New Jersey, District of Columbia, and Alaska at the Top of Q2 529 Plan Performance Rankings

Savingforcollege.com's Quarterly 529 Plan Performance Rankings list 529 plans managed by Franklin Templeton, Calvert Investments, and T. Rowe Price as the top performers through June 30, 2014.

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Going into a new school year means college is one year closer, and investment returns will help determine how much ends up in a parent’s 529 account.

Pittsford, NY (PRWEB) August 18, 2014

Direct-sold 529 college-savings plans belonging to New Jersey, District of Columbia, and Alaska are reported to have the best investment performance through June 30, 2014, according to Savingforcollege.com’s newly-released Composite Performance Rankings.

The NJBest 529 College Savings Program garnered top honors for one-year investment performance. Investments in the plan, which is open only to state residents, are managed for the State of New Jersey by Franklin Templeton.

The District of Columbia’s 529 plan scored best for three-year performance, but it too has residency requirements. Nonresidents wishing to enter the plan would have to purchase it through a financial advisor, incurring additional expenses. The DC 529 College Savings Program features mutual funds from Calvert Investments.

T. Rowe Price dominated the longer-term performance rankings, with its two Alaska-sponsored 529 plans placing first and second in five-year performance, and first and third in ten-year performance. The plan it manages for Maryland also placed in the top ten for five- and ten-year performance.

In producing its quarterly rankings, Savingforcollege.com compares the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from 529 savings plans in every state. Portfolios are selected based on their mix of stocks, bonds, and money-market funds, aiming for an apples-to-apples comparison in seven different asset-allocation categories.

“Going into a new school year means college is one year closer, and investment returns will help determine how much ends up in a parent’s 529 account,” remarked Joe Hurley, founder of Savingforcollege.com.

Hurley cautions, however, that past performance does not guarantee future returns, and that a plan currently ranking high will not necessarily outperform its peers in the future. "We see some movement in the rankings every quarter, most particularly in one-year performance," he said.

The full reports showing rankings for all direct-sold 529 plans can be viewed at http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/2014-plan-performance-rankings-q2-330.

Savingforcollege.com also produces, for its premium subscribers, separate rankings for advisor-sold 529 plans and for RIA-channel 529 plans, along with the investment data and scoring used in all ranking reports. Rankings are updated each quarter.

One-year Composite Performance Rankings (55 plans ranked)
1. New Jersey: NJBEST 529 College Savings Program (mostly Franklin Templeton funds)
2. California: The ScholarShare College Savings Plan (multiple fund families)
3. Alaska: University of Alaska College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
4. Alaska: T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
5. Florida: Florida 529 Savings Plan (multiple money managers)
6. West Virginia: SMART529 WV Direct (mostly Hartford Funds)
7. Wisconsin: Edvest (mostly TIAA-CREF funds)
8. Tennessee: TNStars College Savings 529 Program (multiple fund families)
9. Louisiana: START Saving Program (mostly Vanguard funds)
10. District of Columbia: DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (Calvert funds)

Three-year Composite Performance Rankings (48 plans ranked)
1. District of Columbia: DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (Calvert funds)
2. Alaska: University of Alaska College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
3. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program – Direct Plan (Vanguard funds)
4. Alaska: T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
5. Florida: Florida 529 Savings Plan (multiple money managers)
6. Utah: Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust (mostly Vanguard funds)
7. Illinois: BrightStart College Savings Program – Direct-sold Plan (multiple fund families)
8. New Mexico: The Education Plan’s College Savings Program (mostly OppenheimerFunds)
9. Michigan: Michigan Education Savings Program (TIAA-CREF funds)
10. Oklahoma: Oklahoma College Savings Plan (TIAA-CREF funds)

Five-year Composite Performance Rankings (43 plans ranked)
1. Alaska: University of Alaska College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
2. Alaska: T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
3. Nevada: USAA 529 College Savings Plan (USAA funds)
4. Maine: NextGenCollege Investing Plan - Client Direct Series (multiple fund families)
5. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program – Direct Plan (Vanguard funds)
6. Maryland: College Savings Plans of Maryland – College Investment Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
7. Michigan: Michigan Education Savings Program (TIAA-CREF funds)
8. Utah: Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust (mostly Vanguard funds)
9. District of Columbia: DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (Calvert funds)
10. South Carolina: Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) (multiple fund families)

Ten-year Composite Performance Rankings (24 plans ranked)
1. Alaska: T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
2. Utah: Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust (mostly Vanguard funds)
3. Alaska: University of Alaska College Savings Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
4. Louisiana: START Saving Program (mostly Vanguard funds)
5. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program – Direct Plan (Vanguard funds)
6. Kansas: Schwab 529 College Savings Plan (multiple fund families)
7. Nevada: USAA 529 College Savings Plan (USAA funds)
8. Maryland: College Savings Plans of Maryland – College Investment Plan (T. Rowe Price funds)
9. Nevada: The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan (Vanguard funds)
10. Virginia: Virginia529 inVEST (multiple managers and fund families)


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