Mutual fund wrap account assets were up 47 percent in 1998, primarily due to investors' growing interest in investment advice, reported Cerulli Associates of Boston. Cerulli expects mutual fund wrap accounts to grow at an annual rate of 25 percent to 35 percent over the next five years.

However, mutual fund wrap programs still constitute a small percentage of all long-term mutual fund assets. As of the first quarter of this year, 2.2 percent of all long-term mutual fund assets were in mutual fund wrap programs, Cerulli reported. This was up from 0.8 percent at the end of 1994.

While this is still a tiny fraction of all mutual fund assets, this reflects a nearly three-fold increase in long-term mutual fund assets involved in wraps, Cerulli said.

The average size of mutual fund wrap accounts is $150,000, much higher than the $50,000 average minimum investment requirements of wrap accounts, Cerulli said.

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