Managed accounts have become increasingly popular among wealthy investors. With the great array of choices available to investors today and the uncertainties that come with many of today’s packaged products, investors often turn to privately managed accounts. In such arrangements, a professional money manager actively manages the client’s portfolio and has full discretion over day-to-day investment decisions, tailored to the client’s overall objectives. Managed accounts thus free clients from cumbersome involvement in individual transactions. They typically have substantial minimum investment requirements and asset-based versus transactional fee structures.
There are many benefits to private money management, including:
• A single fee covers all management services
• Discounting based on asset size
• Part (or all) of the fee may be tax deductible
Mutual funds have some of these advantages, and, in fact, can be deemed superior on the bases of low minimum investment and broader diversification. However, for the investor who can meet the minimum requirements of individually managed accounts, there is generally sufficient diversification, and these advantages become moot. Offsetting these factors, however, mutual funds can be tax inefficient, and have the significant disadvantage of dilution, wherein the fund manager must invest new money inflows even if he feels stocks are overpriced, and similarly must sell when there are outflows, even if stocks are cheap. All investors in the fund suffer from the bad timing of all other fund investors, therefore.