New Arkansas 529 plan targets registered investment advisers

The state of Arkansas, program manager Upromise Investments, and investment manager Barclays Global Investments have teamed up to offer a new ETF-based 529 savings plan through fee-based registered investment advisers.

Underlying investments consist of iShares exchange traded funds. Investment options include the year-of-enrollment option, four multi-ETF asset allocation options, and nine individual ETF options. The iShares from Barclays Global Investments are widely-used ETFs with low expenses. In addition to the underlying ETF expenses, portfolios are subject to program manager and state administration fees of 0.35% to 0.40%.

TheiShares 529 Plan does not pay sales commissions and is the first to rely exclusively on registered investment advisers (RIAs) for sales. classifies the plan as a "direct-sold" 529 savings plan, although investors generally must purchase the plan through RIAs.
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