Sometimes during social events or other gatherings a person will approach someone in the financial services business with an opening question: “I hear you do investments. What kind of returns can I expect?” .
The type of questions asked by individuals are usually a good indication of their investing experience. Newer (younger) investors are often more focused on the returns advertized by various investment companies, while more seasoned investors tend to think first about capital preservation and then returns second. In general, seasoned investors tend to focus more of their efforts on understanding the "process" for producing long term investment returns, which usually involve strategies such as dollar-cost-averaging and careful asset allocation.