Choosing Investment Strategies: The Differences Between Separate Account Managers & Fund Strategists

FUNDVSSEPERATEACCTS

With over 250 strategies to choose from on the Sawtooth Platform, Advisors often ask “What strategies should I use?”  Obviously, allocation decisions require a lot of follow up questions like, “What is the client’s risk profile?” or “What is their return objective?” While we could spend (a lot of) time going through each strategy, the goals of this article are to help clarify some differences between the options on the platform and help you as an advisor be more prepared to match the needs of your client with the right strategy.

Sorting through the large list of strategies on Sawtooth’s Platform can seem like a daunting task, but a little bit of insight can go a long way. The strategies available on the platform can be categorized among two broad categories:  Separate Account Managers and Fund Strategists.

Separate Account Managers

Separate Account Managers pick securities within asset classes or traditional style boxes to provide access to specific spaces. With Separate Account Managers, the advisor can pick a la carte from different strategies that fit into a traditional asset allocation. For example, an advisor could pick 4 different managers to fit the Large Cap, Mid Cap, Small Cap and International portion of a client’s portfolio. With Sawtooth’s UMA capability, the advisor is not limited to using a single Separate Account Manager for their entire portfolio. Instead, the advisor can use multiple Separate Account Managers in one account to create a tailored solution unique to the client’s allocation needs and adjust the portfolio overtime as the client’s objectives change.

Fund Strategists

Fund Strategists provide the advisor and their client a comprehensive asset allocation solution and/or a tactical approach to an asset class. This allows an advisor to avoid selecting a variety of different strategies and having to blend those strategies to fit the client’s risk-return profile. Instead, Fund Strategists give the advisor the ability to pick one of the preassigned models and allocate 100% of the client’s portfolio to that Strategist. The Fund Strategist does the asset allocation modeling for the advisor, and will typically implement the portfolio by investing in mutual funds or exchange traded funds. By using a Fund Strategist, the advisor can get a well-rounded solution for the entire client portfolio.  The advisor relies on the Fund Strategist to determine the macro outlook of the current and future investing environment and instead focuses more on matching the client’s risk profile with the appropriate strategy.

Sawtooth Gives You Options

With the ability to use either a Separate Account Manager or a Fund Strategist, the advisor has a wide range of options to match their client’s investment objectives. Sawtooth’s robust platform of strategies allows advisors to allocate precisely and confidently for their clients unique needs. Whatever the client’s investment objective, Sawtooth is here to help you find the right solution. Feel free to contact us at any time to further discuss our investment offering.