What is an SMA?

Separately Managed Accounts have been around since the 1970s and are offered by everyone from T. Rowe Price and Janus Capital Group to Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan…

But in case you’re not familiar with the term, a Separately Managed Account is simply a private portfolio of individual securities that is actively managed by a professional investment firm.

In other words, it’s just a regular old brokerage account that you own but one that someone else manages for you (in this case, our team at Motley Fool Wealth Management) so you don’t have to worry about all the "heavy lifting" that goes along with running a portfolio… including all the buying, selling, and rebalancing.

If it sounds a little bit like a mutual fund, that’s because it is…

But unlike a mutual fund, securities will ONLY be bought and sold on your behalf if — and when — it makes sense for you and your specific financial situation.

What’s more, you’ll have the option of logging into your account anytime, day or night, from the comfort of your home or office to see exactly which securities you own… what trades the Motley Fool Wealth Management team has made on your behalf… and how your portfolio is performing.

And if there are any securities you can’t buy or sell for either personal or professional reasons, you can quickly and easily "restrict" them. This will show the Motley Fool Wealth Management team that you’d like them not to trade these securities on your behalf, and they never will.

Another often-overlooked benefit is that whereas a mutual fund can be forced to sell securities in order to raise cash for client redemptions (which results in your having to pay capital gains taxes), your Foolish SMA will truly be separately managed…

Meaning the Motley Fool Wealth Management team will only sell positions when they believe it makes sense for you — and thus, you won’t have to pay any taxes that aren’t directly related to the investments YOU own.

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