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Monday, November 01, 2010

The WSJ Demystifies UMAs

News summary by MFWire's editors

Unified managed accounts are picking up steam among investors, according to the Wall Street Journal. UMAs reportedly held some $79.6 billion in assets as of midyear, according to research firm Cerulli Associates, compared with $543.1 billion in mutual-fund advisory accounts and $536.1 billion in separately managed accounts.

But assets in UMAs have jumped some 65 percent over the two years through June, compared to mutual-funds, which grew 3 percent, and assets in separately managed accounts (down 25 percent).

Fees for UMAs range from 1.5 percent to three percent of assets under management but they're negotiable.

Fundsters holding primarily stocks and bonds in a UMA can have tax advantages compared with investing directly in funds, and there's greater ability to control the timing of capital gains and losses.

Michael Abelson, senior vice president of investments for Genworth Financial Co., Steve Deutsch, director of separate accounts and collective trusts at research firm Morningstar Inc., and Elaina Spilove, consulting director at Graystone Consulting, a unit of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney that serves ultrawealthy and institutional investors, all weighed in on UMAs.

Fundsters interested in reading more about UMAs may want to check out the rest of the article. 

Edited by: Hung Tran

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