Making Sense of Separately Managed Accounts and Individually Managed Accounts

Individually Managed Accounts (IMAs) and Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) both offer investors a highly transparent managed share portfolio while avoiding the tax distortions that come with pooled investment vehicles such as managed funds.However, there are some important differences between individually and separately managed accounts and while they may sound very similar, these differences can have a significant impact on investment performance, suitability, and tax effectiveness.In General, Separately Managed Accounts are a good alternative to managed funds for many investors, while investors with $1 million or more, are likely to find the features of an IMA more compelling.The key differences between the two types of managed accounts rests in their approach to building an investment portfolio.SMAs are constructed with a ‘model portfolio’ where each investor receives precisely the same portfolio, based on a template created by the fund manager. IMAs however, are constructed individually for each investor, although each account will share some common holdings. These two approaches have some important differences:Investors in a SMA may buy stocks that have already enjoyed most of their returns, but remain in the model portfolio to avoid realising capital gains tax. IMA investors however will receive a portfolio that is assembled incrementally, as attractive opportunities arise.For the same reason, new investors in Separately Managed Accounts will receive a larger position in stocks that have already performed well, while IMA investors are likely to receive larger holdings in stocks the investment manager believes will perform well in future.IMAs also provide the ability to tailor the portfolio to the investor’s circumstances. For instance, an IMA manager may place more weight on generating franked dividends for a SMSF, while long term capital appreciation could be more valuable for an investor with a high tax rate. These differences in investment management help produce good after tax results for each investor. Since every investor in a SMA receives the same portfolio, the Separately Managed Account manager cannot factor individual considerations into their management.Both structures will allow the transfer an existing portfolio, with the IMA providing some additional flexibility and tax advantages. When importing an existing portfolio into a SMA, only those shares contained in the model portfolio will be retained and only to the proportion held in the model portfolio. Therefore, investors may still realise capital gains when entering an SMA. Conversely, a diligent IMA manager will adapt the existing portfolio over time and with consideration to tax events.Both offer tax effective investment management to tax conscience investors.For investors wishing to exclude individual stocks or sectors, an Individually Managed Account manager will hold alternative positions, while the SMA will generally hold cash in lieu of the excluded positions. This can have a significant impact on the portfolio’s overall returns.In executing trades, SMA investors will generally receive ‘at market’ prices on their transactions, while an IMA manager may attempt to get best execution and/or exercise discretion over the timing of buys and sells.Service levels are also different, with holders of Separately Managed Accounts receiving a service akin to a managed fund. while those using Individually Managed Accounts have ongoing access to the fund manager responsible for their portfolio and will likely receive personalised reporting.

Retirement income sources comparison

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Is Online Shopping Better Than Actually Going to the Malls?

In the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in online shopping. Despite difficult economic times, online shopping is thriving. There are a number of reasons why online shopping has become more popular than going to traditional ‘brick and mortar’ shopping malls.

Below are a number of reasons why online shopping is better than actually going to the malls:

1. Going to a traditional shopping mall requires getting ready, getting the proper clothing, doing your hair and make up, making sure you have your money, and getting in your vehicle and driving there. When you shop online, you just switch on the computer, connect to the internet, and start shopping. It is easy, convenient, and it does not matter what are wearing and what you look like.

2. Transportation can be a hassle when you shop at a traditional mall. You have to spend money on fuel, fight the traffic, locate a parking spot, and carry all your purchased items to the car. With online shopping, you don’t have to worry about transportation hassles and often your packages are delivered right to the door. If you don’t have a car, taking a bus can be a real hassle when going to a mall.

3. Shopping malls are well-known for the crowds. It can be frustrating trying to get the items you want to purchase. With online shopping, there are no pushy crowds and you can relax and enjoy your online shopping experience.

4. Shopping online is better for the environment. Most online retailers keep their items at a central distribution centre so there is less energy being used which is better for the planet. Retail stores have such energy consuming things as lights and heating and cooling units. As well, shipping from online stores is better on the environment. According to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, “shipping two 20 pound packages by overnight air – the most energy-intensive delivery mode – still uses 40 percent less fuel than driving 20 miles round-trip to the mall or store.”

5. Online shopping is a definite time saver. Most people shop on the weekends. Many shopping experiences at a traditional mall can take an entire day. Online shopping saves time so you can enjoy the rest of your weekend. Or, you may have the weekend free if you online shop during the weekday. You can shop any time of the day or night.

6. You can save a lot of money when you online shop. There are many deals on the internet just waiting to be scooped up. As well, most online shops offer free shipping on a certain amount purchased. You are also paying a cheaper price because online stores have less overhead.

7. Shopping online gives access to millions of different products. When you go to a shopping at a shopping mall, you only have access to what the stores have in stock so you end up going from store to store trying to find what you are looking for. Sometimes, it is not always available. When shopping online, you almost always find what you are looking for. You can also comparison shop to find the deals.

Online shopping is continuing to grow at astounding rates. With improvements in secure payment processing, the online shopping industry shows no signs of slowing down. More consumers are discovering that it is a great way to find exactly what you are looking for at a low price.