Welcome back! In Part 1 of Investing 101, we learned about the many benefits of investing and how investing is different from saving. Now, in Part 2, we will introduce you to different types of investment products in Canada. These products may play a significant role in investing to achieve your financial goals and secure a prosperous future for you and your family.
But before we dive into the world of investment products, let’s explore how investing helps build wealth:
Investing is like planting seeds that grow over time. When you invest your money wisely, it has the potential to grow faster. Instead of letting your money sit idle, investing allows it to work for you. With patience and the right investment decisions, your money may grow, giving you the opportunity to achieve your dreams and aspirations.
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Now, let’s explore the various investment plans and products available in Canada:
1) Registered Plans:
Registered plans are accounts that encourage saving and investing. These accounts come with tax benefits, meaning you can save on taxes while building your wealth.
How do registered plans work? Registered plans are registered with the federal government and offer tax advantages. The money that you contribute to these plans grows tax-free, or tax-deferred, depending on the type of plan.
Get to know the different types of registered plans:
- Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA): The TFSA allows you to invest your after-tax dollars up to a certain limit each year, and any returns you make from your investments are entirely tax-free. You can withdraw your money anytime without paying taxes on your earnings.
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): The RRSP is designed for retirement savings. Money you contribute to an RRSP is deducted from your taxable income, reducing your tax bill. Your investments grow tax-free until you withdraw the money which will be considered as taxable income.
- Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP): The RESP is designed for saving for your child’s education. The Canadian government provides grants and incentives to boost your contributions, helping you save more for your child’s future education expenses. There is no annual contribution limit however there is a lifetime limit of $50,000 per beneficiary. To maximize your potential annual Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG) of $500, you would need to contribute $2500 per year. Please refer to the Government of Canada website for more details.
- Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP): The RDSP is specifically for individuals with disabilities. It helps them save and invest for long-term financial security.
- Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF): RRIF is used to draw income during your retirement from your investment that was previously invested in your RRSP. You can convert your RRSP into an RRIF anytime. However, an RRSP must be converted to a RRIF or paid out in a lump sum by the end of the calendar year in which you turn age 71. This provides you with a regular stream of income while still offering tax advantages at retirement.
- First Home Savings Account (FHSA). An account introduced by the federal government in 2023 as a way for first-time home buyers to save money towards the purchase of their first home. It combines the features of an RRSP and a TFSA whereby contributions to the FHSA are tax deductible and qualifying FHSA withdrawals (for the purchase of a first home) are not taxable.
2) Investment Products:
Once you have a registered plan, you can choose from various investment products to grow your money further. Let’s explore some popular options:
- Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs): GICs are low-risk investments offered by banks and trust companies. When you invest in a GIC, you lend money to the bank for a fixed period and, in return, you receive a guaranteed interest rate. It’s a safe option for preserving your principal amount.
- Mutual Funds: A mutual fund is an investment vehicle consisting of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities, overseen by professional fund managers. It’s an excellent option for beginners as it spreads the risk across many investments. You also have the option to contribute smaller dollar amounts on a regular basis to help your money grow faster.
- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): ETFs are similar to mutual funds but trade on stock exchanges like individual stocks. They offer diversification and can be a cost-effective way to invest in a broad range of assets.
- Stocks: Stocks represent partial ownership in a publicly traded company. When you buy a company’s stock, you become a shareholder, and your wealth can grow as the company’s value increases. However, stocks can be riskier as their value can go up or down based on market conditions and company performance.
- Bonds: Bonds are like loans you give to companies or governments. In return, they pay you interest at a fixed rate over a specific period. Bonds are generally considered safer than stocks but offer lower potential returns.
Investing in different financial products allows you to create a well-balanced and diversified investment portfolio, reducing your risk and potentially increasing your chances of long-term success.
Remember, investing is a journey that requires patience, knowledge, and a clear understanding of your financial goals. As you embark on your investment journey in Canada, make sure to research and seek advice from financial experts.
With discipline and wise choices, you can set yourself up to save and build wealth to secure a brighter and more prosperous future for you and your loved ones. Happy investing!
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