What is a Segregated Fund?

In the past 20 years, we have seen a lot of change in the finance industry with the creation of new financial products that try and meet the demanding needs of savers, retirees, and families.  New products were created largely due to the fact that many mutual fund managers have not been able to consistently beat the market, generally providing equal or less return with more risk.

Because of this, many products have since been introduced: exchange traded funds (ETFs), indexed mutual funds, principle protected notes (PPNs), structured notes, index-linked GICs, and segregated funds.  The idea behind these types of products (excluding the ETFs and index-linked mutual funds) was to reduce the client’s downside while leaving potential for an upside; the proverbial have your cake and eat it too.

I would like to take the time today to focus on one of these particular products.  I am going to be talking in depth about segregated funds.  The reason I want to specifically talk about segregated funds is because they are different than the other financial products mentioned.  In fact, they technically are not a financial product; they are insurance.

Segregated funds can not be sold by licensed mutual fund dealers or through brokers.  Segregated funds can only be purchased through a licensed insurance dealer.  In fact, they are regulated by the provincial insurance regulators (funds are technically individual variable insurance contracts) and not by the investment regulators.  This is because you never own anything with a segregated fund.  The fund is a contract in which you have rights to (which are usually called notional units).  These “units” measure your participation and benefits in the fund (or contract).  This is opposite to an equity investment in which you own physical stocks or shares of the interest.

The basic workings of a segregated fund are as follows.  A contract is made in which a certain amount of assets are controlled by the insurance company.  You are assigned notional units which are based on some underlying asset (although the monies may not necessarily be invested in the underlying asset).  This underlying asset is usually an index. It could be the S&P500, the S&P/TSX 60 or some other largely followed index.  The contract also stipulates that a certain percentage of the invested monies are guaranteed.  The minimum is 75% by law, but many provide up to a 100% guarantee of principle (or invested amounts).  The contract has a timeline of 10 years, in which gains can be locked in and a new date can be set in which another 10 years is locked in at the new (higher) indexed level.

Confusing?  A little bit.  But unfortunately there’s whole bunch of other quirks and quarks about segregated funds that you need to know.  I will try and explain them in the next sections.

I will separate the sections into different headings to keep things simple and to let you jump back to sections with ease if you need to.

 

WHO IS INVOLVED?

I may sound like a broken record, but remember that segregated funds are insurance and not assets.  This means contracts are involved.  It is important to understand the parties involved in the contract because there is a minimum of 2 parties with technically unlimited potential parties in theory.

There are three main groups of parties involved in a segregated fund: the contract holder, the annuitant, and the beneficiary.

The contract holder is the person who purchases the segregated fund (or contract).  There are some rules for the contract holder if the fund is purchased inside or outside a registered fund, such as an RRSP, RRIF, RESP, or TFSA.

If the contract holder purchases the fund inside a registered account, then the contract holder and the annuitant must be the same person.  If the fund is held outside a registered fund, then the contract holder and the annuitant can be two different people.

The annuitant is the person whose life the insurance is based.  If you did not believe me before that a segregated fund is insurance and not an asset, then this should be proof enough to change your mind.  A segregated fund is insured against someone’s life, which makes it an insurance product; an individual variable insurance contract (IVIC) to be exact.

If the contract holder and the annuitant are two different people (or parties) then the contract holder must have “insurable interest” in the annuitant.  Insurable interest means that the contract holder may be dependent on the other person.  This could be a spouse who provides the bulk of the finances in the family, a business partner perhaps, or someone else of that nature. Basically, it has to affect you negatively if that person were to pass away.  If the annuitant is not of insurable interest, then it is still possible to have an annuitant separate from the contract holder.  In this case, there would have to be written consent from the annuitant that their life may be insured under the contract.  This has obvious reasons behind it.  If your life has been insured under someone else’s contract, then they may have good reason to see you dead and collect the payment.

The last party involved is the beneficiary.  This is who gets paid if the annuitant becomes deceased.  The beneficiary does not need to be a single entity.  You can have multiple beneficiaries who have equal share in the benefits or certain percentages distributed to each.  Also, the beneficiary does not even have to be human.  The benefits can be passed on to an estate, to a charity, or some other legal entity.

The contract can also have revocable designation or irrevocable designation.  Revocable designation means that the contract holder can change the beneficiary as they please.  An irrevocable designation means that the contract holder cannot change the beneficiary without the existing beneficiary’s consent.

The contract life is set at a minimum of 10 years and most segregated funds use this time frame for their termination dates.  Although the contract is valid for 10 years, the contract holder is able to reset the date throughout the life of the contract, therefore enabling an infinite life on the contract in theory.  There is the possibility of terminating the contract early, which comes with a cost.  Also, if the annuitant becomes deceased the contract is terminated and the beneficiary is paid (and there are still fees on this as well).

 

MATURITY GUARANTEES

This is one of the biggest selling features of a segregated fund.  It is the protection that has made many individuals interested in these types of funds.

A maturity guarantee provides a legal obligation of the insurance company to pay back a certain percentage of the invested capital at the end of the contracts life.  The legal minimum is set at 75%, but many companies offer a 100% maturity guarantee (all of your invested money back).

The maturity guarantee may also be dependent on age.  Insurance companies usually restrict maturity guarantees when the annuitant reaches 80 years of age.  There may also be a sliding scale used if the annuitant is in their senior years.  This means that the amount of maturity guarantee reduces each year the annuitant ages.

An example of how maturity guarantees work follows:

  1. 75% Guarantee.
    A segregated fund is purchased at $10,000.  The fund has a maturity guarantee of 75% after the 10 years contract period is reached.  If the fund’s value is greater than $10,000 (say $15,000), then no maturity guarantee is paid.  If the fund’s value is equal to $10,000 after the contract’s holding period, then no maturity guarantee is paid.  If the value of the fund is below $10,000, but not below $7,500, at the end of the contract, then no maturity benefit is paid.  If the value of the fund is below $7,500 (say $5,000), then the maturity benefit kicks in and the payout will be topped up to reach $7,500 (in our case it the maturity benefit would be $2,500).
  2. 100% Guarantee.
    A segregated fund is purchased at $10,000.  The fund has a maturity guarantee of 100% after the 10 years contract period is reached.  If the fund’s value is greater than $10,000 (say $15,000), then no maturity guarantee is paid.  If the fund’s value is equal to $10,000 after the contract’s holding period, then no maturity guarantee is paid.  If the value of the fund is below $10,000 (say $5,000) at the end of the contract then the maturity benefit kicks in and the payout will be topped up to reach $10,000 (in our case it the maturity benefit would be $5,000).

 

RESET DATES

The reset function of a segregated fund allows you to lock in a new minimum value (or guarantee) for your fund through the life of the fund.

The standard life of a segregated fund contact is 10 years.  If a reset date is exercised, then a new maturity date is created and the life of the contract is extended out 10 years.  I will give a few examples to show this.

  1. NAV > Guarantee.
    If the NAV is say $12,000, the contract holder may lock in this amount and reset the contract.  Say the original contract had a start date of Jan 2000 and an end date of Dec 2009.  If after 2 years the fund is equal to $12,000 and the contract is reset, then the new contract termination date would be Dec 2011.
  2. NAV = or < Guarantee.
    Because the NAV is below (or equal to) your guaranteed amount, you would not exercise a reset and the termination date would remain the same.

There are some important factors to consider when thinking about reset dates. It is true that you have locked in a new higher amount, but what you lose is liquidity.  If you are approaching retirement you probably don’t want to lock in your money for another 10 years.  If you do lock in those guarantees and then need to take those monies out prior to the termination date, then you are going to be hit with some decent early redemption fees.

 

DEATH BENEFITS

Segregated funds have a feature built in which protects the invested capital if it has fallen and the annuitant has become deceased.  Remember that a maturity guarantee only guarantees if the value has fallen at maturity, it does not guarantee upon death.

The death benefit is the difference (if any) between the guaranteed amount (75% to 100%) and the net asset value (NAV) of the fund at time of death.  This may be clearer with some examples.

  1. 1.       NAV > Guarantee.
    Say the NAV of the fund is $15,000 and the guarantee for the fund was $10,000 (100%).  In this case there would be no death benefit since $15,000 less $10,000 is equal to +$5,000.
  2. 2.       NAV = Guarantee.
    Say the NAV is $10,000 and the guarantee is set at $10,000 (100%).  There would be no death benefit in this case since $10,000 less $10,000 is equal to $0.
  3. 3.       NAV < Guarantee.
    Say the NAV is equal to $7,000 and the guarantee is $10,000 (100%).  In this case the death benefit kicks in because $7,000 less $10,000 is equal to -$3,000.  In this case the death benefit awarded would equal to $3,000.

Another factor that must be known is that there are fees associated with death benefits.  So the actual amount awarded upon death may actually be less than the guaranteed amount.  I will discuss this more in later sections.

Another factor that must be known is that you are limited to a certain number of resets per year.  You may be limited to 1 or 2 resets a year.  This may sound like a good deal, but you are left basically trying to time the market (or the underlying asset).

It has been academically shown that timing the market is extremely difficult for seasoned pros, let alone the average investor.  Your fund may rise $500 in one month and you may feel it is a good time to lock in a new price, but if the fund rises another $2,000 in just a few more months and you don’t have any more reset dates for that year, you lose out and your new lock in price is dependent on the markets value when the year rolls over.  You are able to lock in prices, but because the numbers of lock-ins are not unlimited, you are essentially playing the market, which I strongly feel is closer to speculation than investment.

 

CREDITOR PROTECTION

One feature that some agents use to help sell a segregated fund is the creditor protection feature.

The creditor protection feature allows the benefits of a segregated fund to be sheltered from being distributed to creditors in the case of a bankruptcy or court order to pay down a debt.  This is because segregated funds are not assets; they are a right within a contract.  Creditors are not able to demand payment from segregated funds because there is technically no asset there.  You have a contract that guarantees a certain amount of money in a certain amount of years, but you don’t own anything.

This has become a popular feature for business owners because it provides them protection of wealth in the case of business bankruptcy or a major legal injunction which would leave the company bankrupt.

I can understand the need for this type of security.  A family wants to protect their personal assets from potential threats in their business.  I’m just not sure if a segregated fund is the best avenue to reach those goals.  There are other ways in which you can protect your personal assets which are lower in cost, provide better liquidity, and allow for greater diversification.  I will discuss this more in later sections.

Creditor protection may not be provided in certain cases.  If you have entered into a segregated fund with the purpose of creating creditor protection because you are currently being approached by creditors, then your creditor protection right is waived (you can’t buy segregated funds to avoid creditor action).  Creditor protection is valid if the fund has been in existence for two years and estate taxes are not owned.

 

PROBATE BYPASS

One feature of segregated funds that may be beneficial to retirees or people looking to transfer their wealth is that segregated funds are able to bypass probate.

Probate is the process of transferring wealth within a deceased person’s will to beneficiaries.  Wealth that has to go through probate is taxed and is exposed to lawyer, executor, and account fees.

With a segregated fund, the beneficiary is paid directly and the wealth is not exposed to outside fees (although there may be inside fees charged by the insurance company).  This is similar to other types of insurance where a beneficiary is paid upon death.

This makes segregated funds an advantage for estate planning since they are not considered to be part of the estate.

 

REGULATION & PROTECTION FROM INSOLVENCY

Segregated funds are regulated provincially and not federally.  They are regulated under insurance and not investments.  The insurance companies providing segregated funds must follow the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA).

These insurance companies are regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) which ensures that these insurance companies are adequately capitalized to meet their contractual obligations.

The requirements for segregated funds as stated by OSFI are (from CSC textbook):

  1. The maturity guarantee payable at the end of the term of the policy cannot exceed 100% of the gross premiums paid by the contract holder. (This rule also applies to contracts carrying reset features, which allow the contract holder to lock in gains and set a new ten-year term to maturity.)
  2. The initial term of the segregated fund contract cannot be less than ten years.
  3. There can be no guarantee of any amounts payable on redemption of the contract before the annuitant’s death or the contract maturity date.

Protection from insolvency of the insurance company (bankruptcy) is provided by Assuris.  Assuris is the insurance industries self-financing provider of protection if an insurance company becomes insolvent.

The federal government requires insurance companies to join Assuris and makes them legally responsible for paying levies to support Assuris.

Only the death benefits and maturity benefits are protected under Assuris since the assets of segregated funds are “segregated“ from the company`s assets.  If this is confusing, it`s because it is. It`s hard to track down who owns the underlying assets with regards to a segregated fund if any asset are held at all (it may just track an index).

Assuris does not provide protection to the market value or NAV of the fund; only the maturity guarantee (or death benefit).  This means if your fund is worth $15,000 and is guaranteed for $10,000, then the amount of protection is only covered up to $10,000.

The purpose of Assuris is to provide “top-ups“ to amounts awarded to rights holders after they have been paid through liquidation by creditors.  To give a clear picture of this I will give an example.

  1. You have a maturity guarantee of $10,000.  Say the insurance company becomes insolvent and after creditor payouts you receive $8,000 in payment.  Assuris would step in and provide the additional $2,000 to bring your payment up to the guaranteed $10,000.

The amount available to contract holders in segregated funds is limited to $60,000 or 85% of the guaranteed amounts (whichever is higher).  As you can see, you are not really guaranteed 100% of your initial investment in every possible case.  Although it is unlikely that major insurance providers will become insolvent, it is not impossible.  Look at what happened it the USA in 2008 and 2009 and some of the very large companies that provided financial services including insurance.

 

COSTS

This is possibly one of the most important sections with regards to segregated funds.  It is extremely important to know that there are no free lunches in finance.

To receive the principle protection that segregated funds provide, you can expect to pay for them through fees.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fees associated with segregated funds and it is often difficult to track them (as with mutual funds) because they are not direct fees and are usually taken off the gross returns of the fund, which is then reported net of expenses o customers.  So it is difficult to clearly see exactly how much the fund costs to maintain.

Segregated funds come with all the traditional fees associated with mutual funds.  These include front-end loads, back-end loads, DSC fees, commission fees, switching fees, trailer fees, and MERs.  But, segregated funds also come with a plethora of their own types of fees.

Segregated funds have fees tied to just about every feature they offer.

The management expense ratios (MERs) of segregated funds are typically 0.50% to 1.00% higher than traditional mutual funds.  This means MERs for segregated funds can reach 2-4% easily which puts a large toll on your ability to produce returns.

Front-end fees are usually waived by advisors for these types of funds, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be paying less fees.  This is because a segregated fund is almost guaranteed to have a back-end fee and/or a DSC fee.  Because they are known to have back-end fees and/or DSC fees, there is usually a commission fee attached to the fund for the advisor.  In addition to this, the segregated fund will most likely have a trailer fee that can last about 5 years.

There are also fees attached to early redemption.  Say you are faced with an emergency or job loss and you need to access the funds in your segregated fund.  Most funds offer the ability to withdraw 10% of the monies invested without penalty each year (and may jump up to 20% if it is held in a registered account).  If you need to withdraw amounts above and beyond that amount, you can expect to pay a penalty of around 6%.  This percentage does reduce over the life of the contract though.

You may want to change the underlying assets that are tracked in a segregated fund from time-to-time to better align your portfolio with your goals.  This can be either through rebalancing your portfolio or switching weights to reflect your new risk preferences.  Luckily, most segregated fund companies allow you to switch or transfer to different asset classes (within the same family of funds).  The unfortunate part is that there is usually a fee attached to that switch and you are limited in the number of times you can switch or make transfers.

Segregated funds come with maturity guarantees and death benefits, but those guarantees come with costs of their own.  When a maturity guarantee or death benefit is exercised, the company may impose certain fees to disperse those payments.  These could be labelled as administrative fees pr distribution fees.  These fees ultimately reduce the amount of funds you receive and reduce the overall return on the investment.

As you can see segregated funds don’t come cheap.  To receive the insurance of principle you have to pay for it.  These extra fees can make investing with segregated funds very difficult.  I will elaborate more on this in the next section.

 

WHAT I THINK

For me personally, I am not a big fan of segregated funds.  In fact I am not a big fan of many of the “protected” products available on the market today.  I am going to list out some of the major reasons why I am not crazy about segregated funds.

  1. Confusing:
    For me, the biggest reason why I’m not a fan of segregated funds is simply because they are extremely confusing.  It is incredibly hard to track the actual performance of these funds.  This is because there are fees hidden deep in the fund before you are even shown returns.  There are so many stipulations, rules, and restrictions that it’s hard to, first of all, know when each applies, and second of all, when you have breached them and how you will be penalized.

    Many analysts find it difficult to track these funds and to clearly state their performance.  If an analyst who has many years of training and experience valuing securities has trouble valuing a segregated fund, then chances are an advisor and an individual investor will have a hard time as well.

    I believe that you should invest in what you understand.  If you don’t understand something completely, then you run into the risk that the product won’t meet you risk, liquidity, time, and investment needs.  I don’t understand segregated funds completely so I don’t think I would invest in them.

  2. Not sure if it really is the best of both worlds:
    Segregated funds make the claim that you can participate in the upside of the market and be protected in the downside of the market.  I think if this were the case, then everyone (including pension plans and institutional investors) would invest in them.

    This is because of a risk-return relationship.  If a product offers great return possibilities with no risk, then it will be exploited by professional investors (a sort of arbitrage).  This has not been the case for segregated funds.  They aren’t being snatched up like hot cakes (although they have become more popular with individual investors) and many institutional investors have not invested into them.

  3. Liquidity:
    Segregated funds limit your ability to be liquid.  One feature of a safe and conservative investment should be liquidity.  You should be able to access those funds when you need them if you are after safety or preservation of capital.

    With a segregated fund, you are literally locked in for 10 years.  That’s a long time.  If you want to get those funds out, you are penalized through fees as high as 6%.  It can be said that stocks should be held for long periods of time, and I agree, but they are still liquid.  If you want to sell a stock you can.  You have to take the market price, but you are not penalized and you have the choice to hold it longer if need be.  The same applies for bonds and money market funds as well.

  4. Costs:
    One big trouble with segregated funds is that they are quite expensive.  I detailed all the costs that can be associated with a segregated fund above, but the implications of those costs are what really matters.

    If a segregated fund has an MER of 3-4%, then it means that there is a hurdle in which the fund has to surpass before you even begin to see profit.  Say you are after a conservative 3-4% return on your investment.  With a segregated fund, you need to get a return of 7-8% just to hit that 3-4% return goal.  This may be achievable some years, but not in all.

  5. Inflation:
    Segregated funds sound like a great idea because you are preserving capital.  But, the truth is you are actually preserving an amount that will be worth less in future years, so you are effectively guaranteed a loss.

    $10,000 today is not worth $10,000 tomorrow, and it is definitely not worth $10,000 in 10 years.  If you use an inflation of 2% per year, a $10,000 maturity guarantee is only worth about $8,200 in real dollars in 10 years.

  6. If you want to avoid risk, then you should avoid risk:
    If you are risk adverse and you do not want to lose any invested capital, then do not invest in the stock market.  This includes buying products that track the market.  You should be investing in GICs and other truly guaranteed products.  Do I believe this is the best way to invest? Not really.  But there are some cases where preservation of capital is really important.  This could be in your very elderly years, savings for a house or other large purchase, or an emergency fund for your family.

    Instead of having a payout possibility of 0% (but really negative because of fees) to an unknown percentage, invest in guaranteed returns.  If you invest in a 3% GIC, then your payout possibility is 3%.  Simple.  No restrictions or stipulations.  You know what you will get and you can plan for your future.  It becomes very difficult to plan for your future when you don’t have a good idea of the type of return you will get.  And as I said before, it is very difficult to track the performance of a segregated fund, so it is hard to get a strong probability of the type of return you can expect.

    I understand that some may not want to tie up their money in a 5-10 year GIC and I completely agree.  One strategy you could use is a lattered GIC plan.  Basically what you do is invest in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 year GICs equally and then a 5 year GIC thereafter.  This means you will always have money maturing in 1 year.  And after 5 years you can effectively always be invested at the high 5 year rate and still receive a yearly cash flow or maturity.

  7. The myth of losing all your money:
    There is a big fear of investing in the market and losing all your money.  This is why protected funds have become so popular in the past few years (especially after the 2008 2009 meltdown).

    Segregated funds offer 75% protection and up to 100% over 10 years.  Sounds good until you look at the data.

    Attached is a table that outlines the 10 year returns from the S&P 500 between January 1950 and November 2012.  I calculated the returns by taking monthly returns between the selected range (I used Yahoo Finance).  I then started with Nov 01, 2012 and calculated the ten year return from Nov 01, 2002.  This gives you the return you would have if you bought the S&P 500 on Nov 01, 2012 and still held it 10 years later.  I then copied this formula for each month below (ie: the next range would be Oct 01, 2002 to Oct 01, 2012 and so on).  This gave me 635 total data points or returns.

    In this whole time frame, can you guess how many times the return was below -25%?  The answer is 10 times.  A not so staggering 1.6% of the time. And this includes the crashes in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s

    Can you guess how many times it was below 0% return?  61 times or just under 10%.  This number definitely makes it feel riskier, but look at what the stats are for positive returns.

    A 25% or greater return was achieved almost 80% of the time.  What’s even more telling is that a return of 100% or more over a 10 year period (doubling your money) occurred over 50% of the time.

    One strong observation I want to point out is that if you held on to your equity when the returns were negative for just another year, your losses would have been much lower and in many instances positive again.  If you did buy at the top of the market on Oct 2007, then you would still be down to this day, but the vast majority of returns have been positive.

    This does not mean I think you should put all your money into the market.  I think a properly built portfolio is usually the best route.  But what I want to show is that a loss in principle over a 10 year period is not as high of risk as an advisor may make it out to be.

  8. Avoiding Creditors:
    It makes sense for an individual to want to protect their personal assets.  A segregated fund allows you to do this, but again, you are paying a premium to use a segregated fund as an investment tool.  There is a way to achieve creditor protection without paying a higher fee for your investments.

    In Canada, there are 3 possibilities for structuring a business (3 basic structures at least).  The first is sole proprietor.  This is someone whose money and assets are tied directly to the company.  The second is a partnership.  This is very similar to a sole proprietor, but involves a business partner (2 or more owners).  The third is being incorporated.  This creates a whole new entity whose assets are completely separate from the owners’ personal assets.  With a corporation, you get limited liability.  This means that if your company becomes insolvent or faces large legal issues, the assets of the owner(s) cannot be used for creditor purposes.

    There is also another benefit with being a corporation.  You can choose to have some of the wealth transferred to you through income (which becomes your personal asset) or through equity appreciation.  Equity appreciation is subject to creditors, but the corporation is likely to be taxed at a lower rate.  This means your wealth can grow faster.  And when (if) you sell the business, the capital gains earned are only taxed at 50% to calculate the tax base.

    So, to me, the creditor protection feature is not as enticing as it is laid out to be.  If you have a business that is big enough that you face the chance of large losses, or if it is risky enough that you are concerned with solvency, then incorporation may be a better bet all around.  Plus with being incorporated, your other assets are protected as well including your house, car, and other investments.

  9. You can create your own protection and invest in the market as well:
    There is a way to provide your own protection and it’s really quite simple and cheap.

    Here is how it works.

    You have $10,000 to invest.  You want to be guaranteed that you will have 100% of your invested capital in 10 years.  First thing to do is to find out how much of a return you can get through a guaranteed product (GIC, high interest savings account, etc…).  At the time of this writing, a 10 year GIC had a return of about 3% (pretty crumby, but we’ll use it for our example).

    You now want to see how much you need to invest today to get $10,000 in 10 years at 3% return per year (including compounding).  If you use Excel’s “=PV” feature you get $7,440.

    Now that we have our amount, we can set up our own “segregated fund”.  You would use $7,440 to buy the GIC and invest the other $2,560 into say an indexed mutual fund or an ETF that follows a major index.

    There you have it!  You have made your own segregated fund!  But what’s the benefit?  Well instead of paying 2-4% MERs you’d be paying a much lower fee.  Say the ETF had an MER of 0.50%, which is actually kind of high for a passive ETF tracking a major index, your MER for your portfolio isn’t actually 0.50%.  It’s actually much lower.  You have to get the weighted MER.

    The GIC has no MER so its MER is 0%.  The GIC accounts for 74% of your assets and the ETF is 26%.  Therefore, the amount you pay in MERs is actually ( 0% x 74% ) + ( 0.50% x 26% ) = 0.0013%.  That’s substantially lower than 2-4%.  And there are substantially less fees involved when moving the money around.  You can even use a lattered GIC method (as explained above) and become more liquid.  This becomes a little more complicated, but the complication is that it takes a little more math, but it is doable.  The complication with segregated funds is not just math based; it has to do with restrictions and stipulations. That’s something you won’t easily be able to do in Excel.

 

So as you can see, I am not a huge fan of segregated funds.  It is true that it may be good for some individuals.  I’m just not sure who.

I want to make it clear that you should not just take my opinion on this matter.  I do have a strong understanding of finance, but definitely not a 100% understanding.  Seek out more information on your own.  Talk to your advisor, your accountant, friends you trust, and publications you trust.  You could have a case where segregated funds make perfect sense.

What I want to show is that segregated funds are not the holy grail of investing.  They could work for some, but they are not perfect for all.  In fact, I would argue that there is no one perfect investment.  The only right investment is one that meets all your needs, and this is rarely found in one product.  That’s why a properly planned portfolio of investments is what investors should seek with a return characteristic that meets their needs and a risk level that matches their risk profile.

Thanks for reading and good luck out there!

How do you feel about segregated funds?  Think they are great?  Did I miss something that readers should now about?  Express how you feel and share your knowledge with us.  Leave a comment or message below!

Warning/Disclaimer:  The above article is not investment advice for an investor to implement.  It is meant to educate the investor about options available for investment.  Talk to a licensed and accredited financial professional about investment strategies that are best for you and your situation.

Resources:

  1. 1.       CSI Global Education Inc. – CSC Text, Volume II, Chapter 20, Segregated Funds and Other Insurance Products – 2012.
  2. 2.       Segregated Funds – Is a Segregated Fund a Perfect Investment Opportunity – Ezine Articles – http://ezinearticles.com/?Segregated-Funds—Is-a-Segregated-Fund-a-Perfect-Investment-Opportunity?&id=2197531 – Mike Singh
  3. 3.       How do Segregated Funds Work? – The Globe and Mail – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investor-education/investor-education-fund/mutual-funds/how-do-segregated-funds-work/article4085126/
  4. 4.       Segregated Funds: The High Price of Security – The Financial Blogger – http://www.thefinancialblogger.com/segregated-funds-the-high-price-of-security/
  5. 5.       Segregated Funds Explained – Get Smart About Money – http://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca/en/managing-your-money/investing/mutual-funds-and-segregated-funds/Pages/segregated-funds-explained.aspx#.UJXaGFL4K60
  6. 6.       Segregated Fund – Altius Directory – http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Finance/segregated-fund.php
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