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Guidelines for Investing in Variable Annuities

What Every Investor Should Know

A variable annuity is a contract between an investor and an insurance company where, in return for a lump sum payment or a series of premium payments, the insurance company agrees to pay to the investor a lump sum or a stream of income based upon the performance of an investment account (stocks, bonds or other types of investment products), less any applicable charges and fees.  Because your investment  account is subject to the ups and downs of the securities markets, the value of your variable annuity can vary.  

Is a variable annuity right for you?  To answer this question, you should carefully consider a variety of factors--your financial goals, investment amount, timing and holding period of the annuity.   Be aware that variable annuities are not liquid investments, but are designed to be long-term investments associated with surrender penalties if you need to withdraw your money before the annuity contract has matured.  


Also, contact your tax professional about any possible negative consequences of buying or switching to an annuity from another type of investment; or if the annuity interferes with your eligibility for medical care or housing assistance programs. 

Read more about variable annuities before you invest, including these helpful tips from the Arizona Department of Insurance to protect yourself against deceptive sales practices.  For more general information about wise investing and fraud prevention, visit the Investor Resource Library, General A-Z. 


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 The information provided on this website is not comprehensive, is not offered as legal or investment advice, and is not a substitute for competent legal or financial counsel.  The Securities Division provides this information to give you an overview of the topics discussed.   You should not rely on the accuracy of this information, but should carefully review all applicable statutes and regulations with the assistance of legal counsel.