Editor’s note: this guest post is from Ben Cruikshank, President of Flourish, who will be joining us for a webinar, “Why Advisors Need to Have a Solution for Held-Away Cash“, on May 16. You can register for that webinar, or access a recording post-event, here.
The benefits of bringing cash into your orbit
Recent turmoil in the banking industry has suddenly put cash — and FDIC coverage — in the spotlight. Historically, while independent RIAs pride themselves on helping clients with all aspects of their financial lives, many of them have not been taking cash, the simplest of asset classes, into consideration
It turns out that many advisors simply do not know how much cash their clients have in the bank.
In the past, many advisors have disregarded held-away cash because they didn’t think it comprised a major part of the client’s overall net worth. When we’ve asked advisors how much cash they think clients hold — cash that is kept outside the portfolio — they typically answer “1-2%.” However, research has shown that cash reserves tend to be significant, much to the surprise of advisors. The 2022 Capgemini World Wealth report shows that investors with at least $1 million in investable assets actually keep 20% or more of their wealth in cash.
Just take a look at data from Flourish Cash customers: Across 500+ RIAs that represent $1.5T in total end-client AUM, clients with a self-reported net worth of $1-2MM hold an average of $183,672 in Flourish Cash accounts, while clients with a self-reported net worth of $5-10MM hold an average of $363,831 in cash. Clearly, the cash is there.
“We believe fiduciary advisors will increasingly need to expand beyond investment management and provide both advice and solutions across all aspects of their clients financial lives,” said Flourish CEO Max Lane.
Held-away cash is a critical part of clients’ financial lives, serving as everything from an emergency fund to a resource for short-term liabilities such as a tax bill or a down payment for a house. And, as we discussed in a recent article, cash just makes people feel happier. Researchers at the National Science Foundation found that individuals who have more cash on hand feel more confident about their finances and ultimately more satisfied with their lives.
With this knowledge, we recognize that giving advisors visibility of cash reserves can help strengthen the client relationship in several ways: it enables them to provide more holistic financial planning, builds trust, and offers clients an improved service that gives them a higher yield and more FDIC coverage than the average savings account.
As advisors integrate cash into their firm, they have the opportunity to increase their level of service. Advisors can help their clients earn more with a competitive yield account, while bringing assets into their orbit, allowing advisors to incorporate cash in the overall financial plan and even convert some of those dollars into fee-only assets.
Learning based on feedback from advisors
Flourish Cash is available only to the clients of partner RIAs who extend invitations to their clients directly. Since advisors do not directly manage Flourish Cash accounts, we originally assumed that most advisors would simply want to send an invite and move on with their lives. But immediately after we launched, we received feedback from advisors that they wanted to do even more for their clients.
Based on feedback from advisors, we launched the ability for advisors to prefill client applications in early 2021, allowing advisors to make it even easier for clients to open accounts.As interest rates began to increase last year, usage of that feature increased. When looking at the data from 2022, we saw that advisors had pre-filled applications for over 20% of client accounts — and as advisors have sent thousands of invitations to Flourish in recent months, we realized we could do even more to help advisors by more deeply integrating Flourish Cash with the systems that advisors use every day, continuing to help connect the dots between the tools and tech advisors use everyday.
Launching the Redtail integration
According to a recent study, 85.7% of advisors use CRM integrations, which house critical client demographic data. Redtail tops the list, used by almost 33% of advisors in the independent RIA space.
We’re excited for the launch of an integration between Flourish and Redtail, which will make it easier than ever for advisors to support their clients by pre-filling applications using the data that advisors already have in CRM with just a few clients. The integration simplifies the process of opening a Flourish Cash account, helping to close the gap between advisors and held-away cash. Justin Burrow, Chief Operating Officer & Partner at Ryan Wealth Management commented on the integration: “We’re very pleased with how Redtail data is used within Flourish. The integration is extremely easy to use, and having our data easily accessible whenever necessary is ideal for our firm. It’s great to see Flourish continuing to innovate by prioritizing integrations with the systems we use every day.” Learn more about how to implement the integration.
 A Flourish Cash account is a brokerage account offered by Flourish Financial LLC. Flourish Financial LLC is not a bank. The cash balance in a Flourish Cash account will be swept from the brokerage account to deposit account(s) at one or more third-party banks that have agreed to accept deposits from customers of Flourish Financial LLC (Program Banks). The accounts at Program Banks will pay a variable rate of interest.
 The cash balance in a Flourish Cash account that is swept to one or more Program Banks is eligible for FDIC insurance, subject to FDIC rules, including FDIC aggregate insurance coverage limits. FDIC insurance will not be provided until the funds arrive at the Program Bank. Our current Program Banks can be found here. For additional information regarding FDIC coverage, visit https://fdic.gov/ and https://www.flourish.com/advisors.
 This feedback may not be representative of the experience of other customers, and is not a guarantee of future performance or success.
Join Redtail and Ben Cruikshank, President of Flourish, for a webinar, “Why Advisors Need to Have a Solution for Held-Away Cash“, on May 16. You can register for that webinar, or access a recording post-event, here.