Do Variable Annuities Fit in Your Portfolio?
Investor's Business Daily (08/15/00) No. 3696 p.B1; McKenna, Peter

As retirement tools go, variable annuities (VA) are practical and afford significant tax benefits, but investors should be prepared to pay extra. VAs are uniquely structured to offer protection against death with an investment package. VAs are also universal in appeal. Because they have no cap on contributions, VAs also attract high-income investors. However, not everyone can afford VAs. Some variable annuities charge more than 2 percent of an account's assets a year, while others charge over 2.3 percent. Morningstar.com confirms these figures, noting that the average variable annuity costs 2.12 percent a year, whereas the average cost for a U.S. stock fund is just 1.4 percent. Market watchers expect prices to drop, though, as insurance companies change the way they market VAs.


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