A type of pool investment that is similar to a mutual fund, but is considered an insurance product. Proceeds received by the insurance company are used to purchase underlying assets, and then shares of the segregated funds are sold to investors. Segregated funds may guarantee a specific return over the life of the investment or upon maturation of the fund. Although there may be a guarantee to the investor of a segregated fund, there will also likely be penalties if the investor sells shares of the fund before their maturity. These guarantees come with costs to the investor – in this case, opportunity costs.