Monthly and Daily Averaging

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Hey there, friend! Before we plunge into the deep waters of annuities, let’s ensure we’re in the same boat. This guide is about annuity monthly averaging and annuity daily averaging. And let’s be honest, the world of annuities can seem like a complex maze. But don’t worry; we’re here to walk you through this maze, explaining everything in an easy-to-understand manner. Our aim? To provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your financial future. Ready? Let’s dive in!

What Is Averaging In Fixed Indexed Annuities

A monthly averaging index strategy averages the closing levels of the applicable equity index on the same day each month during the index term. If the average closing level is greater than the closing level on the first day of the index term, the increase is translated into a percentage that becomes the unadjusted interest rate.


Imagine you invested in an equity-indexed annuity, and the financial institution uses monthly averaging to calculate your returns. For example, if the index averaged 2,000 over the past 12 months, that’s the value they’ll use for the calculations.

How Does Averaging Work In Fixed-Indexed Annuities

How Does Monthly Averaging Work?

The relevant equity index closing levels on the same day each month during the index term are averaged in a monthly averaging index strategy. The percentage is converted into an unadjusted interest rate if the average closing level exceeds the starting value.

The effects of abrupt changes in the index closing level that happen on a single day are avoided by using a monthly average of the index closing levels to determine the unadjusted index interest rate rather than the index closing level on the last day of the period.

Monthly averaging does not necessarily result in higher unadjusted index interest rates, but it does have benefits. Even though the index closing level fell drastically at the end of the index term in cases when the average monthly growth was high, the unadjusted index interest rate may be substantial under monthly averaging even if the index closing levels had increased during the year.

When the index closing level rises gradually throughout the index term or dramatically after it, monthly averaging can minimize the unadjusted index interest rate when compared with an index strategy that does not utilize an averaging technique.

How Averaging Works In Fixed Index Annuities

How Does Daily Averaging Work?

This method for determining interest credit uses a Daily Average calculation to determine a percentage gain or loss in the index value during your reset period.

This is done by comparing the difference between the index value on the first day of the contract year and the Daily Average index value (usually 252 trading days).

The interest credit will never be less than zero.

Comparing Monthly Averaging and Daily Averaging

Now that we’ve understood the basics, it’s time to pit these two against each other. This section will help you understand the differences and their implications on your investment.

The Impact on Returns

One of the key differences lies in the potential returns. For example, monthly averaging might smooth out short-term volatility but could miss out on sudden market spikes. Conversely, daily averaging captures daily market movements and might result in a higher return if the market has a sudden spike.

The Influence of Market Volatility

Regarding market volatility, the choice between daily and monthly averaging can have significant implications. Daily averaging is more sensitive to market fluctuations, which could be a boon in a rising market but a bane when the market dips.

Your Risk Tolerance

Your risk tolerance also plays a crucial role in deciding between the two. Daily averaging could be for you if you have a higher risk tolerance and prefer to capitalize on daily market movements. But if you prefer a less volatile approach, you might lean towards monthly averaging.

Next Steps

Averaging is a process that helps protect your account value from market downturns. Here’s how it works and why it can be a valuable feature. Contact us for a quote if you’re interested in learning more about fixed-indexed annuities. We can help you find the right product to fit your needs and budget.

How Does Averaging Work In Fixed-Indexed Annuity

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the annual reset method work in a fixed-indexed annuity?

Can you explain the annual reset method? It involves resetting the annuity account value every year. This includes adding any earnings for the year to the account value, which becomes the new, higher amount “locked in.”

Are fixed index annuities guaranteed?

Although both indexed and fixed annuities offer steady income and safeguard against market losses, they diverge in how they calculate interest. Fixed annuities present a guaranteed interest rate, while indexed annuities, such as FIAs, associate their interest rate with the performance of a market index.

What is the monthly averaging index annuity?

To calculate the interest earned in an index annuity, the underlying index value is compared on the first day of the contract year with the average index value at the year’s end, measured every month.

What is the monthly average method?

After obtaining the monthly numbers, add them and divide the total sum by the number of months.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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