Insurance contracts that invest in one or more underlying assets, such as a mutual fund.

Unlike mutual funds, segregated funds provide a guarantee to protect part of the money you invest (75% to 100%). Even if the underlying fund loses money, you are guaranteed to get back some or all of your principal investment. But you have to hold your investment for a certain length of time (usually 10 years) to benefit from the guarantee. And you pay an additional fee for this insurance protection.

3 advantages of segregated funds

1. Principal guaranteed – Depending on the contract, 75% to 100% of your principal investment is guaranteed if you hold your fund for a certain length of time (usually 10 years). If the fund value rises, some segregated funds also let you “reset” the guaranteed amount to this higher value – but this will also reset the length of time that you must hold the fund (usually 10 years from date of reset).

2. Guaranteed death benefit – Depending on the contract, your beneficiaries will receive 75% to 100% of your contributions tax free when you die. This amount is not subject to probate fees if your beneficiaries are named in the contract.

3. Potential creditor protection – This is a key feature for business owners in particular