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How do GICs work?

How to buy GICs Add to ...

You can buy GICs at banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires and some investment firms.

4 quick steps

1.  Decide on how much to invest and for how long

With most GICs, your money will be locked in for the term. You will have to pay a penalty for withdrawing your money early. If you think you may need to get your money out early, buy a redeemable or cashable GIC that can be cashed anytime without penalty.

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2. Choose a fixed or variable interest rate

If you want a guaranteed rate of interest, choose a fixed-rate GIC. If you're comfortable with varying interest rates, consider an index-linked or market-linked GIC.

3. Shop around for interest rates

Compare GIC rates online for the term you've chosen. Talk to some banks and financial institutions. Ask if you can get a better rate than the one posted.

4. Choose a financial institution and GIC

If you don't already have an account with them, you’ll need to set one up. Bring 2 pieces of ID with you. At least one of them must be from the government. The list of acceptable IDs is the same as for opening a bank account. You can pay by cheque or transfer from a bank account or another GIC that is maturing.

Compare GIC rates

To compare interest rates for GICs from banks and other companies across Canada, visit the CANNEX website. Then use this compound interest calculator to compare the difference in accrued interest over different deposit amounts and time periods.

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeInvestor

 

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