Fixed annuities are essentially CD-like investments issued by insurance companies. Like bank CDs, they pay guaranteed rates of interest, in most cases higher than bank CDs. There is no market risk associated with a fixed annuity. Your principal is protected and guaranteed to grow at a fixed rate, making fixed annuities a good place to park money you will need in the future. Unlike bank CDs, fixed annuities grow tax-deferred, meaning your savings grow faster than they would if your gains were taxed every year. If the annuity owner dies, the account value will be paid directly to the beneficiary, allowing heirs to avoid the expenses and hassles of probate.