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RESP Investment Options

Now that you have decided to open a Family or Individual RESP account and you know which financial institution to ask to be the RESP promoter/provider, you should now consider what type of investments you want your RESP account to hold.



The investment options available to an RESP account are the same investment options that are available to RRSP and RRIF accounts. Any investments held within an RESP account must be a qualified investment as defined by the Income Tax Act. These investment options include the following:

  • Mutual Funds
  • Segregated Mutual Funds
  • Publicly traded shares – common and preferred shares
  • Shares of a small business corporation
  • Shares of a Mortgage Investment Corporation
  • Shares of eligible corporation
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
  • Bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages guaranteed by the federal, provincial, municipal or Crown corporation
  • Bonds debentures, notes issued by a corporation whose shares are listed on an organized stock exchange in Canada
  • Debt obligations of corporations whose shares are listed and trade on an organized stock exchange outside of Canada
  • Debt obligations of a publicly listed corporation other than mortgage investment corporations
  • Debt obligations issued by an authorized foreign bank and payable at a branch in Canada of the bank
  • Debt obligations of a Mutual Fund Trust the units of which trade on an organized stock exchange in Canada
  • Debt obligations issued by a government of a country other than Canada provided the obligation had, at the time of purchase, an investment grade credit rating from a recognized bond credit rating agency
  • Mortgages
  • Installment Receipts
  • Cash deposits in any currency is a qualified investment, except where the money is held as a collectible for its collectible value and this value exceeds the stated face value as legal tender
  • Exchange Traded Funds
  • Warrants, Rights and Options
  • Royalty Units
  • Partnership Units, and
  • Depository Receipts

When you open an RESP account, the investment options available will be dependant upon the financial institution that administers your RESP account. For example, an RESP account opened with a mutual fund company may only offer mutual funds as your investment choices. An RESP opened with a bank or credit union may only offer savings accounts, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), and bank/credit union mutual funds. And a Discount or Full-Service broker will offer GICs, bonds, preferred shares, common shares, mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds, etc.

Note: For Group RESP accounts, the investment options will be described in the plan’s contract or prospectus and, in general, the options will be GICs, bonds and Treasury Bills.

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