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2009 plan performance rankings Q2
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/2009-plan-performance-rankings-q2

Posted: 2009-08-21

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 one-year investment performance, for three-year investment performance and for five-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 June 30, 2009.

1-year performance ranking

Updated August 13, 2009

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 19.79
2 Nevada USAA College Savings Plan 24.03
3 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 24.41
4 West Virginia SMART529 Select 31.15
5 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program - Direct Plan 31.29
6 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 33.01
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 33.23
8 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 33.46
9 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 33.78
10 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland - College Investment Plan 34.17

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

3-year performance ranking

Updated August 13, 2009

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 23.80
2 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 24.18
3 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 30.13
4 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 30.52
5 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 31.21
6 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 31.61
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 32.45
8 Iowa College Savings Iowa 32.54
9 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 32.93
10 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 34.15

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

5-year performance ranking

Updated August 13, 2009

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 19.15
2 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 30.88
3 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 32.99
4 Iowa College Savings Iowa 33.65
5 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 35.45
6 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 36.39
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 37.28
8 New Jersey NJBEST 529 Collee Savings Plan 38.57
9 Wisconsin EdVest (Direct-sold) 38.96
10 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 39.46

See the full list of 5-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 percent equity to 100 percent 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 one (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, 3-year and 5-year performance.

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

See the 1-year direct-sold, 3-year direct-sold and 5-year direct-sold rankings.

More information

Links to our full report on the composite rankings for this quarter are provided below for the direct-sold 529 plans. Only our Premium subscribers have access to composite rankings for advisor-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 one-year investment performance, for three-year investment performance and for five-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 June 30, 2009.

1-year performance ranking

Updated August 13, 2009

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 19.79
2 Nevada USAA College Savings Plan 24.03
3 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 24.41
4 West Virginia SMART529 Select 31.15
5 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program - Direct Plan 31.29
6 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 33.01
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 33.23
8 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 33.46
9 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 33.78
10 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland - College Investment Plan 34.17

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

3-year performance ranking

Updated August 13, 2009

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 23.80
2 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 24.18
3 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 30.13
4 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 30.52
5 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 31.21
6 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 31.61
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 32.45
8 Iowa College Savings Iowa 32.54
9 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 32.93
10 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 34.15

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

5-year performance ranking

Updated August 13, 2009

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 19.15
2 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 30.88
3 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 32.99
4 Iowa College Savings Iowa 33.65
5 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 35.45
6 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 36.39
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 37.28
8 New Jersey NJBEST 529 Collee Savings Plan 38.57
9 Wisconsin EdVest (Direct-sold) 38.96
10 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 39.46

See the full list of 5-year direct-sold rankings.

For broker sold plan rankings, click here.

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