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How to help clients invest for college without sacrificing retirement

May 28, 2015

One of the keys to successful investing is balance. Balance is also important when it comes to saving for life goals. For families, the question is often whether to save for college or retirement — or how to save for both, often at the same...

Schwab sweetens 529 plans, cutting fees for active and passive portfolios

May 19, 2015

For clients who have college savings on their minds, Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. just got their attention by slashing fees in their 529 plans. In actively managed portfolios, Schwab is lowering its fees by an average 20%. Expense ratios that were...

Saving for college got tougher last year

April 29, 2015

Fewer parents are finding the money to save for their kids' college. And those who are saving are saving less. After a 30% jump in the level of average savings for 2013, the day-to-day cost of living, combined with lower earnings and unexpected...

Senate Finance Committee OKs changes to college savings plans

April 29, 2015

Legislation loosening the rules around Section 529 college savings plans advanced through a key Senate committee Wednesday. The Senate Finance Committee approved a measure that contains three changes that the House of Representatives passed...

Parent PLUS loans and student loan cosigning: Just say no

April 2, 2015

As high school seniors receive their college acceptance letters and financial aid packages, be sure to tell your clients to think twice about co-signing student loans or taking out PLUS loans to finance their children's education. With college...

Interest rate increases: A boon for senior savers and a disaster for variable-rate borrowers

March 6, 2015

Higher interest rates will be a blessing to many retirees looking at CDs and fixed annuities, but that very same prospect is a terrifying one for debtors, particularly those with variable-rate debt. At the end of February, Federal Reserve Chair...

Factors to consider when choosing a 529 college savings plan

March 5, 2015

Certain nuances of Section 529 college savings plans should be considered when looking for an investment plan that will grow enough to pay for the increasing costs of college. Advisers should begin with an analysis of the cost of the plan, including...

Hospital stocks ride a wave of potential insurance subsidies

March 5, 2015

Hospital stocks rallied on word the Supremes would be hearing arguments related to Obamacare subsidies. HCA, THC, CYH The dollar has hit an 11-year high against the euro. 'A continuation in the selling we've seen all week' An easy road map to...

529 benefits go beyond college savings

March 4, 2015

Advisers who help clients recognize the advantages of Section 529 plans — beyond saving for college — stand to gain business benefits. The tax incentives of 529 college savings plans are the most obvious reason to suggest clients with children...

House approves bill easing 529 plan rules

February 26, 2015

Seeming to rebuke President Barack Obama's retracted plan to tax college savings accounts, the Republican-led House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday that would expand the way people can use money from Section 529 plans. The...

The latest CFA test scores send 56% back to square one

January 28, 2015

While some New Yorkers were shoveling out on Tuesday, a lot of Wall Street-wannabees were sweating over the results of the December CFA tests, which showed that only 44% of test takers passed. Cheer up, less than 20% of candidates pass all three...

Obama backs off 529 college savings plan proposal

January 28, 2015

President Barack Obama is dropping his proposal to tax the earnings on college savings accounts, responding to criticism of an idea the White House announced 11 days ago. A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the issue...

Global bankers are painting the Fed into a corner

January 26, 2015

Global easing by central bankers makes it harder for the U.S. Fed to stick with its promise of hiking rates this year. Caught between a rock and a hard place and a strong dollar and falling commodity prices Greece makes a move toward ending...

Little incentive to use 529 plans under Obama proposal

January 21, 2015

The way Americans save money to send their children to college would likely change under proposals President Barack Obama alluded to in his State of the Union address Tuesday. The tax benefits of the nation's 529 college savings plans and Coverdell...

Should your clients use prepaid college tuition plans?

January 13, 2015

With more than a dozen Midwestern liberal arts schools recently joining the Private College 529 Plan, the nation's only prepaid college tuition plan sponsored by private schools, advisers need to weigh the pros and cons of using such plans....

ETFs losing their luster in 529 college savings plans

December 10, 2014

Interest in offering exchange-traded funds within 529 college savings plans seems to be petering out because the benefits of them fall short when they are held within these tax-advantaged accounts, according to a consultant. Over the past year,...

The season of giving is the perfect time for 529 college savings plans

December 2, 2014

What better holiday present to offer future generations than the gift of higher education? With the holidays approaching, and as financial advisers begin working on end-of-year planning with their clients, now is the absolute best time for them...

Integrate college, retirement plans

November 30, 2014

Since September, I have been in front of at least $5 million of potential new assets under management almost every week. How? I help parents determine their best strategy to pay for college and save for retirement. I focus on four key areas:...

The latest 529 plan data

November 9, 2014

Rank State Program Name Program Manager Assets (in $M) 1 VA CollegeAmerica American Funds $47,551 2 NY New York's College Savings Program (Direct) Ascensus College Savings $16,012 3 NV The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan Ascensus College Savings $10,418...

Morningstar releases new 529 college savings plan ratings

October 22, 2014

The college year now in full swing, Morningstar Inc. has released its ratings of top Section 529 savings plans based on expected risk-adjusted performance into the future. With total assets in the savings vehicles reaching $214 billion as of...

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