529 assets declined in 2008 fourth quarter

Assets in all 529 savings plans shrunk 13 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008, with $88.5 billion at 12/31/08 as compared to $101.7 billion at 9/30/08. Assets a year ago were $111.9 billion. The data was developed by Financial Research Corp. (FRC) and released by the College Savings Foundation (CSF).

CSF members handle $34 billion, or 39 percent, of the $88.5 billion in assets, and experienced a 16 percent decrease or slightly more than the industry as a whole.

Gross 529 sales among CSF members decreased by more than 50 percent in Q4 2008 as compared to Q4 2007. However, redemptions were lower as well. Two-third of assets with CSF members are invested in age-based portfolios.
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