The 5 Per Cent Solution: GIC or Stocks? The Choice May Be Harder Than You Think

5 per cent

These are sound companies that should ride out any market downturn and will likely be trading at higher levels in five years than they are today, according to financial expert Gordon Pape. Photo: peshkov/Getty Images

Suppose you could buy a five-year insured GIC paying 5 per cent interest. Would you take it?

It’s not a pipedream. It’s available right now with the click of a mouse from Oaken Financial (CDIC insured) or Steinbach Credit Union (provincially insured), according to information published on

Invest $5,000 of your money now and at maturity you’ll receive $6,381 back. Your principal and interest are guaranteed. 

Sounds like a good deal? If you’re ultra-conservative, yes. But there are some negatives to consider. For starters, the money is locked in for five years. You can’t move it around to take advantage of new opportunities. Second, there is no capital gains potential. You can’t lose any of your investment but neither can you add to it. Then there is inflation to consider. Right now, it’s running well above the 5 per cent return, so you’re losing purchasing power. The Bank of Canada tells us it will drop back below 5 per cent by 2023. Perhaps, but the Bank’s recent track record on inflation projections is underwhelming.

The alternative is to invest strategically in the stock market. Understandably, many income investors are leery of stocks these days. All the major North American indexes are in the red year-to-date, despite a rally in July.

But there are some stocks that offer dividend yields of more than 5 per cent with the likelihood of further increases over the next five years plus capital gains potential. These are sound companies that should ride out any market downturn and will likely be trading at higher levels in five years than they are today. Here are three examples. Prices are as of Aug. 12.


BCE Inc. (BCE-T)

Type: Common stock
Current price: $64.47
Annual payout: $3.68
Yield: 5.7 per cent
Risk: Moderate


Comments: BCE is Canada’s largest telecommunications company and is a must-have stock in any income portfolio. The shares yield a healthy 5.7 per cent and the company has a long history of annual increases (this year’s increase was 5.1 per cent). The stock has a beta of 0.38 per cent. The chart shows a long but steady upward trend over many years, without significant volatility.

Second quarter results showed a 2.9 per cent increase in operating revenue to $5.9 billion, from $5.7 billion the year before. Adjusted net earnings were ahead of expectations at $791 million ($0.87 per share). That was ahead 5.3 per cent from $751 million ($0.83 per share) in the prior year. Free cash flow was $1.3 billion, up 7.1 per cent from $1.2 billion in the same period of 2021.

The company reaffirmed its projection that earnings per share will grow at between 2-7 per cent this year.


TC Energy Corp. (TSX, NYSE: TRP)

Type: Common stock
Current price: $65.32
Annual payout: $3.60
Yield: 5.5 per cent
Risk: Moderate


Comments: TC Energy owns and operates 93,300 km of natural gas pipelines and 653 billion cubic feet of storage in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. It also has a 4,900 km network of oil pipelines, which supply Alberta crude to the U.S. market. As well, it invests in a number of power generation facilities, including wind, solar, and nuclear.

The current quarterly dividend is $0.90 per share ($3.60 a year), for a yield of 5.5 per cent. The company has raised its payout every year since the turn of the century. The stock has a beta of 0.78 and a p/e ratio of 20.35.

Second quarter results came in slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations. Net income attributable to shareholder was $889 million ($0.90 per share) compared to $975 million ($1 per share) in the same period of 2021. For the first six months of the fiscal year, net income was $1.247 billion ($1.27 a share). In the same period of the prior year, the company reported a loss of $82 million (-$0.08 per share). 

Subsequent to the release of results, the company announced a bought deal for 28.4 million common shares at a price of $63.50 per share. The proceeds will be used to assist in the financing of the Southeast Gateway Pipeline, a US$4.5 billion, 1.3 billion cubic feet per day, 715-kilometre offshore natural gas pipeline in the southeast region of Mexico. 


Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX, NYSE: BNS)


Type: Common stock
Current price: $80.39
Annual payout: $4.12
Yield: 5.1 per cent
Risk: Moderate risk


Comments: Scotiabank is the third largest among Canada’s Big Five banks in terms of market cap. It is the most internationally oriented of the banks, with significant assets in Latin America.

The bank recently increased its dividend for the second time in the past 12 months, a 3 per cent hike to $1.03 per quarter. That brought the yield up to 5.1 per cent, the highest among the country’s major banks. BNS has raised its dividend at least once in every year since 2011, except in 2020 when the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions ordered all financial institutions to freeze their payouts.

The stock has a beta of 0.89 and trades at a p/e ratio of 9.73.

Although bank stocks have taken a dip this year, BNS reported strong second quarter results. Net income attributable to shareholders was $2.7 billion ($2.16 a diluted share), up from $2.4 billion ($1.88 a share) the year before. Total revenue was $7.9 billion compared to $7.7 billion in the prior year.

For the first six months of the fiscal year, BNS reported revenue of just under $16 billion, compared to $15.8 billion last year. Net income was $5.3 billion ($4.30 per share), up from $4.7 billion ($3.74 per share) in the prior year.

These three stocks have an average yield of about 5.43 per cent, which is almost 9 per cent more than the top paying GICs offer. Over a five-year period, each of these companies is expected to raise its dividends at least once a year. 

There are no guarantees in the world of investing, but on balance I think these securities offer the potential of a much better return than the GICs, with comparatively small risk.

Gordon Pape is Editor and Publisher of the Internet Wealth Builder and Income Investor newsletters. For more information and details on how to subscribe, go to

Follow Gordon Pape on Twitter at and on Facebook at 


Stock Market: The Plunge in Bond Prices Has Investors Scrambling for Answers