A mutual fund pools investments from many investors who share a common investment objective. Then the mutual fund’s portfolio manager selects individual securities and buys them on the investors’ behalf. An income fund often focuses on bonds; an equity fund focuses on stocks; and a balanced fund blends bonds and stocks to achieve some of the benefits of each asset class.
A segregated fund contract provides unique benefits including maturity and death benefit guarantees and in some cases, guaranteed income. Like mutual funds, there is a spectrum of funds to choose from. Amounts allocated to a segregated fund contract may increase or decrease in value, but guarantees and reset options can help to protect the money you invest.
Guaranteed Investment Certificates are offered by most financial institutions and Guaranteed Interest Contracts are offered by insurance companies. A GIC issued by an insurance company provides tax and estate planning benefits and potential creditor protection. GICs are one of the most dependable types of investments because they guarantee that a specific rate of interest will be paid out over a specific length of time.
Annuities provide guaranteed income for life (a life annuity) or for a specific time period (a term certain annuity) in exchange for a lump-sum investment. Joint and survivor annuities cover two people, so the surviving spouse can continue to receive a guaranteed income after one spouse’s death. Various guarantees can be added to an annuity contract to meet personal needs.