COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

2008 Plan Performance Rankings Q1
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/2008-plan-performance-rankings-q1

Posted: 2008-06-03

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for 1-year investment performance and for 3-year investment performance.

The Top Performing 529 Plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The lower the "percentile" the better the ranking. For more details on our methodology click here.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers (click here).

These rankings are for periods ended March 31, 2008.

1-year Performance Ranking

Updated June 3, 2008

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 25.00
2 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 27.35
3 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 29.28
4 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 29.32
5 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 29.76
6 Montana Pacific Life Funds 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) MT 30.36
7 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 30.71
8 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 31.00
9 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 31.64
10 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 32.31

See the full list of 1-year direct sold rankings.

3-year Performance Ranking

Updated June 3, 2008

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 8.38
2 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative R) 13.00
3 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 16.65
4 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 17.83
5 Louisiana START Saving Program 19.77
6 Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) 24.94
7 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 29.73
8 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 35.26
9 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 38.63
10 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 39.18

See the full list of 3-year direct sold rankings.

For Broker Sold plan rankings, click here.

How to Rank 529 Plan Performance

Ranking over 3000 investment options is no easy task, considering the wide variety of options found in 529 savings plans, and it requires a special methodology.

Step one: We select specific portfolios from each 529 plan that can be compared on an apples-to-apples basis to portfolios in other 529 plans based on their allocation among stocks, bonds, and short-term instruments (money market and guaranteed investments). We've set up seven different asset-allocation categories ranging from 100% equity to 100% short-term.

Step two: Within each of the seven categories, we compare historical performance of the selected portfolios and assign each plan a percentile ranking between 1 (best) and 100 (worst). Separate rankings are developed for 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year performance.

Step three: We take the average of each 529 plan's percentile rankings in the seven asset-allocation categories to produce a combined or "composite" percentile ranking. We then produce reports showing how the 529 plans rank against each other in their composite percentile rankings. Note: we currently produce these composite rankings for 1-year and 3-year performance. There are not yet enough 529 plans with a 5-year performance history to make a 5-year ranking report meaningful.

For a more in-depth explanation of our methodology, please read our white paper.

See the 1-year direct sold and 3-year direct sold rankings.

More Information

Links to our full report on the composite rankings for Q1 2008 are provided below for the direct-sold 529 plans. Only our Premium subscribers have access to composite rankings for adviser-sold 529 plans, to the underlying data supporting the rankings, and to separate 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year rankings for each of the seven different asset-allocation categories. In addition, subscribers can easily look up the historical performance for every 529 portfolio in every available share class by using our Fee and Performance Lookup Tool.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for 1-year investment performance and for 3-year investment performance.

The Top Performing 529 Plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The lower the "percentile" the better the ranking. For more details on our methodology click here.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers (click here).

These rankings are for periods ended March 31, 2008.

1-year Performance Ranking

Updated June 3, 2008

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 25.00
2 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 27.35
3 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 29.28
4 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 29.32
5 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 29.76
6 Montana Pacific Life Funds 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) MT 30.36
7 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 30.71
8 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 31.00
9 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 31.64
10 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 32.31

See the full list of 1-year direct sold rankings.

3-year Performance Ranking

Updated June 3, 2008

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 8.38
2 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative R) 13.00
3 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 16.65
4 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 17.83
5 Louisiana START Saving Program 19.77
6 Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) 24.94
7 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 29.73
8 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 35.26
9 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 38.63
10 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 39.18

See the full list of 3-year direct sold rankings.

For Broker Sold plan rankings, click here.

How to Rank 529 Plan Performance

Ranking over 3000 investment options is no easy task, considering the wide variety of options found in 529 savings plans, and it requires a special methodology.

Step one: We select specific portfolios from each 529 plan that can be compared on an apples-to-apples basis to portfolios in other 529 plans based on their allocation among stocks, bonds, and short-term instruments (money market and guaranteed investments). We've set up seven different asset-allocation categories ranging from 100% equity to 100% short-term.

Step two: Within each of the seven categories, we compare historical performance of the selected portfolios and assign each plan a percentile ranking between 1 (best) and 100 (worst). Separate rankings are developed for 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year performance.

Step three: We take the average of each 529 plan's percentile rankings in the seven asset-allocation categories to produce a combined or "composite" percentile ranking. We then produce reports showing how the 529 plans rank against each other in their composite percentile rankings. Note: we currently produce these composite rankings for 1-year and 3-year performance. There are not yet enough 529 plans with a 5-year performance history to make a 5-year ranking report meaningful.

For a more in-depth explanation of our methodology, please read our white paper.

See the 1-year direct sold and 3-year direct sold rankings.

More Information

Links to our full report on the composite rankings for Q1 2008 are provided below for the direct-sold 529 plans. Only our Premium subscribers have access to composite rankings for adviser-sold 529 plans, to the underlying data supporting the rankings, and to separate 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year rankings for each of the seven different asset-allocation categories. In addition, subscribers can easily look up the historical performance for every 529 portfolio in every available share class by using our Fee and Performance Lookup Tool.

 

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