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Keep Eye on the Ball as Rates Drop

Interest Rate Peak – For New Year’s Eve, all eyes were on the Ball at Times Square, but now on January 1, perhaps they should be focused on GIC Interest Rates. The last few years have seen GIC Interest Rates skyrocket, in an effort to tame decade-high inflation. At least for the time being, rates seem to have peaked and have actually started to come down since the beginning of December 2023.

Interest Rates at peak

Welcome to the zenith of guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), where returns reach remarkable heights. However, the prospect of descending interest rates looms, as indicated by various signals. Current opportunities boast impressive rates, between 5 and 6%, depending on term.

Have GIC Interest Rates Peaked?

Act swiftly, as these rates may be unparalleled. The real uncertainty lies in when GIC rates will begin a downward trajectory. For now, GIC Interest Rates have peaked. Despite significant drops in financial market interest rates, GIC rates have shown minimal response. The influence of five-year Government Canada bonds, with yields decreasing from 4.4% to just below 3.6%, raises questions about the sustainability of high GIC rates.

Earlier declines in bond yields, driven by expectations of tamed inflation, led to a substantial drop in GIC returns. Subsequent inflation concerns propelled GIC rates to new heights. While a resurgence of inflation is not entirely ruled out, it seems increasingly unlikely as the inflation rate recedes, accompanied by stalling economic growth.

As the Bank of Canada contemplates potential rate adjustments, a status quo decision would validate the perception that rates have peaked. Anticipated rate cuts by the bank in the coming months align with expectations of a shifting economic landscape.

Condo Reserve Fund Impact

While the decline in inflation may be a blessing for Reserve Expenditures, for Condo Reserve Fund Investments, this may be as good as it gets for awhile, as Interest Rates seem to have peaked. In order to seize the opportunity to the fullest Condo Boards should have a good idea about Reserve Expenditures over the medium term, and build a laddered GIC portfolio which now should at least include 1, 2 and 3 year GICs, and perhaps dipping your toes into 4 and 5 year GICs as well.

Investors should be mindful of reinvestment risk associated with GICs. The current 5 to 6% rates for one- or two-year GICs may yield lower returns upon renewal. In this dynamic financial landscape, seizing opportunities promptly and staying vigilant to market shifts is key for maximizing returns.

As the Interest Rate Peak seems to have materialized, at least for now, Lambda Financial Consulting remains committed to providing expertise and guidance tailored to the ever-changing market conditions for Condo Boards and Property Managers.

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