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When interest rates on GICs and savings accounts start to march higher, which banks and trust companies will be first to pass along better returns to clients?

Banks and credit unions that operate online generally offer much better returns on guaranteed investment certificates and savings accounts than traditional financial institutions. But even among the alternative players, rates vary quite a lot. So does the level of aggressiveness in keeping rates competitive.

There are lots of online resources for keeping track of current GIC and savings rates, but they for the most part offer only a current snapshot. An exception is, which has introduced a feature that you’ll want to bookmark if you’re a GIC investor looking for a bank or credit union you can do business with now and in the future (find it at: has tracked five-year GIC rates at a wide variety of online banks and credit unions over the first six months of 2021, a period of time where there has been spotty improvement in returns for conservative investors. You’ll quickly see which players have the highest rates at the moment, and the ones that have pushing rates higher rather than standing pat or even trimming rates recently

Oaken Financial scores well on both counts - it has a five-year GIC rate of 2.2 per cent and has posted a couple of rate hikes this year. EQ Bank, at 2.1 per cent for five years, currently, comes across as similarly committed to keeping rates competitive. Bridgewater Bank and LBC Digital are other names that have been pushing five-year GIC rates higher this year. Players with flat but competitive rates include Wealth One Bank and Hubert Financial.

A bunch of other banks have been both up and down this year, a reminder that banks set interest rates according to current economic trends and their own needs to raise money they can lend out in mortgages.

A benefit of dealing with a bank with both high current rates and a commitment to keeping rates competitive is easy renewals. Rolling over a maturing GIC with the same financial company takes about a minute, max. Much preferable to searching around for a better deal.

-- Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist

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The Rundown

Why declining bond yields may be less about economic jitters and more about a U.S. economy flooded with cash

The great mystery in financial markets right now is the surprising fall in bond yields. The decline has confounded forecasts, baffled analysts and led to a blur of theories about what is driving the unexpected turn of events. Markets are doing the opposite of what theory says they should do. Bond yields are supposed to go up in tandem with rising inflation and stronger economic growth. Instead, they are going down. Ian McGugan goes looking for answers on what’s really behind the credit market jitters.

Also see:

U.S. bond managers say market has overshot, yields too low

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Why Dennis Mitchell says real estate investing is about more than ‘location, location, location’ (and what he’s buying and selling)

Most real estate investors look at “location, location, location” when deciding where to put their money. Not Dennis Mitchell. “What drives real estate is jobs, jobs, jobs,” says the chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Starlight Capital in Toronto. “Where jobs are created, people move, and where people are moving, the demand for real estate increases.” Mr. Mitchell oversees about $325-million in assets, including the Starlight Global Real Estate Fund. The Globe and Mail spoke to Mr. Mitchell about his outlook on the real estate sector and what he’s been buying and selling.

Can Reddit’s silver ‘apes’ beat the market?

There’s a growing social media movement made up of people who say they are buying silver bars and coins for protection from a coming age of inflation. They hope to corner the market and bring down what they say is an unjust banking system. Market professionals say that is unlikely to succeed – there is plenty of silver, and central bankers in the United States and Europe expect inflation to stay in low single-digits. But bankers aren’t getting through to this group. Peter Hobson of Reuters reports.

Post-Fed taper tantrum? Not this time, market strategists say

Global markets won’t have a violent “taper-tantrum” like they did in 2013 even as though U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to discuss tapering of asset purchases at its annual gathering at Jackson Hole in August, three strategists at asset management firms said.

Others (for subscribers)

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Thursday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

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Globe Advisor

How to prepare a portfolio for unpredictable inflation

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What’s up in the days ahead

Have we already reached “peak” stock market returns and “peak” economic growth? What about “peak” ETFs, given how many products there are now to choose from? We’ll have some answers.

Click here to see the Globe Investor earnings and economic news calendar.

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Compiled by Globe Investor Staff