June 23, 2000
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Friday, June 23, 2000

June 23, 2000

The times they are a changin'
From The Wall Street Journal
Until recently, a managed account (a.k.a. a separate or wrap account) required a big bankroll, usually over $500,000. But those minimums are dropping at many big brokerage firms and a number of internet start-ups are getting in the game. Minimum account requirements now run as low as $50,000. One result is that assets in managed accounts have nearly tripled since the end of 1996. Mutual fund firms are scrambling to keep up. The latest innovation are arrangements in which fund managers run individual accounts in addition to their other duties.

I shall be released
Many mutual fund firms aren't sure whether electronic signatures constitute a binding agreement. But last week, Congress approved a bill giving electronic signatures the same legal standing as paper signatures. Presidential signature is expected, and the law is set to take effect Oct. 1. Some companies, including Invesco and Marsico, already accept online sales, and the new law may mark the starting point in a race for Web-based sales. About 15 firms are currently planning Internet initiatives, including Fidelity, Strong and Scudder.

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