A Fixed Index Annuity is a key component of a secure retirement portfolio that offers upside growth potential with no downside risk. The growth is linked to a stock market index such as the S&P 500, but the money is never actually invested in the stock market. The gains credited to your account are limited by a cap, spread, or participation rate because the insurance company assumes all the risk with this type of annuity. You cannot lose any of your principal or earnings. When the index grows, your account value grows. When the index declines, your account value remains unchanged! FIAs are a great option for people who want the potential for lifetime income, and want to safely grow their retirement nest-egg while protecting it from losses due to stock market declines.