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Still losing to inflation with GICs?

Inflation can undermine more than just your cost of living – it can impact the potential of your investments too.

With inflation soaring to 40-year highs, many Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are still offering interest rates that are potentially not keeping up with the rising cost of life in Canada.

While GICs are a very low-risk investment, generally offering attractive interest rates and security, most GICs require you to lock in for a period of time to receive the quoted interest rate. That means not only is your money tied up and effectively illiquid, but also GIC investors are likely to miss out on future return potential should GIC rates increase.

For investors looking to generate a potentially higher yield, and avoid lock-ups, there are ETF solutions that can be used as alternatives to GICs.

High-Interest Savings ETFs, or Cash ETFs, are a way to invest a portion of your portfolio in cash using exchange-traded funds (ETFs). As an ETF, High-Interest Savings and Cash ETFs are liquid and available to buy and sell throughout the trading day. That means investors can move into – or get out of Cash – faster than with a GIC.

Like GICs, High-Interest Savings and Cash ETFs also offer the opportunity to earn interest on your cash position.

Name and Ticker Gross Yield* Management Fee1 Net Yield AUM***
Horizons High Interest Savings ETF (CASH) 4.29% 0.10% 4.19% $596 M
Horizons Cash Maximizer ETF (HSAV)** 4.25% 0.18% 4.07% $2,076 M
Horizons USD Cash Maximizer ETF (HSUV.U) 4.21% 0.18% 4.03% $920 M

1Plus Applicable Sales Tax
*CASH gross yield 4.29% as at October 27, 2022, HSAV gross yield 4.25% as at October 27, 2022, HSUV.U gross yield 4.25% as at November 3, 2022
**Horizons Cash Maximizer ETF Suspends New Subscriptions
***Assets Under Management as at September 30, 2022

In February 2022, HSAV announced a suspension of all new subscriptions. During a period of suspended subscriptions, investors should note that ETF shares of HSAV would be expected to trade at a premium or substantial premium to the NAV per ETF Share of HSAV. During such periods, investors are strongly discouraged from purchasing ETF shares of HSAV on a stock exchange.

Compare that to the current yields on 1-Year Cashable Canadian GICs, which only allow investors to withdraw their cash after a minimum of 30 days to receive interest on their investment – the most “flexible” of GICs available in Canada today:

GICs – 6 Banks

Banks 1-yr (Non-redeemable) 1-yr Cashable 5-yr
4.50% 2.25% 4.75%
4.50% 2.85% 4.75%
2.00% 1.90% 3.25%
4.50% 2.25% 4.55%
4.25% 2.40% 4.50%
4.50% 2.40% 4.75%

As at, November 3, 2022

Let’s take a look at some of the other key similarities and differences between high-interest savings and cash ETFs and GICs:

GICs are just not offering as attractive of a value proposition for investors looking to maintain a cash position.  In today’s marketplace, investors looking for a safe house to invest their cash that lessens the impacts of inflation could consider high-interest savings and cash ETFs that offer liquidity, stability, and yields that move as rates do.