Steve Martin once observed famously that in order to become a millionaire and never pay taxes you must "First, get a million dollars." If investing were actually that simple, then the separately managed account business would probably be the most lucrative investment vehicle around.

But the managed account, which many consider a tax-friendly instrument, has long been geared toward the very wealthy, often requiring a minimum investment of $150,000 or more. While that investment minimum seems to be getting lower in recent years, it still remains a product for high-net-worth individuals.

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