Assets in managed accounts, such as rep-as-portfolio manager programs, unified managed accounts and mutual fund advisory programs, passed $4 trillion at the end of 2014, up 16 percent from $3.4 trillion in 2013. According to the Money Management Institute, these "managed investment solutions" have been on the rise since 2007. In the last five years, the number of managed accounts has grown 65 percent to 10.6 million. Flows into managed investments were $65 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, with rep-as-portfolio manager programs accounting for nearly one-third of the total, MMI said.
Giving children a book of savings bonds or paper stock certificates as a gift used to be a common practice in the U.S. Peggy Mangot, a registered investment advisor and former member of the Google Wallet team has co-founded a start up called Spark Gift to bring the practice into the digital age. “The service lets people give the gift of stocks or exchange-traded funds via email in denominations as low as $20. The goal is to make it easy to give the gift of an investment to young people,” according to re/code. The sender can choose an investment in ETFs or fractional shares of marquee-name companies. The sender is charged $2.95 for amounts up to $100 and 4 percent after that. Over time, the company hopes to provide advice around diversification or investment strategies based on the account holders’ risk tolerance.
The Securities Association of China has drafted new rules to allow brokerages and securities investment advisors in that country to expand their wealth management business. Under the new rules, the advisors may invest or trade shares, funds or futures on the behalf of investors, according to Reuters. Currently, China only allows financial advisors to provide consulting services,while individuals must buy or trade shares. To reduce risk, the rules require an appraisal of investor appetite for risk and the requirement to match that with the appropriate asset allocation.