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Unified Managed Account (UMA): Definition and Investment Types


A Unified Managed Account (UMA) is a type of investment account that consolidates multiple types of investments into a single account. Managed by a professional investment advisor, UMAs can hold a wide range of investment products, including individual securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other alternative investments. This structure provides investors with greater flexibility, streamlined administration, and potentially a more detailed, comprehensive view of their portfolio.


The phonetics for “Unified Managed Account (UMA): Definition and Investment Types” are:Unified: Yoo-nuh-faidManaged: Man-ij-dAccount: Uh-kount(Uma): You-ma Definition: def-uh-nish-uhnand: andInvestment: in-vest-mentTypes: types

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: Unified Managed Account (UMA) is a type of investment account that allows an investor to hold multiple types of investments in one single account. It is managed by one or multiple financial advisors to consolidate and manage different assets efficiently, providing an all-in-one solution for investors looking for diversified investment opportunities.
  2. Investment Types: UMA allows investors to invest in a variety of asset types. These can include individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), alternative investments and structured products among others. It offers a comprehensive platform for convenient and consolidated asset management.
  3. Personalized Portfolio Management: One of the main features of a UMA is personalized portfolio management. Financial advisors can tailor the investment strategy based on the individual needs, risk tolerance, and investment goals of the investor. This offers a high degree of customization and flexibility, which leads to a more efficient and effective investment portfolio.


The concept of a Unified Managed Account (UMA) is vital in the financial world as it provides streamlined and efficient investment management by unifying multiple types of investments into a single account. The UMA structure accommodates stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment types This versatility makes it easier for investors and their financial advisors to track, manage, and adjust an entire portfolio based on changing market conditions or investment goals. UMAs also often offer automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax optimization strategies. Understanding UMAs is crucial for suitable investment planning and wealth management, offering an encompassing view of an investor’s total assets and facilitating strategic decision making.


A Unified Managed Account (UMA) is a type of investment account that allows for a consolidated view and management of a variety of investment products. The purpose of a UMA is to simplify the investment process by bringing together diverse assets into one account rather than scattering them across many. Each UMA encompasses a range of assets, allowing financial advisors or investors to manage, view, report and analyze different types of investments, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual securities, and other investment vehicles, all within the convenience of a single account.The use of UMAs has proven to be especially invaluable to high net-worth individuals or institutional clients, who typically have investments scattered across numerous accounts. With a UMA, there is a significantly reduced burden of coordination and administrative tasks. The individual or institution can easily implement different investment strategies and automatically rebalance portfolios to align with their risk-tolerance level and financial goals. Furthermore, UMAs also present tax advantages as they enable investors to apply tax-efficient strategies across all their holdings. All these features of UMAs maximize efficiency, streamline account management, and potentially enhance returns for the investor.


1. UBS Financial Services: UBS offers a unified managed account (UMA) platform that allows investors to access various asset classes and investment strategies through a single account. This UMA platform combines separately managed accounts, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and alternative investments, providing investors with a comprehensive investment solution and consolidated reporting.2. Charles Schwab’s Investment Management Services: Charles Schwab offers Under Schwab’s Unified Managed Account Program where the client’s portfolio is managed by one or more investment managers who are selected based on the client’s investment goals and risk tolerance. This service simplifies portfolio management and provides diversification since investments can span different asset classes, market sectors, and investment styles.3. Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services: This service offered by Vanguard is a form of UMA, as it utilizes both automatic investing tools and the expertise of human advisors. Based on personal financial goals, risk tolerance, and timeline, Vanguard advisors create a comprehensive, tailored financial plan. The portfolio can include Vanguard mutual funds, ETFs, and other asset classes, offering the client vast diversity and flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Unified Managed Account (UMA)?

A Unified Managed Account (UMA) is a professionally managed private investment account that can include multiple types of investments in a single account. These can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and more.

How does a UMA work?

A UMA consolidates multiple investment accounts into one. It’s managed by a professional investment manager who adjusts the investment holdings based on your individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences.

What are the benefits of a UMA?

The main benefits of a UMA include consolidated reporting, professional investment management, and increased tax efficiency through the opportunity for tax-loss harvesting. It also offers a more comprehensive asset allocation strategy tailored to an investor’s specific needs and goals.

What types of investments can be included in a UMA?

UMAs can include a wide range of investment types, such as individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, alternative investments, and even individual investment strategies or models.

Are UMAs the right fit for any investor?

UMAs are generally better suited for high-net-worth investors who have complex financial situations and larger portfolios. They might not be the best fit for investors with smaller portfolios or those who prefer a hands-on approach to managing their investments.

How can I open a UMA?

You can open a UMA through a financial advisor or wealth management firm that offers this type of account structure. They will work with you to understand your financial goals and risk tolerance, and create an investment strategy that is tailored to your needs.

Are there any downsides to a UMA?

While UMAs offer many benefits, they may come with higher fees due to the professional management of the account, and they also require a significant minimum investment amount. Additionally, some investors may prefer a more hands-on approach to managing their investments, which UMAs may not offer.

What is the difference between a UMA and a separately managed account (SMA)?

While both UMAs and SMAs are professionally managed, a UMA consolidates multiple types of investments into a single account, while an SMA generally focuses on a singular investment discipline, such as fixed income or large-cap equities.

Related Finance Terms

  • Asset Allocation: This is the implementation of an investment strategy that attempts to balance risk versus reward by adjusting the percentage of each asset in an investment portfolio according to the investor’s risk tolerance, goals and investment time frame.
  • Discretionary Investing: A term associated with UMA which encompasses the practice of using the judgments of a portfolio manager or team to directly manage a client’s portfolio and make the important buy-sell decisions.
  • Investment Policy Statement (IPS): Often employed with UMAs, an IPS is a document prepared between a portfolio manager and a client that outlines general rules for the manager. This statement provides the general investment goals and objectives of a client and describes the strategies that the manager should employ to meet these objectives.
  • Multi-Asset-Class Strategy: It refers to an investment strategy that can include multiple types of assets or investment vehicles, such as bonds, stocks, and commodities. A UMA is capable of performing a Multi-Asset-Class strategy due to its unification under a single account.
  • Tax Loss Harvesting: A method often used within UMAs to minimize income taxes on investments. By selling securities that have experienced a loss, investors can offset taxes on both gains and income. The sold security is then replaced by a similar one, maintaining an optimal asset allocation and expected returns.

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