Investing: Fund Control

Separate accounts are aiming lower and growing faster as mutual-fund rip-offs turn off investors

Even before the mutual-fund scandals began unfolding in September, investors had been flocking to a little-noticed (but not so little) alternative known as the separately managed account. Clear fees and no hidden costs make these personalized portfolios more sensible than ever. No joke: they may one day supplant common mutual funds as the investment vehicle of choice for millions of people. About $500 billion resides in separate accounts. Yes, that's a long way from the $7 trillion in mutual funds right now. But since the middle 1990s, assets in separate accounts, in which your money is set aside as a distinct...

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