Back To Blog
Morningstar, a trusted investment research and management company, reviews the nation’s 529 college savings programs annually. Once the analysis is complete, Morningstar then complies a ranking of the 529 plans in a report typically released each October.
Ohio’s 529 Plan is happy to announce that the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan retained its silver rating. In addition, BlackRock CollegeAdvantage, Ohio’s Advisor 529 Plan retained its bronze ranking. This makes Ohio one of six states that have both their Direct and Advisor 529 Plans placed ranked as medal class investment options by Morningstar. The high ranking for both CollegeAdvantage 529 Plans highlights the strength of these two college savings plans as well as the industry’s regard for Ohio’s 529 Plan as one of the best in the nation.
Silver- and bronze-rated plans mostly demonstrate industry best practices, according to the Morningstar report, by “offering some combination of the following attractive features: a strong set of underlying investments, a solid manager selection process, a well-researched asset-allocation approach, an appropriate set of investment options to meet investor needs, low fees, and strong oversight from the state and program manager. These features improve the odds that the plan will continue to represent a strong option for investors.”
According to Leo Acheson, an analysist for Morningstar, “Ohio's 529 CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan appeals to residents and nonresidents alike, thanks to compelling investment options and below-average fees. In 2018, Ohio doubled its tax deduction to $4,000 for single and joint filers, further improving the draw for Ohioans. The plan also offers a wide variety of investment choices, which may appeal to out-of-state college savers … The plan retains its Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.”
For the BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan, Acheson says, “BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan retains its Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze, owing to its solid underlying fund lineup and relatively attractive fees versus advisor-sold peer…. This plan has undergone a number of changes in recent years, many of which have resulted in lower expenses for many of its investment offerings.”
Morningstar considers five pillars to determine the ranking of a 529 plan:
- Process — What investment options are offered? If there were recent asset allocation changes, did the program administrator hire a well-respected firm for their expertise?
- People — Who are the underlying fund managers and their expertise?
- Parent — How is strong is the oversight of the program manager?
- Performance — How are the investment options performing and does it set a strong precedence?
- Price — Are the offered investment options of value to the account owner and does the program offer low fees?
Ohio’s 529 Plans — Direct and Advisor — have met or exceeded Morningstar’ expectations on these components. In addition, the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan is one of only four plans in the country to attain a positive ranking in all five of Morningstar’s pillars.
Other honors for Ohio’s 529 Plan
If you looked at other unbiased 529 plan informational websites, you have discovered how well regarded Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, is within the college savings industry. In the most recent Savingforcollege.com quarterly analysis of 529 plan investment performances, Ohio’s 529 Plan is listed as fifth in the nation in the thee-year and second in the nation in the five-year performance category. Additionally, Savingforcollege.com listed Ohio’s 529 Plan as one of its best-rated 529 college savings program across the U.S. Ohio’s 529 Plan also is only one of only four 529 college savings plan nationwide to earn a 5-Cap rating for both residents and non-residents. Ohio’s Direct 529 Saving Plan has received this recognition multiple times for the plan’s attractiveness for Ohioans as well as out-of-state residents.
Other honors include a Kiplinger report, which recognizes Ohio’s 529 Plan as having best age-based portfolio for conservative investors. Kiplinger drew special attention to two of Ohio’s 529 Plan individual investment options: Vanguard Wellington and Vanguard High-Yield Corporate.
Additionally, Business Insider ranked CollegeAdvantage as the third best college savings plan in the nation. Bezinga, a website that offers financial insight, has named Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, as best for performance of the nation’s college savings plans.
Finally, money expert and New York Times best-selling author Clark Howard has placed Ohio’s 529 Plan on his Dean’s List as one of the very best 529 plans nationwide. Only 529 plans that have management fees less than 0.20% annually were named to the Dean’s List.
If you like to read more from this Morningstar report, follow this link. To do more research on CollegeAdvantage and the tax advantages it offers, please visit here. If you are ready start saving for your child’s future college costs in CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 plan, you can enroll online. CollegeAdvantage is your plan, you way.
Posted on November 1, 2018