Our investors often ask us why we don’t offer Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). The answer is quite simple – the Encasa Canadian Short-Term Bond Fund (STBF) is designed to meet all of your short-term investing needs.
As Treasurer of Portland Place Non-Profit Housing Corporation, a valued Encasa investor, Geoff Seaborn understands the value of the STBF:
“We use the Short-Term Bond Fund for our working capital because of its liquidity. There’s not much to choose as an alternative these days, including GICs.”
So why do some investors still prefer GICs? One reason may be because of the security that GICs provide with their guaranteed return. But what do investors sacrifice for that guarantee?
Liquidity is a key advantage of the STBF over GICs.
GICs are commonly locked-in for one year or more. This means that you are unable to access your funds should unplanned expenses arise without incurring penalties or additional fees. Cashable GICs are liquid, but they offer meagre investment returns compared to the STBF. These types of GICs are redeemable without penalty, but you are usually giving up a considerable amount of return compared to locked-in GICs (at time of writing, around 1%).
The STBF is fully liquid, meaning your funds are never locked in. All of your capital can be accessed at any time without penalties or additional fees. You can also redeem the exact amount that you need, when you need it.
GICs lock in an interest rate whereas the STBF is an actively traded, professional managed fund that adapts to changing economic conditions and importantly, changing levels of interest rates. This means that the fund is not locked into a set interest rate but will adapt as interest rates rise and fall. For example, if Addenda forecasts interest rates may fall (with the result that bond prices will rise) they can increase the duration* (term) of the bonds within the fund to capture those rising prices and so, earn a higher return.
And significantly, a portfolio of GICs must be managed by the investor, which can add unnecessary complication. Timing the different GIC maturities to the timing of your expenditures can be difficult, especially if unexpected expenditures arise.
Diversification is the only free lunch in investing. A fund is a diversified vehicle whereas GICS are only diversified if you take the time to build a ladder of GICs of different maturities. And the ladder still faces the liquidity and management constraints outlined above.
The STBF is a diversified mix of government and corporate bonds, with different credit ratings, features, and maturities. This diversification allows the yield and the volatility of the fund to be managed in accordance with the Encasa mandate: to produce competitive short-term returns at low levels of volatility.
The STBF follows Encasa’s Responsible Investing Policy. This means that your capital is not only generating a return but is also benefiting companies and projects that are making a positive contribution to the world in which we live. For example, the Fund currently owns 14% in “Green Bonds”. What are green bonds? They are bonds that raise money for climate and environmental projects that make impactful change.
• The Encasa Short-Term Bond Fund provides you with liquidity – liquidity that can’t be matched by holding GICs.
• The STBF allows you ability to access your money whenever you need it – only available with fully redeemable GICS that sacrifice returns.
• The STBF provides competitive returns to locked in GICs.
• The STBF allows your capital to stay invested, even when your expenses are uncertain.
• The STBF is professionally managed by one of Canada’s leading investment firms.
Ultimately, the STBF allows you to focus your time and your energies on your properties and your clients, instead of managing and rolling GICs.
Encasa Financial makes investing simple and affordable, offering lower management expense ratios to investors. Interested in learning more about the Encasa Canadian Short-Term Bond Fund and how it can work for your shorter-term investment needs? Speak with your Investment Funds Advisor, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.encasa.ca to learn more.
Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
*Duration is a measure of volatility that measures the price change in a bond given a 1% change in interest rates. A duration of 4 years means that a bond’s price will decline/raise by 4% if interest rates rise/fall by 1%.