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Caisse populaire

A credit union which is primarily found in the province of Quebec.

Call option

An agreement that gives you the right to buy a stock, bond, or other investment at a set price by a set date (within a set time period). Also called a "call." You buy a call hoping that the stock price will rise and you can buy it for less than its market price.

Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC)

A crown agency that protects the Canadian dollars that you deposit with banks and trust companies. If the bank or trust company goes out of business, CDIC can reimburse you for eligible deposits, up to a set limit.

Canada disability savings bond

The federal government makes contributions to an RDSP. To be eligible for bonds, net family income has to be below a certain level. You do not need to make any contributions to your RDSP to receive the Bond. The maximum bond per year is $1,000, until the end of the year the beneficiary turns 49, with a $20,000 lifetime limit for a beneficiary.

Canada disability savings grant

The federal government provides matching RDSP contributions of 1x, 2x or 3x - up to $3,500 annually - on contributions made to an RDSP. The Grant amount depends on annual contributions and family income and is paid until the end of the year the beneficiary turns 49, with a $70,000 lifetime limit for a beneficiary.

Canada learning bond (CLB)

The federal government makes contributions to an RESP. To be eligible for the CLB, net family income has to be below a certain level. The CLB provides up to $2,000 in RESP contributions, subject to edibility and age of the beneficiary.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

A Canadian government agency that oversees the housing industry in Canada. Its main job is to help Canadians get affordable housing. They also provide mortgage loan insurance if a buyer of a home has less than 20% down payment.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)

A government pension plan. It gives you monthly income starting as early as your 60th birthday. How much you get depends on what you paid into the plan while you were working.

Canada Premium Bond (CPB)

A low-risk investment from the Bank of Canada. It offers a higher interest rate than a Canada Savings Bond. You can only redeem CPBs once a year. When? Either on or within 30 days of the anniversary date each year (the date that you bought it).

Canada Savings Bond (CSB)

A low-risk investment backed by the government of Canada. You lend the government money for a set period of time at a fixed rate of interest. You can redeem at any time.

Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is an umbrella organization of Canada's provincial and territorial securities regulators whose objective is to improve, coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets

Capital gain

The money you make when you sell an investment or some other asset for more than you paid for it.

Capital gains tax

A tax you may pay on the profit (money) that you make investing.

Capital loss

The money you lose when you sell an investment or some other asset for less than you paid for it.

Capital markets

Where people buy and sell investments.

Capital property

Property you own that could give you a capital gain if you sold it. Can include investments, a property other than your home and money from a trust account.

Cash equivalent

An investment that is like cash because it's typically easy to get your money back. It is safe and short-term. Examples: Bank accounts and Treasury bills.

Cash flow

The sums of cash a business gets in and spends out during a set period of time.

Cash flow statement

A record of the flow of cash in and out of a company over a set period of time.

Cash position

The amount of cash a company has at a set point in time.

Cash value of insurance contract

The amount of cash you save from your premium when you buy permanent life insurance. It goes into a separate cash account and grows over time. You can borrow against this sum or get it back as cash if you cancel your policy.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A financial planning professional who helps individuals with their financial goals in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, retirement, and more.

Closed-end fund

A type of fund that only issues a set number of units. You can buy and sell these units on a stock exchange.

Closing costs

The costs you pay to buy or sell a home. Can include loan fees, appraisal fees, legal fees, title search, title insurance, survey, taxes and more.


Property or assets that you pledge as a borrower as a guarantee that you will repay the loan. You may lose your collateral if you don't pay back your loan.


Items whose worth may go up over time because they are rare or have special value. Examples: artwork, antiques, coins. As an investment, they carry the risk that their value will not increase.

Commercial paper

A kind of unsecured loan you make to a corporation. You buy the investment at a discount and you get the full value back on the maturity date. The time period is usually nine months or less.


What you pay to a broker or agent for their services. Often called a "sales commission". For example, you pay a fee to someone who buys or sell stocks or real estate for you.


A raw material that trades in large amounts on a stock exchange. For example, grain, gold, and oil.

Commodity pools

Like mutual funds, in that investors assets are pooled together, but they follow special rules and invest in special areas. For example, they may deal with investments in bulk goods such as wheat, cattle, gold and oil. Or, they may invest in options and futures.

Common share

The most common type of stock you can buy. It represents ownership in a company and may give you the right to: - Elect directors and vote on some corporate matters. - Share in the company's success through dividends and/or capital appreciation. - Share in any assets if the company winds up.

Common stock

See Common Share.

Commuted value

The amount of money you will get as a lump sum if you leave a pension early. Complex to calculate because it involves determining the value today of a future pension payment. Only calculated when a member leaves a pension plan early.


A way to grow your money faster. Instead of spending the money you make investing, you reinvest it so it can grow.

Concentration risk

The risk of loss because your money is concentrated in one investment or type of investment sector.

Consolidation loan

A loan you take to pay off many other debts. Often a way to get a lower interest rate or a set interest rate that won't change.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The CPI, as it is called, measures the prices of consumer goods and services. It is used to track changes in the cost of living. When the CPI rises quickly, it's often a sign of inflation.


A binding written or verbal agreement that can be enforced by law.


Money that you put into a savings or investment plan.

Contribution room

The amount you can put into a savings plan like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). If you do not put the full amount into the plan each year, you will have extra, unused contribution room that you can use in later years. Example: Let's say you can contribute $12,000 to your RRSP this year, but you only save $2,000. You may put in $10,000 more next year, for a total of $22,000 (if your income is the same).


An investment like bonds or preferred shares that may be exchanged, usually for common stock of the same company.

Convertible life insurance

Term life insurance that lets you change to permanent life insurance without any medical exam. You must make the change within a set period of time after you buy the term life policy.

Corporate bond

A bond issued by a company.

Coupon rate

The annual interest rate paid on a bond. Also known as the coupon rate.

Credit rating

A way to score a person or company's ability to repay money that it borrows based on credit and payment history. Your credit score is based on your borrowing history and financial situation, including your savings and debts.

Credit report

A detailed report that shows your borrowing history, including any bankruptcies. Also includes a list of companies that have asked about your credit history.

Credit risk

The risk of default that may arise from a borrower failing to make a required payment.

Credit union

A non-profit financial institution whose members own and operate it. Members can borrow money at low interest rates and make deposits. Sometimes large organizations set them up for their members or employees. Offer services similar to a bank such as chequing and savings accounts.


A person or institution that lends money. To borrow from a bank or finance company, you must sign a legal contract that gives them the right to claim your car, home or other assets if you don't pay back the loan.

Creditor insurance

Insurance that you can get on most types of debt, including your mortgage, line of credit, credit card and loan. It pays off whatever you owe in case you get critically ill or injured, or die.

Crowdfunding prospectus exemption

In Ontario, the crowdfunding prospectus exemption allows Canadian companies, particularly start-ups and businesses in early stages of development, to sell securities online through a single portal that is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). Anyone can buy securities under this exemption but there are dollar limits.


See Digital Coins.

Cryptocurrency exchanges

Exchanges that allow individuals and businesses to trade cryptocurrency for fiat currency (such as Canadian dollars), funds or other forms of virtual currency, often for a fee. Many cryptocurrency exchanges operate across the world and often without any oversight or regulation. By buying and selling on a cryptocurrency exchange, you will not have the same protections as you would if you used a stock exchange.


The conversion of information into a secret code, using complex math equations, so that it can be sent to another party securely. Cryptography is used to secure and create cryptocurrency and facilitate cryptocurrency transactions.

Currency risk

The risk of losing money because of a movement in the exchange rate. Applies when you own foreign investments.

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