Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are known as a safe conservative investment option. You can buy a GIC directly from the issuing financial institution or through an agent. Most financial planners and brokers act as agents for most issuing financial institutions.
What is your cost to purchase a GIC?
Most investors do not think about fees when investing in GICs. This is because most GICs are purchased directly from the issuing financial institution and no compensation is paid to any sales agents.
But when purchasing a GIC through a financial agent, the agent receives a commission from the financial institution issuing the GIC. The agent’s commission is somewhat standardized within the industry.
The issuing institutions typically pay a commission based upon the length of time to maturity for the GIC. The basic formula is 0.25% X the number of years to maturity X the dollar amount invested.
Example: An agent investing $20,000 in a 5-year GIC on behalf of a client, will be paid $250.00 (0.25% X 5 X $20,000).
Note: There is no annual investment costs to hold a GIC until maturity.
For more information regarding GICs, see our section Class Room: Guaranteed Investment Certificates.