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I haven't figured out why anybody would buy an annuity.

I bought a Single Payment Annuity denominated in Swiss Francs from a Swiss insurance company. I did not specifically want an annuity. I would have settled for a Swiss savings account. It did not even need to be numbered. However, the Swiss do not want that many foreign accounts (makes the currency too strong and hinders exports) so they pay negative interest on savings accounts by foreigners. The annuity was a way to be long Swiss Francs without being taxed, and to get a little interest at the same time.

To buy such an annuity, however, the U.S.Government charges a 1% excise tax *-( on it and starting this year the IRS has made the current interest taxable even though you do not receive it.

I do not consider this an investment, but as insurance against the fall of the dollar against the Swiss Franc. The dollar dropped 10:1 against the Swiss Franc in the 1970's. The Swiss Franc is backed at about 240% with gold, where the U.S.Dollar is backed by the faith that people have in it.
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