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2012 ten-year top performing direct plans Q4

Posted: 2013-02-18 ranks the performance of direct-sold 529 plans. Direct-sold plans are those that consumers can enroll in without using a broker. We have prepared both one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performance tables.

To prepare this ranking, we compared a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. We selected portfolios based on their mix of stocks, bonds and money market funds, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison in seven asset-allocation categories. The lower the "percentile," the better the ranking.

This ranking could be a useful tool for you when selecting which direct 529 plan might be right for you.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2012 for Direct-sold 529 plans.

Ten-year performance ranking (click here for one-year performance table, three-year performance table, and five-year performance table,) :

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 20.19
2 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 27.20
3 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 33.07
4 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 34.36
5 Louisiana START Saving Program 40.90
6 Iowa College Savings Iowa 43.58
7 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 45.20
8 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 49.40
9 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative RI) 56.13
- Alabama College Counts 529 Fund (Direct-sold) NA
- Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan NA
- Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan NA
- California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan NA
- Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan NA
- Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) NA
- Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan NA
- District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) NA
- Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan NA
- Georgia Path2College 529 Plan NA
- Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program NA
- Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) NA
- Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan NA
- Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) NA
- Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) NA
- Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan NA
- Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust NA
- Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series NA
- Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan NA
- Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program NA
- Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan NA
- Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program NA
- Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) NA
- Montana Montana Family Education Savings Program Investment Plan NA
- Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan NA
- Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan NA
- Nevada SSgA Upromise College Fund NA
- Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan NA
- New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan NA
- New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan NA
- New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) NA
- New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan NA
- North Carolina National College Savings Program NA
- North Dakota College SAVE NA
- Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan NA
- Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan NA
- Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan NA
- Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan NA
- South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) NA
- Tennessee TNStars College Savings 529 Program NA
- Texas Texas College Savings Plan NA
- Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust NA
- Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan NA
- West Virginia SMART529 Select NA
- West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct NA
- Wisconsin Edvest College Savings Plan NA

NA = Not Applicable = Program does not have at least one portfolio with sufficiently-long performance in a minimum of four asset allocation categories under our ranking model.

The plan composite rankings are derived using the plans' relevant portfolio performance in seven unique asset allocation categories. The asset-allocation categories used are: 100 percent equity, 80 percent equity, 60 percent equity, 40 percent equity, 20 percent equity, 100 percent fixed and 100 percent short term. The plan composite ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking in the seven categories.

The performance data underlying these rankings represent past performance and are not a guarantee of future performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data used. A plan portfolio's investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor's shares or units when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investors should carefully consider plan investment goals, risks, charges and expenses by obtaining and reading the plan's official program description before investing. Investors should also consider whether their beneficiary's home state offers any tax or other benefits that are available for investments only in such state's 529 plan.

Brokers, please note: For internal use only and not for use with or to be shown to the investing public.

Disclaimer: Saving For College, LLC shall not be liable for any errors or omissions in this report. Users should rely on official program disclosures.

For broker-sold plan rankings, click here.

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