The RaboPlus online survey canvassed 1006 people about their considerations when choosing an investment or savings product and highlighted the gold clouding people's eyes.
The rate of return on an investment was an important consideration for 72 per cent of people.
Guarantees or investment protection and the reputation and stability of the investment provider were factors for only about 30 per cent.
Even when prompted, the average response was that the rate of return and low fees were more important than the credibility and rating of the financial institution.
RaboPlus general manager Mike Heath said the findings were worrying given that Bridgecorp was the fourth financial institution to go under in 18 months.
"Are people not learning from experience? We had the Western Bay (collapse), the Provincial (collapse) last year and now we have Bridgecorp for the same reasons," he said.
National Finance 2000 went under in May 2006.
"How many will it take before people learn?" The lack of information sought by investors, beyond how much money they would make, was putting them at risk from dodgy institutions, he said.
"People aren't asking the classic risk-versus-return question - is it worth putting their hard-earned cash at risk for an extra 1 or 2 per cent interest?"
Mr Heath said people needed to ask themselves "will the money be there when I retire?"