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Point well taken, Fox. The majority opinion here ar TMF favors direct investment in stocks, an attitude I can't fault (I have been a stock buyer for nearly 20 years). But, until a potential investor has a lump sum to invest & properly diversify, mutual funds can help accumulate capital. Additionally, there are many people who have no interest or desire to do the research necessary to purchase stocks (just like I have no interest in changing the oil in my car - I know how, but I prefer to pay someone else to do that chore); they prefer to hire someone to manage the money. Sure, they could improve their yield by doing it themselves, but everyone sets priorities!

Providing mutual fund investments allows some folks the opportunity to transition from savings accounts & CD's to participating in the market. If mutual funds were such a bad idea, investors would flee & the funds would close...

Regarding annuities - why don't you discuss them with a disinterested financial planner or tax attorney? The net rates of return can be comparable to mutual funds & so can the expenses. I'm not bashful in stating that annuities are NOT for everyone, but they are appropriate for some.

Regards, PP

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