Which Brokerage is Better for GICs: InvestorLine or Investor’s Edge?

Just because you don’t want to buy stocks does not mean you don’t want to have a discount brokerage account. If you keep a large amount of money in GICs for any reason, a self-directed account can allow you to easily “shop” for the best interest rate by just scanning a list and clicking on your choice. Which may lead you to ask, is Investor’s Edge or InvestorLine better for buying GICs?

Today the Better Brokerage for GICs is Obvious

Some days it’s almost a draw between Investor’s Edge and InvestorLine but not today.

Today, September 23, I could buy a one-year non-redeemable GIC from Home Trust through InvestorLine for 1.96%. The best Investor’s Edge is offering for the same terms and conditions is 1.75% at ICICI Bank Canada.

(Remember that you can not get your money out of a non-redeemable GIC early.)

That’s only a 0.21% difference in rate. But with rates this low every point counts.

Remember the Minimum GIC Investment Requirement at a Brokerage

One thing to remember before opening a brokerage account solely to buy GICs is that you have to have a large pool of capital to make it worthwhile. Generally you will need $25,000 to avoid paying annual service fees to the brokerage.

The minimum purchase requirement for each GIC is also $5,000.

Why Use a Brokerage for GICs?

The advantage of using a brokerage is that you can shop from a long list of various financial institutions offering GICs at varying rates. You can actually watch day by day and see competition and other factors shifting different institutions rates higher (or lower.)

The rates are significantly better than the rates offered directly at a branch of any of the Big 5 Canadian banks. And you don’t have to phone and beg or demand for an extra .25 or .5% each time a GIC comes up for renewal. You just shop the list, pick and pay. (GICs are cashed out into your cash account at maturity. They do not automatically re-invest.)

What Did I Buy Today?

Obviously, I made my purchase today at InvestorLine. Which practically guarantees tomorrow the best rate will rise to 2% or higher. But that’s ok; I have another one maturing in a week and a half.

Related Reading

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Do you use a brokerage for GIC investing or do you prefer to use a Fiscal Agent? Please share your strategy with a comment.

2 thoughts on “Which Brokerage is Better for GICs: InvestorLine or Investor’s Edge?

  1. I came to a similar conclusion when I used Investorline for my grandmother’s GICs. I found it much better to use a discount brokerage account to get mutliple GICs at different institutions (to avoid the $100k cap) than it was to visit branches. And I found that Investorline offered rates that were better than I could get when visiting branches.

    • Your Grandmother and I probably have/had the same investing strategy!

      I’m probably going to open an account at RBC soon; I’ll be quite interested to see what they offer in GICs–some of the trust companies vary quite a bit in the rates they offer.

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