Our Views

The Investors’ Dilemma: Bonds vs. GICs

It’s the goal of every investor to ensure they have the best possible investment strategies tailored to their financial goals. But navigating the complex world of investments can be daunting. Newport works with clients to identify opportunities that offer superior benefits.

In this blog post, we shed light on one such opportunity—the advantages of investing in fixed income assets (bonds) compared to Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). We explore the fundamental differences between bonds and GICs, shedding light on the reasons why bonds hold a unique position in our investment strategy. We also delve into how Newport bolsters its portfolios with diversified income-generating assets to ensure resilience during times of market volatility.

Bonds vs. GICs: a brief comparison

Before diving into the tax and liquidity advantages of bonds, it’s worth briefly distinguishing between bonds and GICs.

Bonds: Bonds are debt securities issued by governments, municipalities, or corporations to raise capital. When you invest in bonds, you’re essentially lending money to the issuer in exchange for periodic interest payments and the return of your principal at maturity. Bonds typically have a fixed interest rate and a specific maturity date.

GICs: GICs are financial products offered by banks and credit unions. When you invest in a GIC, you’re depositing a fixed sum of money for a predetermined period, and in return, you receive a guaranteed interest rate, with the principal amount returned at maturity.

The tax efficiency of bonds

When it comes to optimizing your investments for tax efficiency, bonds shine as a preferred choice. The primary reason lies in how they are taxed compared to GICs. Bonds can generate returns through capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate than the interest income from GICs.

Here’s why this distinction matters.

Bonds offer a two-pronged return strategy—interest income and capital gains. Interest income is typically taxed as regular income, while capital gains enjoy more favourable tax treatment. In many jurisdictions, the tax rate on capital gains is lower than that on interest income, creating a significant advantage for bondholders.

The liquidity advantage of bonds

Aside from tax efficiency, liquidity is a crucial consideration in any investment strategy. GICs, although offering security and predictability, fall short in terms of liquidity.

Consider these factors:

  • Limited access to funds. When you invest in a GIC, your funds are locked in for a predetermined term, and accessing them before maturity can result in reduced interest earnings or penalties.
  • Bond liquidity: Bonds, on the other hand, provide investors with high liquidity. They can be redeemed at any time without incurring penalties. This flexibility empowers investors to adapt to changing financial circumstances and seize opportunities without constraints.

We believe that there is a premium on maintaining liquidity in the cash portion of a portfolio as it allows us to access cash so that it can be put to work when investment opportunities arise.

Diversification beyond bonds

While bonds are one pillar of our investment mandates, Newport builds robust portfolios that can weather market volatility and provide consistent income and growth. To complement its bond positions, Newport diversifies through investments in income-producing private debt, mortgages, and private real estate.

Here’s how these assets enhance portfolio resilience:

  • Mitigating volatility: Private debt, mortgages, and private real estate investments offer stability and act as a buffer against market volatility. They’re often less correlated with public markets, helping to safeguard wealth during turbulent times.
  • Independent income and growth: These income-producing assets provide a consistent stream of income and the potential for growth that is independent of public market performance. This independence is a key element in achieving financial goals while minimizing risk.

At Newport, we’re dedicated to helping clients maximize returns and preserve wealth efficiently. The tax benefits and liquidity advantages of bonds make them a cornerstone of our investment strategy. And our commitment to diversification ensures that our clients’ portfolios are well-rounded and resilient, ready to thrive in a variety of market conditions.

If you’re interested in exploring the potential of bonds and income-generating assets within your portfolio, we invite you to get in touch to see how Newport can guide you on the path to achieving your financial goals.