What is a forex managed account?
A managed forex account is where a professional trader/money manager manages the trading on the clients’ behalf. The account is made up of a personalized portfolio owned by a single investor. The portfolio and account is handled accordingly to the investors needs. An investor may advise the money manager on strategies and signals to look for while trading on his behalf. An investor may do this to take themselves out of the equation and trade without the psychology and emotions that come with wins and losses. On the other hand, some clients simply choose to let the brokerage/money manager trade the account based on their own systems and strategies.
Forex managed accounts can be compared to traditional investment accounts of equities and bonds, in the way that an investment manager handles the trading logistics. In no instance can a money manager withdraw or add funds to the account, they are granted trade only access to the account, and the investor has full control over their account. Money managers charge a fee or commission for managed accounts, so it is important to research a variety of options, as their prices can vary greatly.
How does a managed forex account work?
For an investor to have a managed trading account, they must first open a trading account at a reputable brokerage firm of their choice. Then allocate the necessary amount of funds for a managed account. The money manager has limited access to the account and operates on a trade only basis. The investor remains in full control of the account and its deposits and withdrawal processes.
Now, if a money manager does not have any control over the investors money, how can they conduct trades? Well, upon setting up a managed account, both the investor and money manager must sign a document called a Limited Power of Attorney Agreement (LPOA). This is an agreement for both parties, allowing the trader to trade on an investors account on their behalf, without needing to transfer the investors funds to the traders account. This agreement provides a high level of security, control, and transparency that’s comfortable for the investor. With the signing of this agreement, the managed account gets placed in what’s called a “master block”, and as stated before, the investor continues to have full control of their account. They can check the balance, deposit or withdraw funds, monitor trade activity, and even revoke the LPOA agreement at any time if they are not happy with the money manager. One thing they can not do is conduct their own trading on the account, unless they revoke the LPOA agreement.
Regarding the money managers aspect of managed forex accounts. They may trade for many investors all from a single master account using PAMM, LAMM, or MAM software and technology. These technical procedures are integrated into most reputable brokerages and various online trading platforms, making it possible for traders to manage investor accounts.
Investing through a managed account has been around for a long time. In fact, it’s been around for as long as investing. With that in mind, there have generally been 3 types of managed forex accounts that prevail- Individual, Pooled, and more recently; varieties of PAMM accounts.
This type of account is the most simple and standard type of account when you think of a managed account. The account managed is a segregated account where the money manager makes all the trades on your behalf. The traders’ decisions are based solely on your instruction or desire, he/she is trading for you and only you. Their decisions will be based on your risk level and whether you provide any specific strategy or guidance. Since there are no additional traders’ funds involved in this account, the minimum deposit may be quite high- exceeding $10,000. For this reason, and the fact the manager is trading this account individually for you, you will want to ensure a professional and competent money manager is chosen. A great deal of research and client testimonials will be beneficial when going this route.
This type of account is very similar too mutual funds, in where many investors pool their money together in a separate account and share the profits after fees and expenses. With pooled accounts, there are often a variety of pools to choose from. Each may be offering different risk levels, minimum deposits, investment strategies, currencies traded, and fees and expenses. These types of accounts are managed for a variety of investors, requiring you to choose or be advised on which pool suits your needs. Unlike individual accounts, the manager is trading for numerous investor desires. To help determine an account for you, each fund will have years of past performance for review. A main benefit of pooled accounts is the lower minimum deposit required to enter, being as low as $2000. Although, there are often minimum participation requirements upon entering a pool fund. These are all factors you need to consider before diving in.
PAMM, LAMM, & MAMM Accounts
These types of accounts use sophisticated technology to distribute profits, losses, and fees based on percentages of funds each investor has involved in the master account used for trading. These account methods are relatively new in comparison with the other two listed here, and offer the satisfaction of dealing directly with the broker of your choice in a secure and transparent way. It’s similar to the mirror and copy trading features some brokers offer, because of the automation and technicality. Although, it still has more similarities to a managed account. All these types of accounts are basically pool accounts, in the sense that numerous investors pool their money together and reap the profits or losses of the money manager.
What should you look for in a managed forex account?
There are numerous things to consider when opening a managed forex account and you must always be careful when selecting a money manager. You need to use due diligence ensuring the money manager is reputable and trustworthy. The forex industry is known to have some notable scammers in the past, so extra precautions must be made to guarantee safe and secure management. Not only do you need to take precaution when choosing your money manager, but also in the type of account that’s suitable for your needs. Below are some things to look for when choosing a managed forex account.
- The risk level of an account or manager is something to consider. When trading with an individual account, you want to choose a money manager who’s trading style and history is at the level of risk you’re comfortable with. You can advise your money manager on how to trade, but by choosing one that trades with your level of risk already can make all the difference. As well, with trading accounts, you want to choose a pool with your appropriate risk level and trading method.
- Another important factor are the fees, expenses, and minimum deposits involved with a trading account. Many firms will charge performance fees to your account. These fees can vary greatly based on the account type, and risk level of such an account. These rates can range from anywhere between 10%-35% and some cases even higher. These rates are in accordance to a principle called the “High Water Mark”. This protocol is applied to your account if at the end of each month your net balance is higher than a certain percentage. If this is the case, your account will be deducted the performance fee which is a certain percentage. Some brokerages may also charge an account management fee on top of the other fees for following a specific formula. Also in some cases, there can be a fee for the termination of account in the event of transferring all funds.
- An important factor when choosing a reputable managed forex account is the availability of past performance history. Past performance may not be an indicative factor of future results, but at least the history shows experience of the forex account. There should be published history of at least a few years for a reputable brokerage managed account.
How to open a managed forex account?
Opening a managed forex account is more complicated than you might think. That is why we’ve created a detailed list pertaining to the necessary steps involved. Discover the intricate process in great detail below;
- Before you make the necessary steps to opening an account, you must first determine your risk tolerance. You need to know this so you know who to look for in a money manager, you can view their track record and overall risk score. Another point that goes along with this are your goals. If you want to make higher profits in a short amount of time, high risk managed account might be the option for you.
- Spend time networking and searching for the right forex trader. There are lots of options out there, but not everyone is right for you. Use your due diligence and research, reach out, and network to find the best possible forex brokerage.
- Once you have narrowed down your list of forex traders, you need to go over each contract. Make sure you feel comfortable with everything and understand the max drawdowns, liability coverage, fees and expenses, and so on. Your due diligence is key in obtaining a successfully managed forex account.
- Again, ensure everything is up to spec with the trader your interested in. View past performance reports, client testimonials, reviews, and anything you can dig up on the internet.
- Once you have completed the steps above you are ready to select a forex trader to manage your account. You’ll need to complete and sign the necessary documents, and contracts including the signing of a Limited Power of Attorney Agreement (LPOA).
- The next step is to receive your account number and transfer funds into the account. The account number is tied to your name, information, and your segregated trading account. Once everything is in order you can go ahead and transfer the funds, knowing you’re with a trusted and secure forex trader by following the steps above.
- Finally, you wait for the money to be transferred, and it’s complete. It really is a simple process. You can have a managed forex account up and running within a few days. Now, you can analyze your account and even learn from the trades that are being made.
Here is our list of the very best managed forex accounts, compiled from our very own in depth research into the topic.