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Managed Accounts V/S Mutual Funds – The Difference you should know

Managed Accounts V/S Mutual Funds – The Difference you should know

An investment account that is held by an investor but managed by someone else is known as a Managed Account. An institutional investor or an individual retail investor can own an account. The account and trading activity within it are then overseen by a professional money manager engaged by the investor. The dedicated manager, who has discretionary control over the account, actively makes investment decisions that are relevant to the person, taking into account the client's needs and goals, risk tolerance, and asset size. High-net-worth investors are the most likely to use managed accounts.

Important points to remember

  • Based on the size of the investment, the investor's risk profile, and financial goals, the money manager creates a tax-efficient investment portfolio. The account's trading operations are done in accordance with the abovementioned.
  • The service charge varies depending on the company or individual manager. It is usually 1-2 percent of the total investment amount. Transaction and trading costs are among the other fees.
  • Due to high minimum investment requirements and slow investment and de-vestment, they are considered inferior to mutual funds.

How does Managed Accounts operate?

  • Client
  • Financial advisor
  • Investment Manager

These are three main participants in the management of a personal account. Each player joins the partnership with distinct aims in mind, but they all work together to impress the account's primary owner. Individual viewpoints are what distinguish financial advisors and investment managers.

While the manager is focused on monitoring and altering the investment possibilities for the managed account, the financial advisor is concerned with all aspects of the investor's financial position. Clients put money into managed accounts to achieve certain financial objectives. Cash, property titles, or financial assets may be held in the account.

To sell and purchase assets, the professional investment manager does not need the principal client's prior consent as long as the transactions are carried out in accordance with the client's objectives. It is primarily motivated by the notion that the money manager owes the principal client a fiduciary obligation and must behave with the highest loyalty and good faith, or risk criminal or civil fines for breach of contract and the loss of compensation rights. All important details about the account's holdings and performance are normally disclosed by the investment manager.

Typically, managed accounts have high minimum investment requirements and transactional fee structures. Many investors begin with a minimum commitment of 250,000 AED while certain money managers may accept managed accounts with lower minimums of 100,000 AED or 50,000 AED

The manager's annual fee is determined by the percentage of Assets under Management (AUM). The amount of income varies greatly depending on the manager; however the most frequent amounts are 1% and 2% of AUM. Furthermore, the amount of the discount that managers provide is influenced by the size of the account's assets; consequently, the smaller the portfolio, the higher the percentage fee. Because the fees represent investment charges, they are Tax Deductible.

Managed Accounts v/s Mutual Funds; what is the difference?

The active management of portfolios or pools of money that are invested across numerous asset classes is the commonality between managed accounts and mutual funds. A mutual fund is a sort of managed account in which the fund company hires a professional money manager to handle investments in the fund's portfolio.

The management has full discretionary power over day-to-day investment decisions, which are geared to the fund's overarching objectives, similar to managed accounts. Mutual fund investment reached an all-time high in the 1950s, and mutual funds were marketed as a way for small retail investors to gain experience and professional skill in money management. Previously, the programme was only available to ultra-wealthy investors.

Types of Managed Accounts

There are numerous types of Managed Account which vary in the terms and services under various categories. We've given you a general overview of the many sorts, with the most common ones listed below.

Types of Managed Accounts


IMAs are customized share portfolios constructed and maintained on behalf of an investor by a money manager. According to his preferences and demands, an investor can add or omit specific shares from the manager's model portfolio. IMA is best suited to those having a net worth of 500,000 AED or more. IMAs are tailored to an investor's specific objectives.


SMAs are created using model securities portfolios from a brokerage business. It is a service that is based on a product. The model portfolio is a collection of securities that investors possess. Distinct models provide different advantages. As a result, if clients want to invest in many portfolios, they must open multiple accounts. SMAs provide firm-specific model portfolios based on the client's requirements. They are managed by a professional portfolio or money manager, but the client is informed about the assets' performance on a regular basis.


MDAs are discretionary investment accounts that allow a money manager to trade investments without the investor's permission on a transaction by transaction basis. The investor must sign a discretionary agreement with the management that establishes trading limitations in the account that the manager must follow. Unlike non-discretionary accounts, money managers charge greater fees for MDAs because they have to handle every transaction and decision.


UMAs are investment accounts that allow a money manager to handle multiple financial assets in one account, such as mutual funds, bonds, and ETFs. Unlike SMA, which requires the client to open multiple accounts, UMA unifies all of them. UMA allows an investor to compare the performance of multiple investments at the same time.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Managed Accounts (Compared to Mutual Funds)

 High-net-worth investors are increasingly turning to managed accounts and mutual funds. Because of the broad diversity of possibilities accessible today, investors frequently resort to private money management. Clients are liberated from having to deal with individual transactions under such agreements. The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of managed accounts versus mutual funds:


  • Client needs are addressed by professional supervision of managed accounts; mutual funds provide enhanced portfolio management in accordance with the fund's objectives.
  • Investors in mutual funds do not have an option when it comes to capital gain payout, whereas managed accounts can be timed to minimize tax burden.
  • Mutual fund shareholders do not own the fund's assets; instead, they own a share of the fund's asset value. Managed account holders have the most transparency and control over their assets.


  • Managed accounts have a high minimum investment need, frequently in the six figures, whereas mutual funds have a lower initial investment requirement.
  • It may take many days to invest or de-vest the assets of managed accounts; however, mutual fund shares can simply be converted to cash and sold or acquired on a daily basis.
  • Managed account managers are compensated with annual fees, which can have an impact on overall performance; mutual fund compensation is lower because annual fees are calculated using expense fees.

Considerations for Management and Transactions

Professional managers supervise both managed accounts and mutual funds. Managed accounts are customized investment portfolios tailored to the account holder's unique risks, goals, and needs. The mutual fund's management is focused on accomplishing the fund's investment and return objectives on behalf of its many investors.

The investor allocates funds to a managed account, and the manager acquires and places physical shares of securities into the portfolio. The securities are owned by the account holder, who can tell the manager to exchange them as needed.

On the Transactional side, events in a managed account may flow more slowly. It could take days for the management to fully invest the funds. Managers may also be able to liquidate securities at specified times only, depending on the holdings chosen. Mutual fund shares, on the other hand, are often purchased and redeemed on a daily basis.

However, if a mutual fund is redeemed before a set length of time has passed, it may be subject to penalties. The expert in charge of a managed account may try to balance gains and losses by buying and selling assets at the most tax advantageous times for the account owner. As a result, the individual may have minimal or no tax payments on a big profit.


Thus we can conclude with the fact that Managed Accounts are your way to go if you want to invest in large numbers with the help of a professional in the field. Proper utilization of Managed Account can also supplement your financial growth if done in the right manner. We hope this blog was helpful in providing incite full information regarding Managed Accounts. For more information on other related aspects, feel free to check out our website.

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