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Adam Grealish, head of investments at Altruist
Adam Grealish, head of investments at Altruist

Altruist Launches Cash Platform

Advisors that custody with Altruist get access as a feature of the platform, but non-Altruist advisors can join and use it as a standalone product as well.

A new competitor has entered the cash management for advisory clients market: Altruist Cash.

The new offering, available now, was built by internal developers of Altruist, which launched in 2019 and takes advantage of several of the firm’s existing pieces of infrastructure.

“This was designed to be used as advisors see fit,” said Adam Grealish, head of investments at Altruist. Those advisors that already custody assets at Altruist, which became self-clearing in March 2023, can use it as a completely integrated part of the whole platform at no extra cost.

“If there are advisors interested just in the cash solution, it will work fine as a standalone solution as well,” he said. In that case, Altruist will be competing with other independent third-party cash management offerings to advisors and their clients, including Flourish Cash and MaxMyInterest.

Cash management and access to high-yield savings accounts (HYSAs) are of significant interest to clients and have been for several years.

Recently published research from Wealth Management IQ and sponsored by Flourish Cash found that more than a third of clients had asked about HYSAs (Wealth Management IQ is owned by Informa, plc, the parent company of The research, based on a survey of 418 advisors, was conducted between Aug. 20 and Sept. 5, 2023.

According to the survey, when talking about held-away assets, 61% of advisors say they often discuss cash issues with clients, whereas only 49% report often having discussions about insurance, and even fewer, 21%, are often having discussions about investment in real estate.

Manuel Martinez, sole proprietor of Charleston Wealth Advisors, who has been using Altruist as a custodian for two years, said he has often fielded questions from clients about where to keep cash and was happy to enroll as a beta tester of the new offering.

“The first thing I did was to open an account for myself as if I was a client, and I sent an invite link, and it took just minutes to set up,” he said.

“Any time they have a test program, I look into it,” said Martinez, who praised the user-friendliness of the custodian’s technology.

Out of the gate, the new Altruist Cash accounts are paying 5.10% APY on cash held in the accounts. As with the sweep programs at most other providers, this rate is subject to change by the participating banks based on market conditions.

There are no account-opening minimums, and Altruist charges no annual subscription fees or monthly fees for the new cash service; Altruist is compensated by the participating banks.

Asked about why Altruist decided to build its cash platform in-house rather than partner with an existing third-party provider, Grealish said the decision was straightforward.

“It just made sense from the cost-benefit analysis; we were able to leverage a lot of the existing tech and infrastructure we already have, for example, our native account opening,” he said.

“Another place I’d point to is flexibility on fees, advisors can choose to charge a management fee on the cash. Or if they are thinking of this as a reduced or no-fee service, that is fine as well—our billing infrastructure makes that choice easy to set up,” Grealish said.

TAGS: Investment
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