Working with Insignis Cash
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At Insignis Cash, we’re proud to partner with financial advisers across the UK – serving a wide variety of clients. Among our keenest advocates is Foster Denovo’s Russell Cook, who kindly gave us his time to explain why the Insignis Cash platform helps him to manage his clients’ funds. Russell has been a financial adviser for 35 years and specialises in retirement planning, with a focus on self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs). He sees his role as a financial ‘coach’, preparing his clients for the rigours of money management.
We’re also very grateful to Russell for sharing his personal experience with us, as trustee of a charity very close to his heart.
Read on to find Russell’s full story…
Russell explains that, when he started working on self-invested pension advice, he had always advocated having cash as part of the solution.
“I used to work with SIPP providers who had access to cash,” he says.
“The interest rates weren’t wonderful, but it was better to offer my customers some SIPP options than none at all. However, the number of available options started dropping; I remember one that was even offering zero interest.”
That led Russell to a conversation with his team at Foster Denovo – one of whom suggested looking at Insignis Cash. “I wanted a solution that had big exposure to that market,” he tells us. “I try and explain to people that we’re currently in a period of higher interest rates, so it’s well worth being able to easily steer ourselves around who’s offering a decent rate.”
For Russell, Insignis Cash first appealed simply because it resolved a big issue that he’d always encountered: it notifies him when savings products mature. This means he (and his clients) are reminded to move money to a more lucrative product, rather than stick with a lower rate.
“When things mature, you often don’t get told,” Russell says. “Say you’ve put some cash in a one-year fixed term deposit. The first I’d know about it maturing is if I’d actually accessed their system exactly a year later, and gone through the relevant transactions. Otherwise, you only find out when they write to you two or three weeks later – which is a long time in financial planning terms.”
Latterly, Insignis Cash’s simple platform has helped Russell with his financial planning duties in a more holistic sense. He cites online applications as a particular time-saver. “I have people that I’ve been steering towards Insignis Cash now, because they’re reasonably well off,” he tells us. “It’s down to ease of use: I can actually fill in the actual application online and then send it over to the client to sign.”
Russell also notes that rates on the Insignis Cash platform can be higher than those listed on a provider’s website. “I looked at what one provider was offering as the best rate on Insignis Cash, and then I looked on their own website. I found I could get better rates by going through Insignis Cash,” he recalls.
Russell kindly shared with us how Insignis Cash has impacted his personal charitable commitments, as a trustee of a blood cancer charity. While he does not formally advise the charity on finance, he tells us that he did introduce them to Insignis Cash.
“I’m in a rather unusual position: I was one of the few people who had this particular form of cancer that actually ended up with a cure for it,” Russell says.
“When you run a charity, you’ve got to make your cash go as far as possible – but if you want to do a research project, you probably need about £10 million. This charity now absolutely loves Insignis Cash because they can go on, instantly pick where all their cash is going, and quickly earn good interest on the cash reserves they’ve got – every extra pound is vital.”
Russell wants to take his SIPP management “one step further” on the Insignis Cash platform, with the aim of helping clients achieve higher returns over the longer term.
“I used to work on the basis of a two-year buffer, and I used to develop a plan with a 3.5% net return,” he explains. “I’m now using Insignis Cash to put that money in over the next five years at the current interest rate. That means that if somebody tells me they want to take an average moderate-risk approach, we can quickly produce a way of doing that to protect their capital. That’s made my life quite easy.”
Russell currently deals with 118 people, and using Insignis Cash gives him scope to manage those clients easily. “I can make changes in seconds; the client can also use the same system. That helps me because my role is to make sure that it’s all going to be safe, secure and reliable,” he opines.