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Best performing 529 plans

Recommending 529 college savings plans to your clients? View the latest rankings of each 529 plan -- from top to bottom -- for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.  

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The Pro 529 Evaluator Helps You Stay Compliant with Regulations

Financial professionals who sell 529 plans are required to act in their clients’ best interests and must adhere to the rules of the MSRB. The Pro 529 Evaluator is a tool designed to help financial professionals confidently recommend 529 plans while staying compliant with rules and regulations.

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Grow Your Practice with Grandparent 529 Plans

529 plans are an effective tool for clients who want to help pay for a grandchild's college education. But, a grandparent's financial gift may hurt their grandchild’s eligibility for need-based financial aid. Here are some important points to cover when discussing 529 plans and college funding with your clients.

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States that Do Not Conform with Federal 529 Plan Tax Laws

529 plans were added to the Internal Revenue Code in 1996 to authorize federal tax-free status of qualified tuition plans. Federal tax benefits of 529 plans include tax-deferred investment growth, tax-free distributions for qualified education expenses including up to $10,000 in K-12 tuition and tax-free 529 plan rollovers. However, some states do not fully conform with the federal laws regarding qualified tuition programs.

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FINRA Gives Firms Until April 1 to Self-Report 529 Plan Share Class Violations

FINRA’s new 529 Plan Share Class Initiative allows firms to self-report any issues with 529 plan share class recommendations and supervision by April 1 to avoid fines. FINRA hopes the initiative will help to remedy potential violations and return money to affected investors as quickly and effectively as possible.

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Top 10 direct-sold 529 plans: Q3 2018

The highly-anticipated 529 plan rankings are here! This slideshow provides information on the top 10 direct-sold 529 plans, including performance score, program manager and how to enroll. Based on 3-year performance as of 9/30/18.

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Morningstar Publishes Paper about How to Increase Interest in 529 Plans

Morningstar Inc. has released a research paper about family use of 529 plans, New Lessons about 529s. The paper shows that getting middle-income families to shift college savings to 529 plans will yield increased investment returns. The paper also provides practical ideas for getting more families to invest in 529 plans.

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Top 10 reasons clients aren't saving for college - and how to respond

When asked why they aren't saving more for college in a 529 plan, clients will typically give one of these 10 excuses. Here are some ways financial advisors can address their concerns and stress the importance of planning for future education costs.

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529 funding strategies for K-12 private school tuition

Help clients take advantage of new potential tax savings by developing an effective 529 funding strategy for K-12 private school tuition costs. With a relatively shorter time horizon and $10,000 annual withdrawal limits, a new calculator is recommended when paying for private elementary and high school expenses.

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Case study: Could a 529 state tax deduction offset the costs of a non-qualified withdrawal?

529 plan expert Vince Sullivan explains how a 529 plan can present a tax-deferred opportunity for clients, even if they aren't planning on using it for qualified education expenses. Find out if a state tax deduction could offset the costs of taxes and penalties owed after a non-qualified withdrawal.

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