Advice channels saw good growth in assets last year, suggesting that investors are shaking off the last cobwebs of the market slump. The slicing, dicing and tracking of all of the main product, business mix and competitive trends in the brokerage and fee-based world are examined in detail in the new Winter 2010 issues of The Retail Brokerage Report and The Fee-Based Report.
The feature research article in each of these reports addresses the current state of and outlook for separately managed wrap accounts and the growing impact of UMAs in the United States and Canada. A decade ago SMWs held great promise, but their growth stalled in 2007 and has yet to fully recover. Our research is an ‘everything you want and need to know’ roadmap of the SMW business. It delves into issues around sponsors, managers and advisors, with a healthy focus on key metrics, economics, pricing and compensation. The research also looks at how sponsors and managers are addressing the need to revitalize the product. It discusses whether the widespread introduction of UMAs will have a positive or negative effect on SMAs, and whether the UMA will herald the appearance of more fund companies in the discretionary sector.
Among the many topics we examine in these reports are:
Discretionary products continue to gain assets, although the private investment counsellor channel has not been able to keep pace with the growth of assets in the brokerage channel. Who is winning and who is losing ground in this war over wealth?
The online brokerage industry, which remains mostly unnerved by the state of the equity markets, has captured an increasing share of the nation’s retail investment wallet and looks to become an Increasingly important channel, particularly for the younger investor. What are the dynamics at play in this channel?
Although they did not break sales records in 2009, fund wraps continue to outshine stand-alone funds. Are they positioned to deal with the changes in investor priorities, which focus on principal conservation, security and simplicity, and which, in our view, are here for the long term?