How To Invest In Canada As A Newcomer: A Complete Guide

How To Invest In Canada As A Newcomer A Complete Guide

How To Invest In Canada As A Newcomer A Complete Guide

Monetary goal-setting is an imperative step in your journey as a newcomer. As you begin to plan for the long run, investments can be a great way to put your savings to work and develop your wealth. The cash you invest can grow significantly over time and provide you with long-term financial security.

A few newcomers waver when it comes to investing, either since they do not completely understand Canadian investment products or are unwilling to risk their savings. Be that as it may, Canada encompasses a wide range of investment items that offer varying levels of risk and return. In this article, we cover the nuts and bolts of investing in Canada as a newcomer, including sorts of investment items, investment plans, and tips to assist you in selecting ventures that are right for you.

Within this article, we will cover:

  • What is investing and how is it distinctive from savings?
  • What are the popular investment items in Canada?
  • What are the sorts of investment plans in Canada?
  • How are investments taxed in Canada?
  • How can I begin contributing in Canada?
  • Tips about choosing the correct investment items or plans for you

What is investing and how is it distinctive from reserve funds?

The concept of savings is recognizable to most individuals. After you save, you set cash aside for the longer term. Investing, on the other hand, is developing that cash by obtaining assets that will increment in value.

One of the key contrasts between investments and savings is that investments regularly includes some degree of risk. Investments do not guarantee returns and, over time, the value of the resource you contribute in can alter, resulting in a benefit or misfortune. 

Why should I invest as a newcomer?

In Canada, the interest in savings accounts is very low. In comparison, the development potential for investments is much higher. In the event that you’re saving for mid-to-long-term objectives, such as the down payment on a house or your retirement, you’ll likely see essentially more prominent returns with investments.

In addition, investment plans like the Registered Retirement Savings Account (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) offer certain tax benefits that make them more profitable than savings accounts. 

Things to consider if you’re debating contributing in Canada vs. back domestically

As a newcomer, you may be weighing whether to contribute in Canada versus in your domestic nation. Here are some things to be sure while making that choice

  • Rate of return: Compare the anticipated rate of return on investments in both nations and make a choice that produces more monetary sense.
  • Tax implications on worldwide income: As a tax inhabitant of Canada, you’ll have to pay tax on your worldwide wage in Canada. Outside profits are taxed at your most elevated marginal rate, so you may have to pay more tax on your investment profit in case they are overseas.
  • Tax benefits of investing in Canadian RRSP or TFSA: Be sure to account for the advantages of contributing within Canadian enlisted plans. RRSP commitments are tax-deductible, whereas TFSA profits are tax-free.
  • Charges on international cash transfers: In case you arrange to send cash back home to contribute or bring your investment income to Canada, be beyond any doubt to account for the charges related to international cash exchanges.
  • Controls around investments by non-residents: In case you are a permanent resident of Canada and plan to invest back home, be sure to check on the off chance that your home nation has any confinements or controls on investments by non-residents. 

What are the popular investment items in Canada?

Investments are monetary products you’ll be able to purchase to create returns. Depending on the sort of investment item, the return you get may be fixed or variable. Most investments moreover involve a certain degree of risk, which implies your venture may lose esteem due to market instability, demand variances, or other components.

As a newcomer in Canada, there are a few investment items to consider. These incorporate:

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
A Guaranteed Investment Certificate is a secure venture item that ensures your unique investment and pays you a settled or variable return for a foreordained period. You’ll contribute to a GIC through a bank or other monetary institution in Canada.

Could a GIC be the correct investment item for you?
A GIC may be the proper venture for you on the off chance that you:

  • Arrange to invest for a brief- to mid-term (between one day and ten years).
  • Want a low- or no-risk venture that ensures your beginning investment
  • Prioritize security over return. Compared to other speculation items, GICs regularly offer a lower rate of return.
  • Need a fixed or variable pay from your investment. 

Stocks (or equity)

Stocks, also known as equity, represent fractional ownership in a corporation. Investors can purchase equity in publicly listed companies through the stock exchange. Stock prices are susceptible to volatility due to various factors such as market sentiment, demand fluctuations, and company or sector performance, among others. Despite their riskiness, stocks offer potential dividends and capital gains upon selling at a higher price than the purchase.

Determining if stocks suit your investment needs involves considering factors such as:

  • Desire for high-risk, high-return investments without a minimum investment requirement.
  • Intention to invest for a mid- to long-term duration without locking funds.
  • Preference for actively selecting companies to invest in.


Bonds, on the other hand, represent debt instruments issued by governments or corporations to raise funds. Purchasing bonds entails loaning money to the issuer for a fixed period at a specified interest rate. Investors can buy bonds through various financial institutions. Bonds may be suitable for those seeking:

  • Low-risk investment options.
  • Regular income from investments at a fixed rate of return.
  • Mid- to long-term investment opportunities ranging from one to 30 years.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds, professionally managed investment products, pool funds from multiple investors to invest in a diverse portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. Investors acquire a small percentage of the portfolio’s value when purchasing mutual funds. Mutual funds offer several benefits, including:

  • Professionally managed investment portfolios.
  • Comparable returns with lower risk compared to individual stocks.
  • Ability to start investing with a small amount, sometimes as low as $500.
  • Flexibility to liquidate investments as desired.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are similar to mutual funds but are traded on the stock market. They offer lower fees for a diversified portfolio and comparable returns with lower risk than individual stocks. ETFs may be actively managed or linked to market indices or specific industries.

ETFs offer a favorable investment avenue if you seek:

  1. Cost-effective access to a diversified portfolio, with fees typically lower than those of mutual funds.
  2. Returns on par with the market, yet with reduced risk compared to investing directly in individual stocks.
  3. The opportunity for some degree of engagement in managing your investments.
  4. The ability to invest flexibly at your preferred pace, without any minimum investment thresholds


Investing in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Tether, entails high risk due to price fluctuations but offers liquidity and potential for significant gains or losses. However, it’s important to note that cryptocurrency is subject to increasing government regulation, with some countries considering or implementing bans on its use, ownership, or trade.

Considering cryptocurrency might be beneficial if:

  • You’re seeking an investment with high volatility, potentially leading to substantial profits or losses due to rapid price fluctuations.
  • You’re interested in investing in an asset that offers liquidity, allowing for easy conversion to cash or utilization for transactions.

What types of investment plans are available in Canada?

There is a range of investment plans in Canada, some of which are government-registered, allowing individuals to select based on their investment objectives.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

A TFSA is a registered savings plan permitting investments up to a specified maximum limit annually. Opening a TFSA account is possible through banks or financial institutions.

Contributions to a TFSA originate from after-tax income, while returns on investments and withdrawals from the account remain tax-free. As of 2022, the maximum TFSA contribution limit stands at $6,000, alongside any unused contribution room accumulated from previous years.

TFSA accounts accommodate various financial and investment products, serving as an effective means to save for short- to long-term goals, such as purchasing a vehicle, embarking on a vacation, establishing an emergency fund, or even acquiring a home.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

The RRSP is a registered savings plan designed to facilitate savings for retirement or significant life milestones such as purchasing a first home or financing education. Opening an RRSP account is possible through banks or financial institutions.

Contributions made to an RRSP are tax-deferred, meaning taxation occurs solely upon withdrawal of funds, encompassing contributions and accrued earnings. Typically, the annual RRSP contribution limit, or deduction limit, equates to 18 percent of taxable income, capped at a specific maximum. Similar to the TFSA, RRSPs permit a diverse array of investment products tailored to individual risk tolerances.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

The RESP is a registered savings plan specifically designed for saving towards a child’s post-secondary education. Contributions made to the RESP are not eligible for tax deduction, however, the earnings generated from investments within the plan are tax-deferred. There exists no annual limit for contributions to the RESP, with a lifetime investment cap set at $50,000 per beneficiary. Additionally, the Canadian government provides matching grants, typically equal to 20 percent of contributions made, up to a maximum of $2,500 per year.

Non-registered investment account

Non-registered accounts lack government registration and do not provide tax advantages. Nevertheless, they afford the flexibility of investing without contribution constraints and permit withdrawals at any juncture. Typically, these encompass direct investment accounts that individuals can establish with a bank or alternative financial institution.

How are investments taxed in Canada?

While registered plans typically provide tax benefits, here’s how earnings from investments in non-registered accounts are taxed in Canada:

Interest: Earnings from investments such as GICs, bonds, or savings accounts may accrue as interest. In Canada, interest income does not receive preferential treatment and is subject to taxation at the individual’s highest marginal tax rate. Consequently, interest represents the least tax-efficient form of investment earnings.

Dividends from Canadian stocks: Many companies distribute a portion of their earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends. The government offers preferential tax treatment for dividends by providing individuals with dividend tax credits, which offset taxes the issuing company has already paid on those earnings.

Capital gains: Capital gains denote the profits acquired when selling an investment for a price exceeding its purchase price. These gains enjoy preferential tax treatment, with only 50 percent of capital gains subject to taxation.

Foreign interest and dividends: Earnings derived from foreign investments are fully taxable at the individual’s highest marginal tax rate.

How can I start investing?

Depending on your familiarity with investment products and plans in Canada, you have three options to choose from for your investment approach:

Self-directed investments: This approach empowers you with complete control over where and how you invest. To begin, you can establish an investment account with a bank or another financial institution. Prior to initiating investments, it’s essential to inquire about commissions and associated charges

Seeking advice from a financial planner: Many individuals, especially newcomers, rely on financial planners to assist in establishing financial objectives and making investment decisions. Consultation with a financial advisor can provide guidance on selecting the appropriate investment approach.

Utilizing the services of a wealth management advisor: Wealth management services cater to more intricate investment or wealth management requirements, such as retirement savings growth and wealth preservation through estate planning or tax management. A wealth management advisor can assist in devising a tailored financial strategy and constructing an investment portfolio offering a broad spectrum of investment options.

Tips about choosing the correct investment items or plans for you

Beginning investments in a new country presents challenges, but with these pointers, you can strive to optimize returns and safeguard your funds:

Consider your financial objectives

Before delving into investments, it’s prudent to reassess your financial objectives and the timeline for needing the funds. Are your goals immediate, like building an emergency fund or saving for a vacation, or long-term, such as retirement planning? For short-term goals, steer clear of investment products with lock-in periods or high risks. Establishing a budget and determining a comfortable monthly investment amount are also crucial.

Understand investment risk levels

Your risk tolerance as an investor hinges on various factors, including investment duration, savings targets, and an investment product’s risk-to-return ratio. Ensure you’re comfortable with an investment’s risk level before committing. Seek guidance from a financial advisor if uncertain about an investment’s suitability.

Align investments with your values

Your personal values can influence investment decisions, dictating which projects or companies to support or avoid. Some mutual funds or ETFs enable investment in specific businesses or sectors in line with your values. Consider this aspect alongside financial and risk criteria when selecting investments, and consult with your financial advisor to ensure alignment with your beliefs.

Evaluate investment costs

In addition to invested funds, factor in fees, commissions, and other expenses associated with investments. For newcomers, paying extra fees may be justified for access to financial expertise or managed portfolios like mutual funds or ETFs.

Understand tax implications

Different investment plans and products entail distinct tax treatments for investments and earnings. Many newcomers prioritize maximizing RRSP and TFSA contributions to leverage tax benefits. For non-registered plans, comprehend the tax consequences of earnings and accurately report them in tax returns.

Choose between active and passive investing

Individuals vary in their preference for managing investments independently or opting for managed approaches like mutual funds, ETFs, or investment planners. Select the strategy aligning with your risk tolerance and comprehension of Canadian investment products.

Diversify your portfolio

Given the inherent risks in most investment products, diversification is essential. Strive for a balanced portfolio encompassing equity, debt, and other investments to mitigate risk and achieve expected growth rates.

Seek guidance when necessary

Commencing investment activities can be overwhelming for newcomers, but assistance is readily available. A financial advisor can furnish ongoing financial counsel, address specific investment queries, or manage your investment portfolio. Rely on a proficient financial advisor to devise a tailored investment plan and identify suitable opportunities.

Unlike savings accounts with relatively low-interest rates, investments enable capital utilization and offer potential for higher returns. It may take time for newcomers to acquaint themselves with Canadian investment products and plans, but with these tips and expert guidance, you’ll be better equipped to embark on your journey towards financial prosperity.