Where to Park Your Cash? Regulatory Changes & What are Your Options in Canada?

Where to Park Your Cash in Canada - Matt Montemurro

We’ve all heard of high interest savings accounts that we can open up at our bank. But is that always our one and only best option when it comes to where we keep our short term cash?

What about for things like our emergency fund, or when we are saving for something expensive like a car and we want that money to be available immediately when we need it, and not be subject to the sometimes large day-to-day fluctuations that we see in the stock market?

In this episode, you are going to learn what your options are, here in Canada, when it comes to that short term cash that you want to be readily available, without you having to worry about incurring any massive day-to-day fluctuations that you would typically see in the stock portion of your investment portfolio.

Today’s guest, Matt Montemurro is going to take us through the different options that we have, as Canadians, and he’s going to take us through the pros and cons of each of these options so that you can make your own educated decision on which option is the best one for you, based on your situation and risk tolerance.

Spoiler alert: The best solution isn’t always the traditional high interest savings account at your bank.

Make sure you stick around because there are actually some regulatory changes happening here in Canada, which are going to be impacting high interest savings ETFs:

A lot of Canadians have been investing pretty heavily in these, and now it’s gotten to the point where the regulators have started to take notice, and they are about to implement some pretty significant rule changes that can negatively impact some of your investments, if you purchase or are considering purchasing high interest savings ETFs.

About our guest:

Matt is a specialist when it comes to fixed income. He is currently the team lead for all fixed income portfolios managed by BMO ETFs, which is the largest Canadian ETF provider.

In his role as portfolio manager and trader, Matt and his team are responsible for all segments of the fixed income market, both in Canada and internationally. He has over a decade of experience in this field and holds an HBA and MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and is a CFA Charter holder (definitely a very difficult designation to get).

I’m thrilled to have him on the show, and I must say, speaking with him during this interview actually made me re-evaluate where I keep my short term cash.

I really wish we were all taught this back in school, as it’s important for us to know what our options are here in Canada, along with the pros and cons of each, instead of just always automatically defaulting to a regular high interest savings account at our bank.

Enjoy the interview, I learned an absolute ton, and I’m sure you will too. Let’s get into it.

Resources Mentioned:

ZMMK – BMO Money Market Fund ETF Series

ZST – BMO Ultra Short-Term Bond ETF

ZST.L – BMO Ultra Short-Term Bond ETF (Accumulating Units)

Matt’s interview on ETF Market Insights: HISA ETFs Are Changing: What You Need To Know

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Questions Covered:

  1. The high interest savings account is something that most of us have heard of, and this is often the default choice for many of us when we’re saving for something, or using it as an emergency fund or as an account that pays for our day-to-day expenses.

    However, there are also high interest savings ETFs. What is the difference between those, and a high interest savings account that we would open up at a bank? Can you take us through the pros and cons of these two options and why wouldn’t someone just put their cash in their existing high interest savings account at their current bank?

  2. There seem to be some changes coming up in 2024 when it comes to high interest savings ETFs. Can you take us through what those are, and how it will impact us regular Canadian investors?

    Follow up questions:
    Now that we know the significance of this, what should we do or start thinking about regarding these rate changes?

    Is a consequence of this that we should also expect to see the rates offered at banks for high interest savings accounts to drop?

  3. For those of us that do invest in high interest savings ETFs, can we expect a drop in those ETFs coming Jan 2024 because of a potential sell off?

    Follow up: If not, how do sell-offs work when it comes to ETFs? For example, when there is a sell-off of a specific stock, we know that the price of the stock will plummet. But does it work differently with ETFs because ETFs consist of many different underlying assets?

  4. How is a high interest savings ETF different from a money market ETF? Can you take us through the pros and cons?

  5. How does using something like a high interest savings account compare to using something like a money market ETF instead (i.e. what are the pros and cons)? And for anybody not familiar, can you define what it means when an ETF is considered to be a “money market” ETF?

  6. For something like a money market ETF like ZMMK or a high interest savings ETF, would you expect the capital gain to be $0, because everything from that investment is coming in as income in the form of interest?

  7. When we are comparing the interest rates that we can get on an ETF like ZMMK vs a high interest savings account, or a high interest savings ETF, when looking at the ETF page, should we be looking at the annualized distribution yield or the weighted average yield to maturity? And can you define what those are for us?
  1. While we are on the subject of ETFs that we can use for that relatively safe portion of our portfolio, can you speak to using ultra short-term bond ETFs instead of a money market ETF, like the ZMMK that we just talked about. What are these ultra short-term bond ETFs, and what are the pros and cons of using those, vs something like a money market ETF or even instead of just using a high interest savings account at our current bank.

    Follow-up question: I noticed that in your case, you also have a different variation of the ETF ZST which is ZST.L. What is the difference between the two? 
  1. When it comes to bond ETFs like ZST for example, can you teach us how they can have some tax advantages, in certain scenarios, over something like a high interest savings account?

  2. Alright Matt, thanks so much for training us on all of this today. For everybody that wants to learn more, what’s the best place for them to go?


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