Mark Cussen Mark Cussen, CFP, CMFC has 17 years of experience in the financial industry and has worked as a stock broker, financial planner, income tax preparer, insurance agent and loan officer. He is now a full-time financial author when he is not on rotation doing financial planning for the military. He has written numerous articles for several financial websites such as Investopedia and Bankaholic, and is one of the featured authors for the Money and Personal Finance section of eHow. In his spare time, Mark enjoys surfing the net, cooking, movies and tv, church activities and playing ultimate frisbee with friends. He is also an avid KU basketball fan and model train enthusiast, and is now taking classes to learn how to trade stocks and derivatives effectively.
Have you been looking for a way to invest your money with relatively low risk, but with a higher return than the interest rates of CDs offered by banks and credit unions?
Look no further than fixed annuities. For decades, fixed annuities have provided a secure form of savings for millions of conservative investors on a tax-deferred basis. They are by far the simplest type of annuity contract and offer all of the benefits provided by any type of annuity except for the opportunity for market participation.
Let’s look at the details of a fixed annuity and how to decide if it’s the right investment for you.
When you’re buying a new home, you have two basic choices for a loan – a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage. But what if there was a third option that wasn’t as risky as an adjustable rate, but could still beat the interest rates of a fixed?
The turbulence in the markets over the past several years has left many annuity investors facing a similar dilemma: either settle for the relatively low rates offered by fixed contracts, or else endure the volatility of the debt and equity markets in a variable annuity.
Let’s look at the basic characteristics of these unique savings vehicles, how they work, and most importantly, if you would benefit from having one.
What Is an Annuity?
An annuity, by definition, is simply an agreement to make a series of payments of a certain amount of money to a specified party for a predetermined period of time. Annuities also refer to a commercial insurance contract offered by a life insurance company.
You don’t have to be a high-level investor to know the basic rule of investing in the stock market: buy low and sell high. But while the rule sounds simple, it’s not always easy or even possible, like when a stock is trading at an all-time high.
If you’re an inexperienced investor, you’ll kick yourself at this point and wonder why you didn’t load up on shares back when they were trading for a fraction of their current price. But you’re not out of luck. Savvy investors have another tool for profiting from high security prices. The key is understanding the difference between buying (long) and selling (short) stocks.
If you’ve ever been the executor of someone’s estate, you know that the role is a difficult one. Mourning the death of a loved one is painful in and of itself. Add to it the responsibility of sorting out what they’ve left behind and you can quickly become overwhelmed.
A number of questions must be answered before the actual legal settlement process can even begin. Where do the deceased keep all of their documents? Where are all of their assets? Do they have property somewhere that you don’t know about?
If you’ve been chunking money into your retirement account for years, the last thing you want to do is watch it shrink to nothing when the stock market goes south. Just ask any 65-year-old, who is now having to work for 5, 10 or even 15 years longer than he expected thanks to the big hit his IRA took a few years ago.
Fortunately, there are now a few alternative options when it comes to investing your IRA, but like with any investment, they come with their own set of risks and rewards.
The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.