BALTIMORE, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM) announced today that for the 12th consecutive quarter its Scholars Choice College Savings Program has secured a place among the top 4-performing advisor-sold 529 plans for a quarterly rolling one-year period. The announcement accompanied the release of performance rankings by Savingforcollege.com, where Scholars Choice was also named the #1 advisor-sold 529 plan for both the one-year and three-year period, based on investment performance, including the impact of fees.
"We're proud to have consistently maintained our standing among top-tier college savings plans for three years running," commented John Kenney, Head of Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation.
Joseph Hurley, founder and CEO of Savingforcollege.com, noted that, "Thanks to possible tax changes, 529s are back in the spotlight. Selecting a cost-conscious plan with a proven track record may help leverage the tax savings from a 529 plan even more."
Savingforcollege.com -- an independent informational website owned by JFH Innovative LLC -- is generally regarded by industry professionals as one of the leading experts on college savings. Scholars Choice is managed by Legg Mason's independent investment firm, Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, and distributed by Legg Mason Investor Services for the State of Colorado.All Savingforcollege.com rankings are as of September 30, 2012 and are based on the universe of 30 advisor-sold plans for Class A share performance (including maximum sales charges). The portfolios within the plans are compared and ranked based on published investment returns. The plan's composite ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking. The program ranked 1, 1 and 11 for the quarterly rolling 1-, 3- and 5-year periods, respectively. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The performance and rankings discussed are inherently limited and are not indicative of longer-term performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance results used for these rankings, resulting in different rankings that may be lower than those shown. Market volatility, interest-rate changes and economic events, among other factors, can affect an investment's short-term returns. Ranking MethodologySavingforcollege.com derives the rankings using each plan's relevant portfolio performance in seven unique asset allocation categories: 100% Equity, 80% Equity, 60% Equity, 40% Equity, 20% Equity, 100% Fixed and 100% Short Term. The plan's composite ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking in these categories. Within each category, portfolios are compared and ranked based on published investment returns. Separate rankings are produced for 1-, 3- and 5-year periods. In addition, two versions of rankings for each performance period are produced: one based on performance without sales charges and the other based on performance with maximum sales charges. Please visit Savingforcollege.com for more information about the ranking. Additional unit classes may exist for each plan ranked. Please refer to each plan's program disclosure statement for more information regarding its performance, fees and expenses. For Scholars Choice's program disclosure statement, please visit scholars-choice.com. About Legg Mason Legg Mason, Inc. is a global asset management firm with $651 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2012. The company provides active asset management in many major investment centers throughout the world. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: LM). About Scholars ChoiceThe Scholars Choice College Savings Program is the advisor-sold College Savings Program for the State of Colorado and is also used by investors and financial advisors throughout the U.S. It is one of the largest advisor-sold 529 college savings plans 1, with assets of over $2.8 billion as of September 30, 2012. Scholars Choice is managed by Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC and primarily distributed by Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC. It is one of the lowest-cost advisor-sold 529 college savings plans 2. Scholars Choice offers seven Age-Based Portfolios, five Years-to-Enrollment Portfolios, six Static Portfolios and three U.S. Treasury Zero-Coupon Bond Target Maturity Portfolios. Investment options encompass a wide range of carefully constructed portfolios consisting of funds managed by Legg Mason affiliates including Batterymarch Financial Management, Brandywine Global Investment Management, ClearBridge Advisors, Royce & Associates and Western Asset Management; and one unaffiliated fund managed by Thornburg Investment Management. An investor should consider the Program's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing. The Program Disclosure Statement at scholars-choice.com, which contains more information, should be read carefully before investing. If an investor and/or an investor's beneficiary are not Colorado taxpayers, they should consider before investing whether their home states offer 529 plans that provide state tax and other benefits only available to state taxpayers investing in such plans. Investments in the Scholars Choice College Savings Program are not insured by the FDIC or any other government agency and are not deposits or other obligations of any depository institution. Investments are not guaranteed by the State of Colorado, CollegeInvest, Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC, Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC, or Legg Mason, Inc. or its affiliates and are subject to investment risks, including loss of principal amount invested. While the U.S. Treasury securities in which the U.S. Treasury Zero-Coupon Bond Target Maturity Portfolios invest are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, interests in the Portfolios themselves are not obligations of or guaranteed by the U.S. government. Zero-coupon bonds, and the Scholars Choice U.S. Treasury Zero-Coupon Bond Target Maturity Portfolios, will fluctuate in value in response to changes in interest rates and may experience significant volatility. The value of units redeemed prior to a portfolio's maturity date may be worth less than what the investor paid for them due to the impact of interest-rate changes on a portfolio's holdings.