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Futures Roll and Treasury Financing: Making Money on the Float

renew:2024-06-29 18:40:43read:169

Making Money on the Float: A Comprehensive Guide

In today's fast-paced financial landscape, businesses are constantly seeking ways to optimize their cash flow and maximize profitability. One strategy that has gained considerable traction is making money on the float. This concept, although seemingly simple, involves a nuanced understanding of cash management and financial instruments. This comprehensive guide will delve deep into the intricacies of making money on the float, providing you with the knowledge to potentially enhance your financial strategies.

Understanding the Float

Before we explore the methods of making money on the float, it's crucial to grasp the fundamental concept of "float." In essence, float refers to the time lag between when a payment is initiated and when the funds are actually debited from the payer's account. This period, often ranging from a few hours to several days, presents a window of opportunity for businesses to leverage these temporarily available funds.


To illustrate, consider a scenario where a company issues a check for $10,000 to a supplier. The check might take two business days to clear. During this two-day float period, the company technically still has access to the $10,000 in its account, even though the payment is in process. This available balance represents the float.

Methods of Making Money on the Float

There are several approaches to capitalize on the float. The effectiveness of each method depends on factors like industry norms, transaction volume, and the financial instruments employed.

1. Maximizing Payment Float

This strategy involves extending the payment float as much as possible without exceeding agreed-upon payment terms. Techniques include:

Negotiating Longer Payment Terms: Engaging with suppliers to secure extended payment deadlines provides a longer window to utilize the funds before they are debited.

Utilizing Payment Methods with Longer Processing Times: Choosing payment methods like checks instead of electronic transfers can introduce a delay in the deduction of funds.

2. Minimizing Collection Float

Conversely, businesses can accelerate the collection of receivables to minimize the time customers' payments remain in transit. This can be achieved through:


Offering Early Payment Discounts: Incentivizing customers to pay invoices ahead of schedule shortens the collection float.

Implementing Electronic Billing and Payment Systems: Streamlining the invoicing and payment process through online platforms expedites the receipt of funds.

3. Investing the Float

Perhaps the most direct approach to making money on the float is investing the temporarily available funds. This can involve:

Short-Term Investments: Placing the float in low-risk, liquid instruments like money market accounts or treasury bills can generate interest income.

Negotiating Bank Deposit Agreements: Some banks offer arrangements where interest is accrued on the average daily balance, allowing businesses to earn on their float.

Risks and Considerations

While making money on the float presents potential benefits, it's crucial to acknowledge the associated risks:

Relationship Strain: Excessively delaying payments to maximize float can damage supplier relationships.

Ethical Considerations: Intentionally exploiting payment terms for personal gain can be ethically questionable.

Investment Risks: Even low-risk investments carry some degree of risk, and market fluctuations could impact returns.


Making money on the float is a sophisticated cash management strategy that can potentially enhance profitability. By understanding the different types of float, employing appropriate techniques to manage it, and carefully evaluating the associated risks, businesses can make informed decisions to optimize their cash flow and financial well-being. Remember, ethical considerations and maintaining strong business relationships should always be paramount when implementing these strategies.

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