How and why has cash become an integral part of the holistic financial planning process, rather than just being a peripheral concern, and how is the cash world likely to evolve in the future.
Experts: Andrew Pike, NS&I
Facilitator: Martyn Laverick, Phase 2 Consulting
State of play
The round table started with Andrew taking us through how NS&I had performed during Covid. They had seen a significant increase in the amount taken, up to 7 times compared with this time last year as people were looking for a safe home for their cash.
The research that they had done showed that the vast majority of advisors now provided either advice or guidance on where the client should place their cash. In addition advisers also guided their clients on how to spread their cash deposits around in order to gain maximum coverage by the FSCS.
Over the last 10 years there has been an increase in the amount of advisors offering guidance on cash and part of this increase can be attributed to Financial advisers becoming financial planners over that period of time. Whilst the name change was not viewed to be significant to the attendees, there was an agreement that they now spend more time offering holistic advice rather than just product focused advice.
Part of the issue of keeping track of clients cash balances has been the inability to access easy information from deposit holders. Attendees were hopeful that opened banking would assist in this matter helping them provide a better service for their clients. In addition NS&I had launched a new service that allows Financial advisers to get full details of their clients holdings with NS&I which was very well received.
A further question was asked about what percentage cash should a client hold within their portfolio. The debate widened this question to what amount of cash should a client hold for their own personal circumstances and not just cash in a portfolio. In many cases clients were advised to hold up to 5 years worth of income in cash to provide them with a buffer from volatile markets especially where they are in the drawdown phase of their lives. As greater sums of cash are often held services such as Flagstone and Signis that help spread clients cash around different institutions to get maximum coverage from the FSCS have proved to be very valuable.
Given the unusual economic climate that we are currently in it was viewed that cash is an even more important part of a clients finances. There could well be a greater need for cash not only for the usual income supplementation but because the wider family may have suffered redundancies, reduction in salaries and basically financial hardship that a parent would want to help out with therefore the need for cash is greater.
Services that allow money to be borrowed against portfolios that are often part of a high net worth proposition were viewed to be of great use to certain types of clients who might need access to short term funds without having to unwind longer term investments.
Cash is currently taking a higher profile within a clients overall financial position especially given the worrying economic climate we are experiencing at present and it viewed that this will continue.