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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

2013 plan performance rankings Q1
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/2013-plan-performance-rankings-q1

Posted: 2013-05-15

2013 plan performance rankings Q1

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, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-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.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of March 31, 2013.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

One-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile

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

Three-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile

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

Five-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile

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

Ten-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile

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

For broker-sold plan rankings and fee-based financial planners.

How to rank 529 plan performance

Ranking over 3,000 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 one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performances.

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 one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performances.

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

See the one-year direct-sold, three-year direct-sold, five-year direct-sold and ten-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 one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-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, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-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.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of March 31, 2013.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

One-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 15.04
2 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 29.05
3 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 32.04
4 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 35.20
5 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 35.38
6 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 38.19
7 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 39.36
8 West Virginia SMART529 Select 40.12
9 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 41.12
10 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 42.27

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

Three-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 27.44
2 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 29.83
3 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 30.64
4 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 31.24
5 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 32.63
6 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 33.08
7 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 34.27
8 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 36.35
9 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 37.47
10 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 37.61

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

Five-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 13.68
2 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 25.72
3 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 29.07
4 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 29.70
5 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 30.62
6 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 32.39
7 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 33.65
8 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 33.99
9 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 35.73
10 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 36.40

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

Ten-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 19.01
2 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 26.34
3 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 31.64
4 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 33.60
5 Louisiana START Saving Program 38.48
6 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 41.42
7 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 43.43
8 Iowa College Savings Iowa 43.97
9 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 45.31
10 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 50.36

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

For broker-sold plan rankings and fee-based financial planners.

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