The public trilogy of cash is Safety, Liquidity, and Yield. They’re all interlocked, yet each must stand on its own.

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As you search for the highest yield in the marketplace, you must also factor in the level of safety in which the funds are invested, and how quickly you can access your money if it is needed immediately. This all became very real several weeks ago as two major regional banks collapsed.

Here are three quick tips to keep top of mind when putting public funds out for investment:

cashVest Safety Liquidity YieldFirst and foremost is safety. Where and with whom are you putting your funds? If it is a bank deposit, what is the level and quality of collateral to cover your deposit? How sound is the integrity of the institution that is the third party providing the safekeeping of the collateral? Whatever the kind and size of the investments, make sure they are outlined in your entity’s Investment Policy Statement (IPS)—a policy that should be reviewed annually.

Second, make sure all public funds are monitored, and available when they are needed to pay bills. The ability to view all cash—and considering the ebbs and flows of the marketplace—must factor into the true liquidity of your funds.

Third, getting a high yield is important, but only after you have confidently addressed safety and liquidity. Benchmarking the value of funds in the marketplace is also very important. As you seek to maximize yield, you must calculate the safety of the assets coupled with the availability of funds when needed. Done right, your taxpayers can be assured that you are being proactive in generating new revenue, while providing the highest level of security and accountability.

To make the public trilogy of cash work best, all three factors must sync together. When they do, each dollar of new revenue generated is one less dollar needed to collect from taxpayers to pay for public services.

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