Asset Management

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DEFINITION of 'Asset Management'

1. The management of a client's investments by a financial services company, usually an investment bank. The company will invest on behalf of its clients and give them access to a wide range of traditional and alternative product offerings that would not be to the average investor.

2. An account at a financial institution that includes checking services, credit cards, debit cards, margin loans, the automatic sweep of cash balances into a money market fund, as well as brokerage services.

Also known as an "asset management account" or a "central asset account".

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BREAKING DOWN 'Asset Management'

1. The expense of this service generally restricts it to high net-worth individuals, governments, corporations and financial intermediaries. This includes such products as equity, fixed income, real estate, agriculture and international investments.

2. When individuals deposit money into the account, it is placed into a money market fund that offers a greater return that can be found in regular savings and checking accounts. The added benefit to individuals is that they can do all of their banking and investing at the same institution instead of having a bank and brokerage account at two different companies.

These types of accounts came about with the passing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1997, which replaced the Glass-Steagall Act. The Glass-Steagall Act was created during the Great Depression and did not allow financial institutions to offer both banking and security services.

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