FAQs

Why should I work with Aperio?

Aperio is more than just a money manager. Aperio offers focused expertise in the public equity space and provides our clients both the analytical and consulting support to craft equities portfolios specifically for each investor. Customized portfolios and consulting sets Aperio apart from plain-vanilla index funds and providers.

Does Aperio have a fund? 

Aperio does not have a fund. Aperio manages client portfolios in separately managed accounts (SMAs), so each of our clients has his or her own individually managed portfolio that can be customized around their unique requirements.

Does Aperio use index funds to invest money?

No, Aperio uses separately managed accounts (SMAs) that can be structured to track index benchmarks. Aperio’s SMAs are a form of customized indexing, in which clients own the stocks directly, unlike with an index fund, where fund investors own only part of a fund.

What is the difference between separately managed accounts and funds? 

Mutual funds pool money from many investors to buy securities, and mutual fund investors own a fractional share of the securities held by the fund. Separately managed accounts are individual accounts set up for each investor in which the investor directly owns all the securities in the account.

If I don’t have any gains that Aperio can offset, why should I use Aperio?

Aside from tax-management, investors use Aperio when they need the kind of control over the individual securities in their account that a mutual fund, ETF, or commingled fund can’t provide. Examples include values integration or tilting a portfolio toward certain risk factors. Also, some investors simply want direct ownership or control over the individual securities in their portfolio for proxy voting or corporate engagement. If you don’t have any customization requirements, you’d be better off in a low-cost index fund. We recommend Vanguard.

How do you distribute your services?

The vast majority of Aperio’s clients come to us through their advisors. Aperio works with independent registered investment advisers, multi-family offices, family offices, consultants, and some of the largest broker-dealer teams in the country.

Which custodians do you work with?

We work with most major custodians including Schwab, Fidelity, JP Morgan, Northern Trust, and many others. The client selects the custodian. Contact us for a complete list of custodians.

How do I get my money out?

Because Aperio’s strategies are delivered through separately managed accounts, our clients retain complete control over their portfolios.

What assets classes does Aperio deal with?

Aperio specializes in managing public equity portfolios, though portfolios can be structured to deliver targeted sector and industry exposure. For example, portfolios can be designed to deliver real estate exposure through REIT stocks, or commodity exposure through the stocks of natural resource companies.

Do you do financial planning and broad-based financial management?

We are a money manager, not a wealth manager, so we don’t do financial planning. We do, however, help our clients evaluate how to customize public equity portfolios to meet their specific requirements, including generating tax losses that can be used to offset gains outside the portfolio managed by Aperio, incorporating a client’s values, and/or customizing the portfolio to emphasize targeted factor exposures.

What do you mean when you say "hypercustomization"?

Hypercustomization means that Aperio allows investors and their advisors complete control over all aspects of portfolio design including tax management, values-screening, and factor exposures, either separately or in combination. Comparing Aperio to another money manager is like comparing a deli that lets you make your own sandwich to an airport vending machine that serves pre-packaged sandwiches. The machine offers choices of turkey on white bread versus ham on wheat bread. Aperio lets you specify every element of the sandwich—from bread to condiments, vegetables, and multiple cheese choices. It’s a true made-to-order experience

Your firm has grown so quickly, how do you handle the growth?

We’ve expanded our capacity by hiring staff for systems, operations, and portfolio management, but we haven’t ever lost our commitment to uncompromising client service. We allow growth to occur only to the extent that we can support it, and we’ve turned down opportunities to expand even faster just so we don’t commit the classic overreach so easy for quickly growing firms.

Are you active or passive?

Our philosophy is grounded in indexing, a.k.a. passive investing, but we deliver active management around risk, taxes, values screening, and factor tilts.

Do you back-test your strategies?

Aperio has run certain strategies through back-tests. We offer so many variations, though, that many are not based on back-tests. Back-tests can provide excellent insights into certain strategies, but as human beings we all face the temptation to extrapolate the past into the future inappropriately. The SEC requires financial advisors to disclose that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. We agree, and also add that such a caveat is even more important to heed in the presence of back-tests. It’s wise for any investor looking at back-tests to remember that the investment industry rarely, if ever, shows potential investors strategies that have failed to outperform historically (even though many do). While all the strategies that didn’t work in the past may make for poor sales pitches, wise investors keep in mind that the unattractive outcomes can be just as important to understand as the ones that look so pretty in selective hindsight.

Isn’t indexing boring?

Yes.

Aren't Aperio's strategies messy?

The flexibility of Aperio’s strategies can make them as messy as clients want (for the most part), but we implement simple strategies too, depending on what a client prefers. And we handle the mess—allowing advisors to design a client-appropriate solution.

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal invested. Past performance does not guarantee future performance. Individual client accounts may vary. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Please refer to the "Disclosure" link below for additional information.