New data shows significant increases in 529 college-savings plan investments since 2012.
Morningstar, an organization that “provides stock market analysis; equity, mutual fund, and ETF research, ratings, and picks; portfolio tools; and option, hedge fund, IRA, 401k, and 529 plan research,” released its 529 College-Savings Plans Industry Survey. Although 529 accounts have not experienced comparable returns as similar mutual funds, the total assets in 529 plans increased by 20 percent, reaching $200 billion in 2013. Advisor-sold plans and direct-sold plans (which do not require the services of an advisor) broke down to $98 billion and $102 billion, respectively. The highest proportion of cash flows were directed toward conservative, static investments in which the asset mix is unchanged over time, as opposed to plans that require more maintenance and change over time. States who market their 529 plans outside of their state borders held a disproportionate share of assets under management, such as Virginia, Nevada, and Utah.
Other 529-related reports produced by Morningstar are available on their website.