The Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball

Just imagine if you could look into a crystal ball and see the future. The power of this knowledge could help guide you to make better decisions, avoid the potholes, and allow you to make money that otherwise would go unnoticed.

Just imagine the ability you’d have to alter the future and its outcome.

Just imagine the edge that knowledge would give youespecially if you had the ability to alter the outcome well in advance.

Just imagine if during each calendar quarter you could assess your previous predictions and use that information to chart the course of the next quarter with 95% accuracy.

Just imagine what all of this could mean for you, your office, and those you serve. 

For most of us, this would only be wishful thinking or pure science fiction. 

At three+one® all this is now a reality! 

With the development of our new technology and the rollout of our cashvest® MC forecast model, the ability to predict the future is now possible. The letters “MC represent the initials of our data analyst, Manel Chaibthe designer and developer of the proprietary cashvest® forwardliquidityforecast model.

The MC forecast model will take 24month-longhistorical look at each financial transaction and determine the future patterns 120 days into the future with 95% accuracy or better. In one case, the MC model was within $163.00 of daily liquidity on a budget of over $360 million looking out 120 days. 

Just imagine, knowing the future of your liquidity down to a few dozen dollars in advance—120 days to be exact. 

The power of such knowledge will allow you to determine:

• The time horizon on future cash for investment.

• The need (or lack of need) in borrowing money for upcoming cashflow/liquidity needs.

• The ability to determine budget surpluses or gaps down to the dollars and at what point of time. 

• The leverage in advising your bank(s) on the value of your cash deposits and if there is an upcoming cash needwith no unexpected surprises.

• No need to hold on to uninvested cash for “justincase” circumstances.

• The power of your forecasting your entities liquidity (quantitative & qualitatively) for rating agencies.

This is exciting news and yes, it’s possibleThe technology to look into the future exists right here at three+one.

Let our proprietary cashvest® MC forecast model become your crystal ball. The power of looking forward will provide great sources of comfort and revenue that can truly alter the future of your entity.

20/20 Vision for Public & Higher Ed Entities

20/20 Vision for Public & Higher Ed Entities

Over the last several years, I have provided an upcoming outlook on economic and banking trends that will affect public and higher Ed entities. With an average predictability ranging from 50% to 75%, my desire is to spur conversation on a marketplace that deserves attention—and has a major impact on the U.S. economy.

The top ten trends I see developing in 2020 are:

1.) Do not expect an economic recession in the U.S. throughout the new year.

2.) Expect U.S. economic growth to range between 2.0% and 3.0%, with low inflation and continued strong consumer spending. An increase in U.S. manufacturing output and productivity will occur, coupled with higher job growth, thanks to new trade deals from late 2019 and into 2020.

3.) Green initiatives will gain momentum in the public and higher Ed marketplace, with strong lending-and-leasing support from the major financial institutions.

4.)  Short-term interest rates will remain steady with no expected rate changes to occur by the Federal Reserve. Longer-term rates will rise to reflect a more normal spread between the 1-, 10-, and 30-year yields.

5.) Expect bank earnings to be challenging, with lending and deposit rates reflecting little change. The use of online banks will become more prevalent in public finance. We’re already seeing U.S. corporations exploring the use of “internet-only” banks and, I believe, with higher interest rate opportunities, cheaper bank fees (due to lower overhead), and superior technology, more governments will utilize the advantages being offered by these internet-only banks.

6.) Digital currency will continue to gain attention. China has publicly announced the development of its own digital currency and the U.S. Treasury Department has established a Financial Stability Oversight Council Working Group on Digital Assets which will attempt to clear the muddy waters of digital-asset exploration and regulation. This will have no direct impact on public entities in 2020, but along with blockchain, will change the financial marketplace forever.

7.) Technology will lead the way for public entities and higher Ed to conduct transactional business with those they serve. In addition, there will be greater demands by the public for transparency, response time in addressing inquires, and requests involving financial, social, and economic priorities.

8.)  A higher rate of real estate reassessments should offset a slower percentage of tax-rate increases.

9.)  Deeper conversations and advanced planning will occur within higher Ed institutions around the enrollment challenges expected in 2026, due to the lower birth rates in 2008 and 2009. This will also lead these institutions to think differently on how to attract and retain a more diversified student body.

10.) Finally, our cashvest® and rfpPrep® offerings will continue to bring additional value to those public entities and higher Ed institutions who use them.

Note: Over the past six years, these platforms have saved our clients over $250 million.

At three+one®, we are excited about what the new year will bring to all the clients and communities we serve nationwide. Continued innovation of liquidity analysis and data, forward-thinking technology, and personal relationships will drive amazing results throughout the year. And beyond.

Our best wishes to you and those you serve. Happy New Year!

Age Old Theory

Age Old Theory

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a New York State Community College Business Officers Association (CCBOA) conference where John Zogby, founder of John Zogby Strategies, made a startling statement. He said that, due to rapid developments in medicine, biogenetics, and technology advancements, “The first person to hit the age of 300 is already born.”

While the age of 300 may seem farfetched and hard to comprehend, the underlying challenges of dealing with any significantly aging population has many consequences, coupled with changing demographics.

From social security, to Medicare, to state and local pension systems as well as nursing homes, our entire “golden years” financial infrastructure is based upon retirees living to age 85 or so.  If lifespans really do extend to triple digit levels, these systems will require a complete reconstruction of income vs expenses. This will pose challenges well beyond any forecasts currently floating between Wall Street, Washington,D.C. and Main Street.

The ability to deal with such longevity issues will require strong leadership, realistic solutions, and hard decisions, given the financial strains and stretched resources that are sure to ensue.

We see a great example already underway as several major medical centers are looking to repurpose the vast square footage of old shopping malls into spacious orthopedic and ambulatory facilities. Done right, there would be adjacent restaurants and shops for family members to take advantage of during lengthy waiting periods. This is a sign of new trends  that may well do away with traditional hospital facilities with their overcrowded waiting rooms, stale coffee, and limited “hospital-food” options.

Trends like these flow through the thinking here at three+one® every day. We’re constantly seeking new, innovative technologies for those that serve the public. The ability for public and HigherEd entities to plan for these lifestyle changes and their effects on one’s liquidity, now and into the future, will require serious discipline and forward thinking. 

Even if living to 300 never happens, it’s clear a lot more of us will have three-digit lifespans. It’s not just federal and state governments that have to be concerned about our aging population. Entities like yours will need to be proactive in serving the needs of longer-living Americans and their families. It’s good to know that we’ll be here to ease your efforts.

 

Are You Prepared for the Banking Revolution?

Are You Prepared for the Banking Revolution?

Residents of Rochester, NY, like me, remember all too well when Eastman Kodak discovered the new world of digitized photos, which was revolutionary compared to actual film. As both forms of photography were compared, Kodak management decided to stay with the use of film as their standard product given stronger profit margins over digital. We all know where that led. The companies that developed and brought digital to market—in ways we never thought possible—flourished, especially when quality digital cameras were added to smart phones.

Similarly, the landscape of banking is changing at a rapid pace—and in ways that we would have never imagined.

Let me be clear, the way we bank in the future will not be the same as we know it today. The type of banking institutions will change as did the companies in the world of digital photography.

Apple CardFor starters, who would have imagined a few years ago that tech giants Apple, Google, and Facebook would enter the world of banking? Who would have foreseen the revolution of blockchain technology? Changes like these could mean a shift away from brick-and-mortar bank branches. Many traditional banking services andinstitutions could very well change beyond our imagination.

I fully expect the largest banking institutions will play a major role in this revolution. However, they will have to be strategic, forward thinking, and open to change. A perfect example is Goldman Sachs’ role in managing Apple’s new credit card. Personally, I questioned why an institutional-oriented bank would have agreed to roll out, qualify, and manage retail clients; it just seemed to be a mismatch, which has proven to be the case.

On the other hand, combining the forces of Google and Citibank does make sense to me, given their similar retail focus. Working together, they anticipate offering checking accounts to Google clients next year.

Names that are now appearing in the financial marketplace are not the ones we’re used to seeing as related to banking services. Similarly, a dozen years ago, who would have ever guessed Apple would make the number one device used in taking pictures?

It should be noted that more and more millennials, who make up over 84 million of the US population, would prefer to bank with Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google over a traditional financial institution, if such an option was available. This in stark contract to the way baby boomers and Generation Xs conduct their personal banking today.

The way we bank is going to become far different than we know it—and at a cheaper cost. How the Fed and bank regulators deal with these changes is going to be interesting to watch.

At three+one®, we’re poised to help you navigate through the anticipated changes in banking. Our liquidity and treasury analysis programs, coupled with rfpPrep®, can help you become aware of how changes will affect you and your organization. This will be reflected in both the institutions you deal with, and how your taxpayers/students will transact with you.

While the world of banking will likely change significantly, the team at three+one® will be consistent, always committed to proactive and forward-thinking technology, liquidity analysis and customer service.

Power of the Ballot Box

Power of the Ballot Box

It’s Election Day 2019 in the United States and certainly an appropriate time to reflect on the importance of our right to vote in America.  This right has been protected and won by the sacrifice and struggle of preceding generations – including the ultimate sacrifice by many Americans.

While we are inundated with political ads and soundbites in this season, both positive and negative, some truthful and others misleading, it’s often difficult to sort through the noise to get to coherent messaging.  But more than the individuals for whom we are casting our votes, we are also pulling the levers to steer our nation in terms of policy.  And each policy has a financial element to it.

While three+one® remains objective in political terms and does not endorse candidates or political parties, our expertise and company’s efforts are squarely upon helping public entities and higher Ed institutions make the most of their limited resources to provide taxpayers and students the highest value for their hard-earned dollars.  The fact is these two areas, public and higher Ed finance, are under intense scrutiny to produce more and more, often with capped or diminishing resources.  Sometimes people wonder how resources can be reduced when taxes and tuitions rise, but increased regulations, more inspections from many angles in the age of social media, and mandated requirements (often unfunded mandates) have caused a drain on the economic engines of public entities and centers of higher education.

There has been much political talk about shifting resources and drastically changing taxation, spending priorities, and the way college is paid for in the country.  After the Great Recession and its historically high unemployment, we now have historically low unemployment, but historically high deficits.  Our overall economic growth should be much higher than it is, also, with an economy running as strongly as ours has in recent years.  All things to consider as we move forward.  But the fact is that there remains only Monetary Policy and Fiscal Policy to help guide our economy.  The Federal Reserve has three tools for Monetary Policy – reserve requirements it imposes on lending institutions, the discount rate (interest rate) it offers them, and the open market operations that impact money supply.  Conversely, the President and Congress control Fiscal Policy and its three tools: levels of taxation, transfer payments, and government purchases of goods and services.   Ultimately, these are the rudders that steer the economic ship of the country, and our votes determine their direction.

While the tools of Monetary and Fiscal Policy remain the same, what is new is the fintech instruments that can be applied to enhance their efficiency.  The liquidity analysis that cashvest® by three+one® offers public entities and higher Ed institutions provides an overview of all of their transactions.  It identifies how every dollar in each of their numerous accounts is generating – or not generating – maximum interest.  The technology we have devised for these operations did not exist until the recent past; to conduct this level of analysis without these tools would literally have been impossible. Now that they do exist, there is no reason not to utilize fintech breakthroughs.  A doctor performing surgery with 1980s methods & technology while ignoring current updates would have his or her license revoked.

We are at an important crossroads in our nation’s history, and we must use our votes to elect those who will embrace the use of fintech advancements that will make our nation as financially efficient, equitable, and strong as the people who have built and sustained this great land from its inception.  Proudly exercise your right to vote, America!

Vlog: Thank You for 5 Years

Vlog: Thank You for 5 Years

October has been an exciting month for us at three+one®. Celebrating 5 amazing years reminds us of our passion for giving back to the communities we serve. That truly has been our calling. Together with our public & higher-ed partners, cashvest® by three+one® has helped secure more than $150M in new revenue for your taxpayers & students!

The only question left to answer…Will you be a part of the next 5 years?