When one of the GICs in my children’s RESP matured recently, I decided to re-invest the money in a new 1-year-term GIC. Since the last time I bought a GIC, BMO InvestorLine has re-designed their fixed income investment screens so the procedure has changed: here’s how I bought the guaranteed investment certificate.
Buying a Guaranteed Investment Certificate at BMO InvestorLine
- Sign in to your InvestorLine account.
- From the drop-down list at the right side of the screen, make sure you are looking at the information for the account within which you want to buy the GIC. For example, I made sure it was our RESP account, not my RRSP account.
- Hover the cursor on the Trading tab and from the list, click on Fixed Income.
- Click on the blue View GIC Offerings button.
GIC Offerings Page
The GIC Offerings screen has become much more complicated. Down the left side of the screen are the choices:
- Quick Picks
- 1 year
- 2 years
- 3 years
- 4 years
- 5 years
And across the top of the data are tabs for:
- Annual Pay
- Semi-annual Pay
- Monthly Pay
I wanted to buy a 1-year annual pay GIC, so from the list on the left side of the screen, I clicked on the 1 year box, then clicked on the Annual Pay tab.
Although I had not requested to see Cashable GICs, I notice three BMO cashable GIC products lead the list. All the other listed GICs are N/A for Cashable. In other words, they cannot be cashed before maturity.
Fortunately, BMO InvestorLine still lists the GICs in order from highest paying to lowest (if I ignore the BMO cashable products.)
Click on the name of the company offering the rate you want. For example, I clicked on Home Trust Co.
GIC Order Entry Page
The familiar GIC Order Entry screen opens.
- In the Amount box, type how much you want to invest in this GIC with a minimum purchase of $5000 in a RESP.
- Ensure the interest rate and payment terms you want are the ones beside the selected radio button.
- In the Daytime Phone Number box, type where you can be reached.
- Click on the button: Review Order
- Read the disclosure statement that warns you that BMO InvestorLine gets a commission from the sale. (You do not pay this separately. It is built into the lower interest rate you are getting for the GIC. So you will get the interest rate advertised and they will get some $$$ from the vendor.)
- Click on the Continue button if that’s ok.
The GIC Order Review Page
- Review the details of your request.
- If it all looks good,
Type your trading password in the field: Please enter your trading password to submit this order:
- Click on the button: Submit Order
GIC Order Confirmation Page
Make a note in a secure location of the Order Reference Number in case of any problems.
As usual, your Cash Balance does NOT immediately reflect your purchase.
Does the New BMO InvestorLine Fixed Income Process Work Better for GICs Than the Old One?
Personally, I didn’t find it any easier. In fact, it took a few more clicks to get started with the purchase. It does look prettier, though. I’m glad they still show the GIC interest rates in the useful format of highest to lowest with no required clicks.
Overall, I’d rate the change as neutral, neither better nor worse, for GICs.
- When GICs Get Risky!
- How to Make a Contribution to your RESP Account at BMO InvestorLine
- Free Education Money for Low Income Canadian Families’ Children
Do you buy GICs in your RESP to keep the cash safe during the last few years before the educational institute gets it all? Please share your strategy with a comment.