A GIC is an investment that protects your invested capital. You will not lose money on the investment. GICs can have either a fixed or a variable interest rate.
A mutual fund is a type of investment in which the money of many investors is pooled together to buy a portfolio of different securities. A professional manages the fund. They invest the money in stocks, bonds, options, money market instruments or other securities.
A pooled investment fund, much like a mutual fund, is set up by an insurance company and segregated from the general capital of the company. The main difference between a segregated fund and a mutual fund is the guarantee that, regardless of fund performance, at least a minimum percentage of the investor’s payments into the fund will be returned when the fund matures.
Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a tax-deferred investment plan that helps you save for your child’s post-secondary education so that you’ll have the funds you need when you need them. Your contributions can be supplemented by the federal government’s Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). Unlike an RRSP, your contributions to a RESP aren’t tax-deductible but the investment income earned is tax-sheltered until withdrawn.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a government-regulated investment account with special tax benefits to help you maximize your retirement savings. Deductible contributions to an RRSP help reduce your taxes, and any income you earn on your investments while in the plan grow tax deferred.
Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)
In the 2008 budget, the government of Canada introduced a brand-new personal savings vehicle: the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), to help you save for different purposes throughout your lifetime. This new account is the most important personal savings vehicle for Canadians since the introduction of the RRSP in 1957.
As of January 2, 2009, you can start contributing to a TFSA, which can hold any combination of eligible investment vehicles, such as cash, stocks, bonds, GICs and mutual funds, the growth of which will be tax-sheltered.
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)
A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is a plan that allows your savings to continue growing tax-deferred while generating a steady stream of income during your retirement years. This is important because if your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is not converted to a RRIF, it is considered “deregistered”, and the proceeds will be paid out as cash and fully taxed as income.
An annuity is a type of investment contract that pays you income at regular intervals, usually after retirement.
A Canada Savings Bond is a savings product issued and guaranteed by the federal government. It offers a minimum guaranteed interest rate. Canada Savings Bonds have a three-year term to maturity, with interest rates remaining in effect for that period. At the end of the period, the Minister of Finance announces the new rates based on prevailing market conditions. It may be cashed at any time and earns interest up to the date it is cashed.
Canada Savings Bonds are only available through the Payroll Savings Program, which allows Canadians to purchase bonds through payroll deductions.
An exchange traded fund is an investment fund that holds assets such as stocks, commodities or bonds. Exchange traded funds trade on stock exchanges and have a value that is similar to the total value of the assets they contain. This means that the value of an exchange traded fund can change throughout the day.
The risk level of an exchange traded fund depends on the assets it contains. If it contains high-risk assets, like some stocks, then the risk level will be high.