No. of Recommendations: 3
P.P.S. I look forward to your comments.

While annuities may be right for some people, I strongly distrust someone with an "LIA" among their titles telling me of annuties' benefits. Particularly since that someone usually stands to benefit hugely if one of us purchases an annuity contract through him. I am *very* glad that you mentioned that (a) annuities don't transfer through to heirs, and (b) the return on annuities is lower than on other assets, because of the guarantee. [However, I know that if my mom dies the day after she retires, she's guaranteed to receive zilch from her annuity.]

Your post points out two important things:
1. that the "average annual returns" quoted by nearly all mutual funds are meaningless. The number that really should be promoted is the "compound annual growth rate", also known as the "total return, annualized". But even this number has NO influence on the mutual funds in the future.

2. That all the retirement calculators out there are suspect because they assume constant interest, inflation, and investment growth rates. I agree with you completely. Fortunately, there are retirement calculators that take these varying rates into account: is probably the best known; has one also.

I don't think Mr. Brownlie is going to win many customers from the Fool site, because TMF is about learning for yourself and taking control of your investments. His implied suggestions in the previous post go against the grain of what is said on the fool: "Give up control, give up potential return, and pay higher fees."
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