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TheStreet Open House

John Hancock Freedom 529 Tops $4 Billion In Assets

Stocks in this article: MFC

BOSTON, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock today announced that assets in its John Hancock Freedom 529 college savings plan have topped $4 billion. The national, multi managed, strong performing 529 college savings plan is sold through financial consultants across the country.

"We are very pleased to have passed this milestone," says John Bryson, head of Product Management and College Savings, John Hancock Investments, which oversees distribution and marketing for John Hancock Freedom 529. "Our account holders have placed a high level of trust in us in helping them save for a college education. We are dedicated to providing the best products and services to help them achieve their goals of improving their future through higher education."

John Hancock's multi-managed approach provides consumers with a choice of 22 investment options and access to more than 25 leading fund  managers, offering a diversification 1 of asset class, investment style and fund manager all in one plan. According to savingforcollege.com's plan composite rankings of advisor-sold plans, John Hancock Freedom 529 ranked 2 nd among twenty plans after five years and 2 nd among eleven plans after ten years, both including and not including sales charges. 2

In addition to the plan's multi-managed platform, and excellent long-term performance, Bryson cites the company's strong brand, as well as its innovative tools and support for clients and financial consultants, as key drivers of the growth.

In order to help customers with key questions and concerns about college planning, John Hancock Freedom 529's website offers four calculator tools in one location:

  • College Savings Planner – looks at how to fund college for one or more students by taking into account total estimated costs, time frames, monthly investments and other key factors
  • Cost of Waiting – helps demonstrate financial benefits of starting to save for college early and determines how much extra you are likely to need if you wait
  • Financial Aid Estimator – helps determine potential eligibility for financial aid and how using vehicles treated as a parental asset, such as a 529 plan, may help in qualifying for aid
  • State Tax Calculator – calculates the value of this benefit if client's state offers tax advantages to residents who purchase their state's 529 plan

And for financial consultants, Bryson says, the difference has been John Hancock Investments' team of 529 Sales Specialists.  This 529-dedicated seven-person team, one of the largest and most experienced in the industry,  specializes in college savings plans and offers advisors expert advice on creating strategies and providing tools to help clients with college savings needs.

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