TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2012) - To mark Financial Literacy Month, BMO Financial Group is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of BMO's commitment to 'Making Money Make Sense', the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day-to-day finances more effectively.
BMO's Tip of the Day: Understand what you can hold in your RRSP.
"When it comes to investments, Canadians have a myriad of options. Rather than trying to learn everything there is to know about every product out there, get familiar with some of the most common products on the market," said Serge Pépin, Vice President, Investment Strategy, BMO Asset Management, BMO Financial Group. "This will help you make better decisions when it comes to investing in your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)."
While many products have similar characteristics, they provide different results and fulfill different roles:
Bonds are loans issued by governments as well as corporations, and have a defined term of maturity. The term can be anywhere from a year or less to as long as 30 years. With most bonds, investors are paid regular interest of the loan - which can be fixed for the duration of the bond - or the interest rate may increase based on inflation. Investors can buy and sell bonds before their maturity date and, depending on prevailing interest rates, may have a capital gain or loss on the sale.
Equities (Stocks) involve buying shares as a direct investment in a company. The shares may or may not pay dividends, and when sold may result in capital growth or a capital loss for the owner. There are two types of shares: common shares or preferred shares.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are investment funds that are generally linked to an index that seek to replicate the performance of that particular index. An ETF can hold a variety of assets like stocks or bonds that match the index it is tracking. ETFs have several benefits such as cost effectiveness (including low management fees), real-time transparency into underlying portfolios and investments, and liquidity whenever markets are open. They also provide investors with the ability to add many more investment opportunities and solutions.
Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are loans where certain elements are guaranteed such as the interest rate you will be earning and the return of your principal investment amount at maturity. Other types such as market-linked GICs pay returns linked to market performance and protect your principal like regular GICs. GIC terms can extend from days to years, and the interest rate will vary depending on the term selected. GICs provide safety and stability, as investors will receive 100 per cent of their principal investment amount back at the end of the term.
Mutual Funds allow investors to pool their money together to buy into a wide variety of investments, from government and corporate bonds, to stocks of large and small corporations. The level of risk will depend on the mutual fund.
"CFEE commends BMO's ongoing efforts to support Financial Literacy in Canada and promote ways in which Canadians can increase their competence and confidence when managing their personal finances on a day-to-day basis," said Gary Rabbior, President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE).
BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips
November 1: Maximizing TFSA investments annually over 20 years can save nearly $30,000 in taxes.
November 2: Utilize rewards to squeeze the most value out of every dollar you spend this holiday season.
November 3: Choose an investment advisor who is right for you and will help you meet your financial goals.
November 4: Use your RRSP to help make the down payment on your first home.
November 5: Space out payments to avoid cash-flow problems.
November 6: Take advantage of the benefits of preferred shares.
November 7: Consider investing in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and take advantage of tax incentives when saving for retirement.
November 8: Take advantage of Canada's numerous online personal finance resources.
November 9: Before you head off on your winter vacation, be sure you and your family are properly covered in the event of a medical emergency.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.