About the Universe

Advisor Perspectives obtains its data from sources that service the wealth management industry. As of November, 2008, the demographics of the universe were as follows (numbers are approximate):

  • 53,000 accounts. Each account represents a discrete set of assets and liabilities held by an individual investor at a financial institution.
  • $49 billion in total assets, of which $41 billion is in marketable securities and funds based on marketable securities.
  • $782,000 average account size
  • 691,000 positions, where each position represents a security or fund held in an account

The universe is divided into three tiers, based on account size:

Account Tier Average Account Size Minimum Account Size Maximum Account Size
Largest $3.7 million $250k none
Mid-Sized $115k $50k $250k
Smallest $15k none $50k

Since investors typically hold multiple accounts, the investible assets of the investors in the universe are many times greater than the average account size given above.

All of the accounts are attributable to individual investors whose assets are provided by a third party, typically a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), family office, or back-office service provider.

Advisor Perspectives examines marketable securities. Alternative investments (e.g., hedge funds, private equity, venture capital) are not included in Asset Allocation or Most Popular Mutual Fund pages.

Annuities, retirement accounts, and non-term life insurance are classified, to the extent possible, based on their underlying assets. In some cases these assets are marketable securities. In other cases, where only the asset classifications (e.g., stocks, bonds, cash) of the underlying assets is known, those asset classifications are used in the Asset Allocation data. If the underlying assets cannot be classified, they are not included in the universe.