529 Assets Jump in Q4 2011

February 27, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Total 529 college savings plan assets were an estimated $144.4 billion in Q4 2011, according to data from Financial Research Corporation (FRC), a division of Strategic Insight.

This is a 7.3% increase from Q3 2011 assets of $134.6 billion, and a 4.4% increase from Q4 2010 assets of $138.3 billion.   

In contrast to other products, long-term mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets (excluding fund-of-fund affiliated) increased 6.3% during the past quarter from $8.3 billion to $8.9 billion and decreased 0.4% during the past year, FRC said. Estimated 529 net inflows were $2.4 billion in Q4 2011, compared to outflows of $0.4 billion in Q3 2011 and inflows of $3.0 billion in Q4 2010.  

According to FRC data, the top five 529 plans by Q4 2011 assets were Virginia’s CollegeAmerica ($30 billion), New York’s NY College Savings – Direct ($10 billion), Rhode Island’s CollegeBound fund ($7 billion), New Hampshire’s UNIQUE College Investing Plan ($7 billion) and Nevada’s The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan ($6 billion).   

The top five 529 plan program managers by Q4 2011 assets were American Funds ($30 billion), Upromise Investments ($29 billion), TIAA-CREF ($12 billion), Fidelity ($11 billion) and AllianceBernstein ($7 billion).  

More information is available at http://www.frcnet.com.