Is It Safe to Use Oaken Financial for My GICs? Does It Work? How Can I Add a Joint-Owner to a GIC?

Like many Canadians, I’m a bit nervous letting an “unknown” financial institution handle my money. Still, when I was looking for a place to put our emergency fund into a series of GICs so that one would mature each month for a year, Oaken Financial had the best on-going rates available with the most convenience for me. Still, I wondered if it would be safe to use it, whether it would work, and especially whether there would be any problems when the certificates matured.

What Maturity Instructions Could I Choose for a GIC with Oaken Financial?

When I bought the first guaranteed investment certificate last year, I asked to have the interest and principal paid out to my Oaken Savings Account at maturity. I was a bit nervous because I’d had bad experiences in the past with one of the Big Five Canadian banks not putting those instructions properly on file and my GICs rolling over to new terms and lower rates.

I checked the GIC certificate that Oaken had mailed me, and I checked my certificate details online and both said that the principal and interest would go into my savings account at maturity.

(I could also have asked them to mail me a cheque, or to re-invest the principal and/or interest at maturity.)

Will Oaken Warn Me That I Have a GIC About to Mature?

I was pleased to get a letter from Oaken more than a month ahead of time warning me that I had a GIC coming up for maturity. It offered me the option of changing my instructions for the cash. I left the instructions standing.

Did My Oaken GIC Mature Properly?

Still, it wasn’t till today, when the first certificate matured that I finally knew it would work. Yep, the cash is now in my Oaken Savings Account. Phew!

Will I Use Oaken Financial to Buy My Next GIC?

Yes. I actually am re-investing this 1/12 of our emergency fund today so that it will mature in another year’s time. Our expectation is that if we need this emergency fund, we will need it to pay monthly bills and property taxes etc so we won’t need it all in one chunk: we’ll use it in monthly chunks. I’m keeping a series of 12 GICs, one maturing each month, to keep the money earning some interest, hopefully enough to keep up with, almost, inflation.

What Rate is Oaken Financial Offering for a Non-Registered GIC Today, November 24, 2105?

The current rate for a non-cashable one-year GIC is 1.95%. A cashable is paying 1.75% which is more than most savings accounts. We don’t need to have cash handy here, since we have it elsewhere, so we’ll go with the non-redeemable GIC. The rate for 18 months and more is over 2%.

Adding a Joint Owner to a New GIC at Oaken Financial

This time, when buying a GIC, I wanted to add a Joint Owner, my husband.
I followed  my own instructions for buying a GIC, then clicked Yes when asked if I wanted to add a joint-owner.

The Joint Owner Details Section Opened

  1. I clicked to select Yes for Is the joint owner an existing customer?
  2. I typed in his Oaken Client Number.
  3. From the list of titles, I selected Mr.
  4. I typed in his first and last name in the appropriate text boxes.
  5. I clicked to select No for the question is he a US citizen or US resident for tax purposes?
  6. I typed in an optional email address for him.
  7. I clicked No to answer the question Has his personal information changed?
  8. I clicked No to answer whether I wished to add an additional joint-owner.
  9. I then continued with usual procedure by clicking on the Next button.

If you need to add a Joint-owner to an existing GIC, you could try talking directly to an Oaken Financial support person. I am not sure if it is possible or not.

Are My Oaken Financial GICs Insured by CDIC?

Today, November 24, 2015, they are listed as a member of CDIC and therefore the GICs are secured. It’s always a good idea to check the CDIC status of any institution again just before placing an order in case anything has changed.

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Do you keep your emergency fund in cash or GICs? Where do you stash it? Please share your strategy with a comment.

2 thoughts on “Is It Safe to Use Oaken Financial for My GICs? Does It Work? How Can I Add a Joint-Owner to a GIC?

  1. Hi nice site, great financial info…
    curious… were you able to link Tangerine to Oaken as an ‘external account’ easily facilitating movement of funds back and forth? or link Oaken to Major Bank for same ?

    • I found it easy to link Oaken to our “Big Cdn Bank” because I set up the Oaken acct by sending in a cheque from that bank. I expect it should be equally easy to link it to Tangerine now by using a cheque (so I can see the link from Oaken) or setting up the connection from the Tangerine end by using the Link External Account feature (where I will have to initiate each transfer in or out from Tangerine.) Oaken, like most e-banks, uses a cheque from another bank as a way to authenticate your identity and the validity of your SIN number. So to initially set up an Oaken account will very probably require sending in a personal cheque.

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