Annuities have traditionally been the Rodney Dangerfield of investment products. They get no respect from most of the financial media. Articles in Forbes and similar publications continually harp on the typically high fees charged on these products. Brokerage firms have been sued by clients in situations where brokers have sold annuities (for their tax shelter advantage) into investment vehicles that already enjoyed a tax shelter -- like IRA accounts. The average annuity product nationally charges an annual fee of slightly over 2.5 percent.