Investing Unit 5: Guaranteed Investment Contracts

January 06, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF




Called GICs for short, guaranteed investment contracts are fixed-income contracts issued by insurance companies as an investment option for 401(k) retirement plans. Another commonly used name for GICs is "stable value funds." Like CDs, only tax-deferred, GICs pay a fixed-interest rate for a specified period of time (e.g. 3 to 5 years). Because they are backed by an insurance company, and not the federal government, GICs generally pay a higher return than CDs and other cash investments. Their return is lower than stocks, however, leading to criticism that they are inappropriate for long-term financial goals like retirement.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.