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The Bank of Canada frustrated borrowers when it held the line on its overnight rate this week, but savers and investors had to be happy with the status quo.

Rates on investment savings accounts sold as mutual funds and high interest savings account exchange-traded funds have held steady in the aftermath of the latest Bank of Canada decision. But there’s at least one exception, and it’s worth noting because it offers a wake-up call for investors enjoying today’s excellent rates on safe parking spots for cash.

A playbook for debt and investing as we look ahead to a U-turn for interest rates

The best rates for investors are found in HISA ETFs, which offer as much as 5.3 per cent or so after fees. Investment savings accounts offer 4.55 per cent to 4.75 per cent, down from a recent peak of 4.85 per cent.

The ISA paying 4.85 per cent was the BMO High Interest Savings Account (BMT104), which I mentioned in a blog post last month as a star product for investors who want to park money safely at no cost. Back then, 4.85 per cent was a top rate for ISAs.

A check late this week on ISA rates found that the BMO High Interest Savings Account offered 4.75 per cent, the same as the Scotiabank Investment Savings Account (DYN6000). Several other players were at 4.65 per cent and 4.55 per cent.

The drop of 0.1 of a percentage point in the rate offered by the BMO High Interest Savings Account would normally not be worthy of note. But with everyone, economists and investors alike, trying to get a sense of where we are in the interest-rate cycle, it seems significant. At least one player in the investment savings account business has decided it can pull back a bit on rates.

Rates on ISAs and HISA ETFs are guided in large part by changes in the overnight rate, but competitive concerns play a role as well. This means vigilance is required for investors who want their cash to generate maximum returns. Don’t expect steady rates on your ISA or HISA ETF just because the Bank of Canada opted to stand pat.

Check rates for Investment savings accounts on If your ISA is lagging on returns, there may be better options. HISA ETF returns are best tracked using product profiles on ETF company websites. You’ll find a list of HISA ETFs in a recent bonus instalment of the Globe and Mail 2023 ETF Buyer’s Guide.

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