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Finance Glossary

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Wrap Account

Definition:

No, not the kind of account that Jay-Z opens just because he's Jay-Z. He might, but not because he's a (w)rapper. A wrap account is one where the broker manages the portfolio for an annual fee, usually based as a percentage of the assets in the account. The fee covers all administrative, commissions and other expenses (but usually does not cover any fees or charges imposed by an exchange or a regulatory body). The benefit of a wrap account is that it prevents investors from being swamped by commissions because they have a trigger-happy broker who trades like a lab rat on crack.

Example

Clients like wrap accounts—they are the equivalent of the all-you-can-eat salad bar. And banks like them as well because they provide income predictability and a longer term consultative relationship with clients. 

A typical wrap might cost a standard client 1% of assets under management, so if Jay-Z gives his broker $100 million under a wrap account, he'll be charged a million bucks a year in return for handling all of Jay-Z's trading, wiring, account, and a whole bunch of other services. And for many large brokerages, wrap accounts allow for their clients to be able to buy various flavors of funds (mutual, hedge, index) at "wholesale" prices; that is, if the fund is a captive fund maintained by the brokerage, the wrap account allows the client to buy with no commission or upfront charges.

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