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Investing

An investment is something you put money into to make Your Money grow. If you work a part-time job, that hard-earned cash can be invested, putting Your Money to work for you.

Risk

Investments carry various degrees of risk that may depend on the amount invested, its duration and, most importantly, the rate of return.

Safer investments provide a greater assurance that you can keep what was originally invested, though the rate of return may be lower. Higher risk investments may offer a higher rate of return; however, the risk that you may lose money on the investment increases.

Based on a budget and your goals, you'll need to decide what type of investor you are and the financial risk you're willing to take with Your Money.

Investment Types

Cash and cash equivalents
These are the safest investments, generally giving back the lowest rates of return. They consist of savings accounts, treasury bills and money market mutual funds that are easily convertible into cash.

Savings account Government Treasury Bill (T-Bill) Fixed income investments

These investments are a source of relatively steady investment income over time. GICs, bonds and income mutual funds are fixed income investments that can earn more than cash and cash equivalents. But some of these come with an increased risk, so do your homework when considering these investments.

Canada Savings Bond (CSB)

Term Deposit/Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Equity investments

Stocks and equity funds are investments with the greatest potential for high long-term returns. They are risky, offering the most bang for your buck, but with a bang that can go either way. You may stand to lose a portion of your initial investment if the stock falls.

In addition to returns provided by the increasing value of stocks, some equity investments also pay dividends. The company you've invested in pays shareholders some of the earnings according to the number of stocks they hold.

Stocks — general Common shares/stock Blue chip stock Penny stock Small-, mid- and large-cap stock Preferred shares/stock Mutual funds

A mutual fund is an investment product in which your money is pooled with the money of many other investors. A professional fund manager invests this pool of money in a variety of securities, depending on the fund's specific objectives. If you're like many people, you don't have time to fully research and manage your investments, but you'd still like some say in where your money goes, and you'd like to be able to move it around from time to time. If this sounds like your style, you may want to consider mutual funds. There are funds that invest in specific markets or geographical sectors, while others invest in blue chip companies or small company stocks. There are also “green” funds that invest only in environmentally friendly companies.

Mutual funds have many advantages:

As with any type of investment, there is an element of risk with mutual funds. Although the fund is diversified, it will still reflect the performance of the securities in that fund. And depending on the mutual fund, it can vary from very low to very high risk. Mutual funds are generally intended to be held as long-term investments. With mutual funds, you can potentially earn money in two ways: through distributions (profits of the funds that are passed on to you) or through a rise in the unit or share price. Be aware of the fees involved with mutual funds. In many cases, there are no acquisition or disposal fees (these are called no-load funds). However, some funds may charge either an initial fee, called a front-end load, or a fee when you sell the mutual fund, called a back-end load. With these fees, you pay a percentage of the purchase price that may or may not be waived if you hold the fund long enough. All mutual funds have a fee known as the Management Expense Ratio (MER), which is the annual cost of managing and operating the fund.

Precious metals Commodities Income trust Derivatives Real estate and other investments

Some people put their money to work in other areas. Perhaps the most common is real estate for rental purposes. In this form of investing owners may be able to earn rental income and see their capital investment appreciate over time, assuming real estate prices rise.

Where to Invest

Most banks, trust companies, credit unions and investment firms offer a range of investment options for investing Your Money. It all depends on what kind of investing you prefer according to risk, duration, amount and other market factors.

These financial institutions have consultants on hand to help you invest, either as part of the banking services included with your account or where you'll pay a fee for consulting services. Think about your goals, preferences and comfort zone before investing Your Money.

Resources for Investing Your Money

Publications

Your Investment Profile worksheet (CBA)
Protecting Your Deposits (CDIC)


Online Investment Calculators

Mutual Fund Fee Impact Calculator (Investor Education Fund)
Investment Calculator (Bank of Canada)
Deposit Insurance Calculator (CDIC)


Canada and Provincial Savings Bonds

Canada Savings Bonds
Manitoba Builder Bonds
Ontario Savings Bonds
Québec Savings Bonds
Saskatchewan Savings Bonds

Your Money Students for: