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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...

When it's OK to save in a child's name

September 21, 2014

Need-based college aid eligibility is determined by the following formula: A college's cost of attendance - the expected family contribution = need-based aid eligibility. The expected family contribution is determined by submitting one or both...

Student loans imperil parents' retirement

September 16, 2014

As student loan balances continue to rise, advisers have a warning for clients who are inclined to help by cosigning or taking out a loan on the behalf of a child: When you borrow, you imperil your retirement. Take it from Larry Rosenthal, president...

College savings in 529 plans hit record high. Find out how the numbers break down.

September 9, 2014

The amount Americans are setting aside to pay for college is on the rise so far in 2014, with assets in Section 529 college savings plans reaching a record $244 billion at the end June, according to data released Tuesday by the College Savings...

How advisers can help solve the student loan crisis

September 8, 2014

With student loan debt officially reaching the trillions, the U.S. Executive Branch, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the general public are worried about the effect of this massive debt on the American economy — and they should...

Advisers weigh college costs for clients' children

September 7, 2014

This is the second in an occasional series looking at the student loan crisis and the role advisers play in navigating it. College planning today is much less about doing everything to make sure students attend their dream schools and a lot...

Morgan Stanley bets big on stocks

September 2, 2014

Morgan Stanley gets ultra-bullish, says the S&P's 200% climb off the bottom is just the beginning. S&P at 3,000 is possible Millennials are losing ground in retirement planning by living in the moment. Financial advisers have their work cut...

Top adviser-sold 529 college plans

August 25, 2014

SavingforCollege.com recently ranked the top adviser-sold Section 529 college savings plans based on their five-year performance. Each plan’s composite ranking is based on the average of its percentile ranking in seven asset allocation categories....

Volatility looks cheap and risky

July 10, 2014

Volatility looks like the last cheap asset class. This could be a really good opportunity, or a really bad sign, or both. Its lowest level since 2007 Barclays bets on women with an index and exchange-traded note that offers concentrated exposure...

7 ways to help clients tackle student loans

June 16, 2014

Advisers have a tough task in helping young clients prioritize money outlays, with goals of paying off student debt potentially competing with buying a home and saving for retirement. These tips address the core considerations of planning for...

Failure to launch hurts all of us

June 15, 2014

The debt levels of college graduates have reached crisis proportions. The issue was highlighted last week when President Barack Obama expanded a program in which 5 million more college graduates will be able to cap their annual college loan...

Investors rush to safety in gold as Iraq falls

June 13, 2014

Gold shines as Iraq deteriorates. The price of the precious metal is heading toward its first back-to-back weekly gain since April. Investors move toward safe-haven positions Oil prices jump to a nine-month high as Islamist militants try to...

Oil spikes to a three-month high as Iraq's stability crumbles

June 12, 2014

Oil jumps to a three-month high as militants march on toward Bagdad. This can't be good. The insurgency is hitting financial markets and global currencies Hedge funds are taking issue with Obama's student loan plan. The President's latest executive...

Behind the drop in college admission rates

June 1, 2014

When college admissions decisions were finalized this spring, Stanford University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, admitted a record low percentage of students, a mere 5.9% of its 42,167 applicants. Harvard, Yale, MIT,...

529 plans an easier sell for advisers as equity markets shine

May 29, 2014

Americans continue to invest their college savings dollars through tax-advantaged Section 529 plans, with assets nearing $200 billion at the close of 2013, a 20% boost from the year before, according to Morningstar Inc. Equity market gains,...

Social Security training course covers program nuts and bolts

April 8, 2014

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a promising new Social Security training program for financial advisers and vowed to report back with my thoughts after taking a one-day online course. I was impressed with the scope of material covered during...

Passive investments now available in adviser-sold 529 plans

March 24, 2014

Advisers have a new, cheaper portfolio option for clients who invest in Rhode Island's $7 billion college savings plan. Starting Monday, the adviser-sold Section 529 college savings plan CollegeBoundFund offers an age-based investment that tracks...

CFP Board moves to strengthen academic underpinning of planning profession

March 13, 2014

The Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards Inc. will establish a new doctoral program, launch an academic journal and explore the feasibility of an academic center, the organization said Thursday. The moves are part of the CFP Board’s...

Now it's the grandparents who are saving in 529 plans

March 11, 2014

As parents across the country struggle to save up for the soaring costs of college, some may be overlooking a surprisingly lucrative fundraising strategy: guilt-tripping the grandparents. About two-thirds of grandparents whose grandkids plan...

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