No. of Recommendations: 0
You are essentially correct, What you have are not mutual funds. They are insurance company separate accounts. Most of the time they have the same holdings and same manager as the fund they are designed to track. On the down side, some fund companies use these Separate account portfolios as a proving ground for analysts that are on the track to be a portfolio manager. They are told, for example, 85% of your holdings must be comparable to the holdings of the fund they are trying to mimic. The other 15% will be the measuring stick for that manager to see if he can manage a portfolio. This can lead to a slight variation in performance from the actual fund.
TTRoberts states that these insurance funds lead to less turn over, I'm not sure how that statement can be proven as a general characteristic of Insurance Separate accounts. Curious to hear back on that one.

Overall, not much to worry about here. A few inconveniences that you already are aware of are the issues, the lack of being able to track it independently (newspaper, CNNfn, ticker symbols)In most situations, what you have is a fair representation of the actual fund. For instnace Fidelity Contra VIP, will mimic Fidelity Contra, Oppenheimer Global VA, will mimic Oppenheimer Global, and so on.

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