances and simply adopting a box ticking mentality such a portfolio could easily be deemed suitable in both cases in response to a requirement for medium risk, whereas it is possible that it satisfies neither."
Mr Cadwallader went on: "Stock markets by their very nature are volatile and timing is critical, but unfortunately there is a tendency for private investors to become enthusiastic about shares when they see the market reaching new highs and to be frightened away from it completely when it is in the doldrums.
"Certainly there were far more buyers in the 'tech boom' of the late 1990s than were in evidence in March 2003.
"Private investors generally have still not recovered from the last 'bear' market and they have certainly become more risk averse. To counter this, product providers have come up with a variety of alternatives to eliminate, or at the very least limit the downside risk while still offering participation in any market rise.
"These so-called 'structured products' offer endless permutations between risk protection and upside participation and should not be ventured into without proper advice and a clear understanding of the complexities involved.
"Hedge funds are designed to deliver absolute positive returns, regardless of market conditions but lack of transparency render them unsuitable for more unsophisticated investors."
And now with upcoming Government pension changes to allow the likes of purchases of holiday homes, many saw property investment as "the panacea offering the prospect of gain with little perceived risk to capital with little appreciation of the pitfalls".