What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate

What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate
An in-depth guide of what a GIC is and everything else you need to know.

What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are considered no-risk investments because they guarantee that you will receive your original investment in its entirety. The form of investment guarantees an investor a certain rate of return over a given time period. It is normally issued by banks or trust companies. GICs come with a low-risk profile, meaning at the time you pull your investment or it is returned to you, you are guaranteed to have at least the amount of money that you started with, if not more.

The rate of return on GICs

If you are wondering about the rate of return on GICs, this piece will explain.  In most cases, the GIC rates tend to vary depending on a number of factors. These factors may include:
  • The length of the term
  • The interest rates from the Bank of Canada
By knowing what is the rate of interest will go along way in helping you determine your returns. The rate of return is often higher at the time of purchase than the interest on a saving account. Whenever the saving interest rates are higher than the GIC rate of return, ROI will be low. Traditionally, GICs have been known to pay higher interest when compared to an ordinary savings account. The only catch is that an individual may not be able to withdraw their money for a specific time period which is good to some people. GICs provide for a term that generally ranges from 30 days five years. They normally demand a minimum investment of $500 or $1,000.

Things you need to know about GICs 

This type of investment normally works for special kinds of deposits. By agreeing to buy a GIC, you consent to lend the bank your money for a stated period of time or term. The list below contains some of the facts you need to know about GICs.
  • Minimum amount of investment is $500
  • You are not required to pay any fees when purchasing GICs.
  • They pay a fixed rate of interest for a certain term. The term normally expires on the maturity date.
  • Some GICs provide for a variable interest rate. This is based on the performance of some benchmarks such as a stock exchange.
  • The longer the time period, the higher the interest rate of return (such as 5-year GIC rates).
  • Your money gets protection up to a certain set limit.
  • GICs can be held in registered investment accounts such as RRSPs and TFSAs.
  • Cashable and redeemable GICs allow you to get your money back prior to the maturity date.

Best Examples of GIC Rates

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