Lights, Camera, Cashvest!

Lights, Camera, Cashvest!

We were thrilled to introduce our new website to the world last month, and now we have the cherry on the cake!  Our marketing team at Steven James Media Group has delivered the new cashvest® by threeplusone® overview video that features our founders along with two of our valued clients explaining what we do , how we do it, and what results are available for public entities and institutions of higher education across the nation. 

Scott German is the Genesee County Treasurer, New York State, and Maria Walls holds the same position in Beaufort County, South Carolina.  We sincerely thank them for their generosity of time and spirit in their efforts helping us explain the process of using cashvest® by threeplusone® and what our partnership with their respective counties has achieved for their bottom lines.

We do not use the term ‘partnership’ frivolously when describing our relationships.  When working with a client, we are fully vested in helping them achieve their goals and aspirations.  At threeplusone® we intimately understand the challenges and increasing pressures that face public sector officials and financial officers in higher education these days.  We have served in the same capacity ourselves as public representatives and university overseers of fiscal operations.  There are new regulatory oversights constantly appearing on the radar, time-crunches that only seem to tighten but never loosen, and a host of security and protective measures that must be considered in this age of ubiquitous social media and digital finance. 

cashvest® by threeplusone® exists to find you new revenue sources from your existing cash holdings, to help ease the pain points that we know are faced by public officials and higher education officers, and to strengthen your relationships with the financial and banking institutions with whom you conduct business.  Feel free to contact us for more information at threeplusone.us  

A Fed Surprise?

A Fed Surprise?

Last quarter, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stated that the Fed did not anticipate increasing short-term interest rates for the remainder of 2019. 

Mind you that these comments came at a point of time when signs of a possible economic slowdown was the talk of many economists, due to an inverted yield curve. That’s usually a sign of a possible recession approaching, good reason for the buzz on Wall Street. 

Having said this, the underlying signs of the U.S. economy appear stronger than expected, with first-quarter growth above expectations, coming in at a positive annualized rate of 3.2%  and unemployment hitting 3.6%. 

In addition to the job growth, productivity continues to expand well above forecasts,  while inflation remains within the Fed’s range. Couple that with the fact that first-quarter earnings are, for the most part, also beating expectations. That’s helped to make gains in the stock market, following a disappointing second half of 2018.

Weighing all these facts, I think there is a possibility the Fed may reverse its course and slip in one more 25-basis-point increase on Fed fund rates this year. 

I realize that this is a contrarian view, but the possibility does exits. Even if I’m wrong, cash will still have greater value than it did a year ago. Your cash should be earning over 2.0%, leading to a source of income that can have an impact on this both year’s and next year’s budget. 

At three+one®, we continue to see public entities and higher Ed institutions with higher cash levels than last year, a trend that has been building steadily over the past four years.

While another rate hike by the Fed would be a surprise for most, the biggest surprise of all could be the reaction of those you serve if they learn that their tax/tuition dollars were earning little or nothing. 

Don’t let that happen.

Let three+one® help you maximize the value of all your cash through cashVest® , our proprietary liquidity analysis. By applying our analysis and the power of your financial institutions, the results could be surprisingly positive.

The Power of Cash

The Power of Cash

Imagine the power that cash holds in today’s marketplace. With short-term rates still hovering above 2.0%, the income generated on idle cash can have a major impact on one’s entity and those they serve 

As we enter the budget season mid-year or at year end, the challenge of stretching tax dollars often leads to less resources or decisions of where to cut, especially when tax caps can easily be outweighed by insurance premium increases, pension obligations, cost of living increases, or other essential services. 

Too many times the frame of mind in forming a budget comes down to cost controls, rather than revenue-producing opportunities. While this may be understandable at one level, it is not a mind-set that will move your entity forward.  At best, you will be in constant ‘treading water’ mode.  


A great example is the value of one’s cash. So many see the need to have idle cash available for ‘just in case’ circumstances rather than viewing cash as an asset to generate additional income and opportunities. 

At three+one® we can help a public entity find new sources of revenue through all levels of cash. In 2019, three+one®’s flagship service cashVest® will provide proprietary liquidity analysis and data that will result in over $100 million of new revenue to communities that will lead to:

  • Closing a budget gap
  • Preventing additional tax increases
  • Providing additional teachers, police, firefighters & EMTs 
  • Technology upgrades
  • New community services 
  • After-school programs
  • Student field trips 
  • Arts & Cultural community events 
  • New musical instruments 
  • Enhanced sports Programs 
  • Continuing Education & Online Learning

Obviously, the list can go on.  Simply put, the power of cash can have a wonderful impact on one’s budget today and in the future. The time is now to have a conversation with the team at three+one® about our cashVest® liquidity analysis service. The result could make all the difference between stagnation and growth in your 2019 and 2020 budgets. 

Preparing For The Future…

Preparing For The Future…

Last month when Garrett Macdonald, Vice President of three+one®, presented at the New York GFOA Annual Conference, he asked a large sample of Public Officials the following question: “How long have you served in your current position”.  The responses were surprising to the audience.

The largest group of responders were those who have served 15 to 20 years in such positions, at 30%, while the second largest group of 26% were those who have served between 1 to 5 years.

The findings tell us that a very significant group of public finance professionals are relatively new to their position, while a smaller middle group will be tasked – and taxed – with both continued mentorship of the younger professionals and replacing the veterans who make up the biggest group.

As I blogged last year, over 50% of those who serve as financial officials today are over the age of 55.  With this being the case, the need to build bench strength for future leadership in one’s finance office is essential in order to carry on consistency and institutional knowledge.

What can one do to prepare for a smooth transition to those whom we serve in a financial leadership position?

1) It is never too early to start building bench strength within your team.  Provide a pathway of learning, essential tools, and institutional knowledge as new talent comes into your office.

2) Allow new talent to share and adopt new ideas and technology in your office as you all prepare for the future. Keep in mind that a majority of today’s taxpayers use technology to communicate and pay their bills. It is imperative to understand the future of how financial transactions will be conducted.  It will be far different in the future than how they are done today.

3) Have your new talent develop a relationship with your financial providers. Consistency of relationship and expectations provide a pathway for a smooth transition.

4) Never stop teaching, and allow your staff to pursue continuing education, including direct links to Higher Ed institutions and certificate programs.

5) Plan on developing and purchasing greater technology. Individuals entering the finance world are extremely tech savvy and will expect to have the resources to perform their jobs. They will tend to be extremely productive with the right technology and software packages.

The chasm between those public officers with many years of experience and those that are new to the positions needs to be recognized. With the proper training and resources, the pathway to continued success will occur both now and in the future.

A Plateau in Rates – Now What?

A Plateau in Rates – Now What?

Let’s face it, markets are fickle.   Just when you were getting used to earning four to five times the interest earnings you were accustomed to, you start seeing CD, T-Bill, ECR, MMDA, and LGIP rates flatten, or possibly even decline over previous months for the first time in over a year.

What’s happening?

A Plateau in Rates - Now What?

The short answer is: short-term rates are rising because they are more closely linked to Fed actions. With the current high-end Fed Funds target rate at 2.50%, it’s no surprise why the 1-month T-Bill rate is currently at 2.47%.  Long-term rates are flattening because investors aren’t sure when the Fed’s next move will be, which is also a good indication of why the 1-year T-Bill is currently at 2.48%.  Again, investors aren’t sure what the Fed’s next move is.

So, what do you do?  Understand that interest rates will always be on the move.  For those entities that locked-in higher rates by investing using time-horizon data, you were able to ensure your taxpayers earned anywhere between 2.60%-2.70% for monies stress tested and available for 6+ months.

The good news is that in today’s market, it’s never too late to take advantage of opportunities in the yield curve.  Here are three ways you can earn and save more for your taxpayers despite a flattened yield curve:

1.) Identify how much you’re earning on ALL money. Don’t solely focus on the strategic liquidity you have for specific time horizons but also the operating dollars being used to satisfy payroll, A/P, etc.  It’s a fallacy that only time deposits can help close the gap for the taxpayers.  If you’re like most of the entities with whom I work, you’re also looking at earning on demand deposits, too.

2.) After analyzing each bank account and identifying where your longer-term opportunity lies, save yourself the time and trouble of rolling 30-day CDs every 30-days.  If the data suggests you have time-horizon capability, use that strategic liquidity to your taxpayers’ advantage.  We do not advocate public finance officials play the markets’ games.  Err on the side of being as proactive and safe as possible.  Keep in mind, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s FedWatch tool has a 47.8% probability of at least one rate cut by 1/29/2020.  Now is the time to be proactive.

3.)You cannot underestimate the power of technology.  Before you make up your mind that all technology is bad, consider this – with your competing priorities and time constraints, can you affordto save time and achieve better results with technology? Utilize the right bank technologies for you (the right technologies for you).  Adopt AND adapt to new technological investment opportunities in the marketplace.  If your investment strategy hasn’t changed in a decade, then I would seek an objective party to provide perspective for you.

It’s TIME

It’s TIME

Last week the Federal Reserve stated that there will be no more short-term rate hikes for the remainder of 2019. Their outlook seems to be influenced by concerns of slower economic growth both in the U.S. and worldwide.

While many may view the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement as a concern, we view it as a major opportunity. CashVest® by threeplusone® is specifically designed to transform stagnant cash holdings into a vibrant revenue- generating source for your entity.

 

It’s TIME

 

This move triggers a major strategy shift around the value of cash. Over the last two years, those who have invested cash have kept to a 30-90 day rollover strategy.

This is now the time to extend your cash through the use of cashVest® by threeplusone® and its powerful time-horizon liquidity data. Through our proprietary liquidity analysis, we can demonstrate the actual need for cash while balancing the levels of cash needs over a 5-year period. This allows one to maximize the value of all cash, while allowing your financial institutions and advisors to invest your cash over an extended period of time, allowing the ability to preserve 2.25%+ on your cash.

Cash has value. The knowledge and power to accurately identify when you most need cash allows one to capture and preserve interest earning through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.

You have a fiduciary obligation to manage the cash for those you serve. It’s time to preserve your cash’s value in the marketplace for a longer period of time, especially if you have the time-horizon data to provide the confidence to you and your financial institutions.

Allow your public sector organization or higherEd institution to find out what so many others across the country have learned: CashVest® by threeplusone® will provide new revenue quickly and directly by increasing the yield you receive from your existing cash.