Clients may be hiding cash assets from their financial advisors, says Gary Zimmerman, the CEO of

Without full knowledge of clients’ assets, including cash, an advisor cannot offer them the best advice, Zimmerman says, and cannot maximize a return on their cash holdings. is an online resource for advisors and investors to find the maximum interest rate for cash holdings. The service is free for advisors and costs the investors or advisors’ clients a 2 basis point fee per quarter.

Although interest rates paid on cash are traditionally low or almost nonexistent, online banks, which are growing in popularity, can offer better rates than brick and mortar banks, which have the higher expenses that come with physical structures and more employees, says Zimmerman.

“Many advisors recommend holding 3 percent of assets in cash and to use it as a temporary allocation,” Zimmerman says. “But in reality, people hold an average of 23 percent of assets in cash. Many people do not bring cash assets to their advisors because they do not consider cash to be a part of their portfolios.”

Zimmerman recommends keeping a checking account at a bricks and mortar bank but moving savings accounts to an online bank, which can pay 130 to 140 basis points per year, far more than traditional banks.

MaxMyInterest was launched four years ago, but the idea developed from the financial crisis as a way to maximize returns while keeping some assets safe from a down market. MaxMyInterest matches investors with the online banks paying the highest interest and makes all of a client’s cash viewable to his or her advisor.

The firm has negotiated agreements with some online banks allowing investors to move more money each day. Normally, there is a $50,000 limit on the money that can be moved at one time. MaxMyInterest negotiated a top limit of $5 million at some banks. The firm also helps investors spread money to multiple banks to stay below the FDIC insurance limits. 

MaxMyInterest serves mostly high-net-worth investors who have an average of $500,000 in cash assets and $1 million or more in investable assets (excluding their primary homes).

Online banks will continue to pay more in interest in the future, Zimmerman says, but how much money should be held in cash depends on the circumstances of each person.

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