BOSTON (MainStreet) -- Across the country, states are offering college savings vehicles known as 529 plans.Similar to 401(k) plans, the offerings allow money to be invested on behalf of a child's college expenses. Like a retirement plan, contributions benefit from compound interest.
|Alaska, Maryland and Ohio are among the states with top-rated 529 college-savings plans.|
- 529 plan assets increased by 12% over the previous 12 months (through Sept. 30). That growth outpaced market returns for the period.
- Conservative allocation options in 529 plans gained the most in asset flows during the first nine months of 2011 among Morningstar's static-allocation categories.
- Virginia had the most 529 plan assets of any state, with more than $29 billion in its adviser-sold and direct-sold plans.
- "Open architecture" plans -- which include a variety of asset managers' funds in their offerings -- did not have a consistent performance edge during the past year over "closed architecture" plans, which feature just a single firm's portfolio strategies.