Variable annuities have received negative publicity in recent years, which may keep individuals from buying them. Although variable annuities have their flaws, as do all types of investments, they also offer unique advantages.


The negatives: Variable annuities have been called mediocre investments, with high price tags. They may be compared, unfavorably, with mutual funds.


The reality: Many variable annuities are available, with a variety of investment options. Performance has varied, as it has with mutual funds.


If investors choose a variable annuity with high-quality investment options (