March 2013: Managed Accounts

This Broker Monitor Report reviews managed accounts – a topic we last covered in March 2010. For this report, we looked at managed accounts for retail investors offered by Broker Monitor firms. We reviewed the different in-house managed account programs offered by each firm, as well as separately and unified managed accounts, and discretionary portfolios programs, which were not covered in the 2010 report.

In our report we reviewed investment advisory programs that allow clients to invest their money in a single account or platform managed by financial advisors and portfolio managers at the firm or third-party investment managers. To understand the general landscape of managed account offerings by Broker Monitor firms, we highlighted account availability, investment managers, minimum requirements and fee structures for each, as well as additional descriptions when available.
Seventy-three percent of Broker Monitor firms offer discretionary brokerage account programs. This includes all seven full-service firms in our coverage lineup, as well seven self-directed firms. Only five Broker Monitor firms do not offer managed accounts.
We found that required minimum portfolio sizes vary widely. Minimums for managed accounts range from $25,000 to $500,000. Requirements for unified managed accounts are generally higher, with one firm requiring a minimum investment of $600,000.
Additional Key Findings:

  • Four firms charge a single management rate regardless of portfolio size
  • Six firms charge different fees for equity and balanced portfolios, and for portfolios of fixed income investments
  • Outside of UMAs, eight firms offer clients more than one type of managed account or porgram