Why Buy Annuities?
An image problem obscures their advantages.
Ask Morningstar’s retirement-methodology team about annuities, and they will offer lavish praise. When they model investment strategies for retirees, they invariably end up recommending big dollops of annuities for those who need lifetime income. The reason, as Morningstar’s Paul Kaplan states, is that “self-created longevity insurance is very expensive.” Retirees who want guaranteed income—and most do—are best served through a pooled holding.
That theoretical attractiveness hasn’t translated to the marketplace. Last year, reports the trade publication Ignites, annuities recorded $204 billion of new sales. In contrast, several trillion dollars flowed into mutual funds and exchangetraded funds. (Net sales were $700 billion, but gross sales—which is how annuity purchases are measured—were several times higher.) If the investment market were a meal, annuities would be a shrimp cocktail.
Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.
We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.
We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.
How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:
To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.
Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.
To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.
Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.