Separately managed account

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Separately Managed Account or SMA is a type of financial investment account. SMAs are offered by financial consultants and brokerage firms, and managed by independent "money managers." A money manager is a business that manages stock and other securities, or investments for an investor. SMAs have varying fee structures. Common characteristics of SMAs are that they provide open investment choices; have multiple managers; and, offer a customized investment portfolio created for a client's specific needs. [1]

History[change | change source]

They were first introduced in the US in the 1970s by the former investment firm EF Hutton [2] They have grown in popularity and are offered in other countries. For some investors, Separately Managed Accounts are rivals to mutual funds and other types of investments. [3]

Performance[change | change source]

While there is no long-term research that compares SMAs’ performance to other investment categories, the available research does show them as a strong competitor.

Morningstar Inc., a fund research firm, released research that showed that SMAs beat mutual funds in 2008. They said that SMAs outperformed mutual funds in 25 of 36 stock and bond market categories that year. In addition, Morningstar said that from 2006 to 2008, SMAs surpassed mutual funds in 22 of 26 categories.[1] The Wall Street Journal reported that Separately Managed Accounts may beat popular mutual funds because SMAs “…tend to have smaller amounts of assets than popular mutual funds, allowing them to trade more nimbly." Unlike mutual funds, SMAs permit the investor to tailor their basket of stocks and bonds which can limit the investment risk. Registered Rep, an investment trade magazine, said that SMAs also can provide tax advantages that may not be available with mutual funds and other investments.[4]

The Wall Street Journal recognized top SMA performers including PTI Securities & Futures LP’s “Protected Index Program” and Robinson Value Management Ltd’s “Market Opportunity Composite Strategy.” [1]

Pensions & Investments, a US investment trade magazine, reported on several of the highest performing SMAs for 2008.[5]

Financial experts point out that past performance of any investment is not a predictor of future performance. So, investors should talk with a licensed financial adviser and carefully review all information available before making any investment decision. In addition, before making an investment, investors should check with the appropriate licensing and regulatory authorities to ensure that the firm offering SMAs is properly licensed and in good standing.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wall Street Journal, "SMAs beat funds in 2008"
  2. New York Times, “Markets & Investing: Full-Service Brokers Are In Demand "
  3. Citywire Financial Publishers, “Citywire Praemium Guide to Separately Managed Accounts"[permanent dead link]
  4. "Registered Rep, SMAs on the rise". Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  5. Pensions & Investments, "Top Performing Equity Managers"[permanent dead link]