While the popular belief is that GIC investors place the most importance on getting the highest interest rate, in reality, keeping their investments safe tops all other considerations.
This was just one of the findings of a recent survey which looked at how Canadians view Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). This year's RBC GIC Poll found that four-in-10 Canadians (44 per cent) who hold GICs - or would consider holding them - identified safety as their most important consideration, with highest interest rates falling well behind (32 per cent).
The poll also found that most Canadians are taking a long-term view of their GIC investments. Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) reported that having the flexibility to cash in their GICs before their maturity date was the least important consideration, when deciding to purchase a GIC.
Another notable finding: Investors who responded to the poll said they would be interested in GICs that offer increased benefits and flexibility, such as those with interest rates that increase every year; those that provide a regular income; and GICs that are linked to the stock market.
"All three of these options already exist on the market today, but not everyone is aware of what is available," says Rosalyn Kent, head of GICs and Savings at RBC. "Information is readily accessible in our branches and on our website, for example, to help explain the benefits of various GICs."
Two examples of online resources for Canadians who want to learn more are RBC's GIC Selector and GIC Comparison Tool which are accessible via www.rbc.royalbank.com/gic.
"These are both easy-to-use and informative resources which can help investors choose the type of GIC that best fits their lifestyle and goals."