Evergreen Money “Liquid Treasuries” Review: Checking Account + T-Bill Combo, 0 Bonus

Evergreen Money is a new fintech startup focused on tax-smart money management by Bill Harris, previously CEO of Intuit, PayPal, and Personal Capital (now Empower). Here a short video clip of his Bloomberg TV appearance. They are starting out with their “Liquid Treasuries” product, which combines a bank account and Treasury Bills using two different accounts:

  • Traditional checking account through Coastal Community Bank, member FDIC. You get the usual fintech bank stuff: ATM/debit card, ACH routing/account numbers. Currently pays 5.00% APY as of 4/1/2024. As with all checking accounts, the APY may change at any time.
  • US Treasury Bills held inside a brokerage account through Jiko Securities, Inc, member SIPC. US Treasury Bill are fully backed by the US government. Current yield for a 4-week T-Bill is ~5.48% and the interest is exempt from state and local taxes.
  • There is a 0.03% monthly fee for their Treasury Bill service, which works out to a 0.36% annual fee.

Here’s a visualization of how this works:

Evergreen Money “Liquid Treasuries” Review: Checking Account + T-Bill Combo, 0 Bonus

At a very high level, this is already how my Fidelity Brokerage and Cash Management Account works. Their money market mutual fund holds mostly Treasury bills and repos, which are also very safe, and then when I need money to pay for stuff, they sell some of those securities and my kids have new goggles to lose. Fidelity also charges a similar 42 basis points (0.42% annual expense ratio) for SPAXX.

However, I can see the appeal here because the Treasury Bill interest would be “pure” and 100% exempt from state and local income taxes. Very often, money market fund interest (like SPAXX) is not 100% exempt from state taxes as it holds a lot of stuff that isn’t T-Bills, and even something like the Fidelity Treasury Only Money Market Fund (FDLXX) that I manually buy was only about 90% exempt in 2023.

There is currently a $10,000 minimum to open account at Evergreen Money. T-Bills are sold in $100 minimum increments, so if you kept at least $10,000 there (which they technically require), they could probably get pretty close to maintaining 99%+ of assets in T-Bills.

You could also create your own ladder of T-Bills, either directly at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a broker with an auto-roll feature like Fidelity, but that is still some degree of work to manage. If you have significant cash assets, this might probably be worth saving the expense ratio, whereas 0.36% on $10,000 is $3 a month ($36 a year).

$250 New Client Bonus. Currently, if you open and fund with the $10,000 minimum buy 6/30/24, they will give you a $250 bonus. There doesn’t appear to be a minimum hold period, but it will take 15 days for the credit to post and I’m not sure if they will close your account if you go below $10,000. Their Rates and Fees page lists a “Minimum Relationship Balance Requirement: $10,000 (We may waive this at our discretion)”. The fine print:

To qualify for the $250 New Client Bonus, you must open a new Liquid Treasuries account and fund it with deposit(s) of at least $10,000 between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 11, 2024 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time and June 30,2024. The full $10,000 must be cleared and posted to your account prior to 11:59 Eastern Time on June 30, 2024 to be eligible for the bonus. The one-time bonus will appear as a credit to your account within 15 calendar days from the date the qualifying deposit has cleared and posted. Evergreen employees and paid testers are not eligible. You are responsible for any taxes owed. This offer is non-transferable and Evergreen reserves the right to change or cancel this offer at any time.

Evergreen Money “Liquid Treasuries” Review: Checking Account + T-Bill Combo, 0 Bonus

You know I can’t help myself with these things, so I decided to open an account and try it out. Expect the usual fintech ID verification process where you have to take a picture of your ID with your smartphone. I also had to send in a bank/credit card/utility bill with my name and address on it. Here’s a screenshot of my account (funds are still in-transit).

Evergreen Money “Liquid Treasuries” Review: Checking Account + T-Bill Combo, 0 Bonus

Despite the fact that the EvergreenMoney.com website has a very generic feel, after doing my own due diligence, they do appear to be a legit company trying something different (although Jiko has done the T-Bill thing with the Public brokerage app). I do wonder why Jiko is licensing out their technology when they themselves offer a very similar product called Spendable T-Bills. I am guessing Evergreen Money has the marketing budget, as they are on a hiring binge with many job openings on LinkedIn in Miami, Florida. I wonder what features they will add next. Thanks to reader Larry for the tip.

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