As the COVID-19 pandemic swept around the world shutting down countries and forcing people to shelter in place, people’s plans and priorities quickly shifted. Nearly a year and a half later, we’re starting to see the light and a return to normal life. And for some Canadians, there’s a little something extra waiting for them at the end of that tunnel.
The pandemic was tough on everyone. Job losses and slashed hours caused nearly nine million Canadians to apply for CERB in its first few months. Industries like travel, hospitality, and live events were on standstill. And all that homemade sourdough and homeschooling got to be a bit mundane. Yet for many people, the pandemic was a time of saving.
With restaurants and theaters closed, dinner and a show meant ordering in and streaming a movie. Winter escapes down south and summer vacations overseas were grounded. And the work wardrobe was regulated to sweat pants and a shirt that was passable on a video call. Less spending on things like dining out, entertainment, travel, and clothing quickly added up.
The question now is: what to do with that extra money?
Built-up pandemic savings
Sure, a nice trip or some new threads might be on the agenda, but if you’re one of the many Canadians who did manage to boost your savings during the pandemic, you might be able to splurge and invest at the same time.
Data from Statistics Canada show that, in total, Canadians saved a surplus of $212 billion in 2020. Compare that to 2019 when Canadians only managed to set aside a total of $18 billion. On average, that’s just over $5,000 per person; it was just under $500 the previous year. All those little expenses certainly add up.
From savings to investments
While you have many options available to you, it would be wise to consider turning the sacrifices you made during the pandemic into an investment opportunity. One that’s readily available to you is a term deposit.
A term deposit (or a GIC) is a type of investment held at a financial institution for a fixed length of time. This can range from a few months to several years or more. Term deposits are a no-risk investment* with a secure but conservative rate of return.
A market-linked term deposit is one where the rate of return is linked to the stock market, potentially offering a higher rate of growth. The principal is guaranteed, but market performance determines how much money you'll make at the end of the term.
Market-linked term deposits take some of the risk out of investing while capitalizing on the stock market's potential. And that could be an ideal option for any funds you squirrelled away during the pandemic.
They are also generally RRSP, TFSA, and RESP eligible, making them another tool for reducing your taxable income. Eligibility varies among the different market-linked products, so speak to an advisor about your circumstances.
Get the right advice
Who could have imagined when this all started, and people were hoarding things like toilet paper and spaghetti, that many Canadians would end up with a healthy little chunk of savings?
If you did come ahead in the pandemic and have some savings sitting in an account, a market-linked term deposit or GIC might be the right low-risk investment option for you. Talk to one of our financial advisors and find out how a term deposit can work for you.
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