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To minimize tax burden, separate account managers can also defer gains, tilt away from dividend-paying stocks and harvest losses to offset capital gains based on the account holder's tax bracket and liability. Tax-managed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds deploy some of the same strategies, but can't target their approach for any one investor.

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Despite their obvious benefits, however, SMAs are not an option for everyone. SMAs can be particularly cost prohibitive for style-based investors who seek to diversify their allocation with exposure to broad asset categories, such as large capitalization, value, growth, international and emerging markets. A separate minimum would be necessary for each SMA "silo. But Bob Andres, chief investment officer of Andres Capital Management, said he believes they make sense for investors with half that amount. In periods of volatility and uncertainty, said Andres, SMAs are uniquely positioned to weather the storm because account managers can respond quickly to economic and market pressures.

Funds and SMAs, however, need not be mutually exclusive. Increasingly, separate accounts are used in tandem with mutual funds and ETFs within unified managed accounts, or UMAs — a new hybrid of sorts in the managed account line.

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Its three-year CAGR is 15 percent. With lower advisory fees and investment minimums, UMAs are more attainable for average investors.

They are also more user-friendly. As managed account models continue to evolve, he said, many brokerage firms are now offering UMAs with an "overlay portfolio manager" to ensure the transactions executed by the SMA manager and the individual fund managers don't inadvertently leave the investor overweight in any one sector, or trigger the wash sale rule by selling a security at a loss and then buying it back within 30 days.

No surprise here. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion in the industry and much of it is the result of intentional misdirection by vendors.

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As a result, many institutions have gone in circles regarding their due diligence process. We never achieved scale and consistency of product across our investment process as originally envisioned.

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A unified process, if you will. Overlay Software Overlay software is the engine that drives the UMA process at the account level and across the entire universe of client accounts. No, but in our experience most every simple rebalancing technology tries to position itself as an overlay technology that is suited to drive a UMA business model. Put differently, all overlay technologies offer basic rebalancing as a feature but not all rebalancing technologies are capable of delivering overlay. Have us call you. As with any search engine, we ask that you not input personal or account information.

Information that you input is not stored or reviewed for any purpose other than to provide search results. Responses provided by the virtual assistant are to help you navigate Fidelity. Fidelity does not guarantee accuracy of results or suitability of information provided. Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice, and the information provided is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice.

Consult an attorney, tax professional, or other advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

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Skip to Main Content. Search fidelity. Learn more. What legal structures are available? IMA investors receive a portfolio that has been specifically created for them based on selected investment strategies. An IMA manager may exercise discretion over the timing of trades for their investors. IMAs also provide the ability to take into account capital gain and loss positions, incorporating tax implications on each stock and the overall portfolio for that client.

For example, for a self-managed superannuation fund SMSF , the manager may place more weight on generating franked dividends. Or, for clients with higher margin tax rates, the manager may decide that long-term capital appreciation is more valuable. This service also offers active and passive investment strategies managed by a range of investment managers.

Strategies can include funds, ASX and international securities and can be blended to create bespoke multi-manager strategies. Following initial agreement with the client, the MDA operator takes on responsibility of the investment selection and on-going portfolio implementation without requiring on-going client approvals. There are specific license authorisations required to operate an MDA. Unified Managed Account UMA This is typically a reporting solution that brings together all types of investment vehicles in an investor's portfolio.

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