In the fall of 2015, CollegeCounts 529 Fund – Direct Plan received quite an honor from Morningstar, one of the leading sources for independent investment research: a Bronze rating, signifying CollegeCounts as one of the better options for a 529 plan nationwide.
Then in the fall of 2017, that honor was upgraded to a Silver rating, signifying CollegeCounts 529 Fund – Direct Plan was one of the best options for a 529 plan in the country.
This past fall, the good news continued as CollegeCounts 529 Fund – Direct Plan was yet again awarded a Silver rating by Morningstar, proving that CollegeCounts is still one of the best 529 plans in the country.
In 2018, Morningstar evaluated 62 different 529 plans representing 95% of invested 529 assets. Of the plans that were evaluated, only four plans received a Gold rating and nine plans received a Silver rating. We are proud to have received a Silver rating from Morningstar for the second consecutive year!
Here’s what Morningstar had to say about CollegeCounts 529 in 2018:
• “Alabama’s CollegeCounts 529 Fund remains an exceptional plan, thanks in large part to multiple layers of oversight.”
• “The age-based portfolios and six static balanced portfolios invest in straightforward, high-quality strategies.”
• “…[T]he plan still offers an impressive selection of individual options for investors to create custom portfolios.”
• “Alabamians’ $5,000 (single) or $10,000 (joint) income tax deduction on contributions gives residents little reason to look elsewhere. The plan also deserves a look from nonresidents, particularly do-it-yourselfers.” 1
Since 2012, Morningstar has used five pillars of assessment to determine their best-in-class ratings:
Process – Did the plan hire an experienced asset allocator to design a thoughtful, well-diversified glide path for the age-based portfolios? What suite of investment options is offered?
People – What is Morningstar’s assessment of the underlying money managers’ talent, tenure, and resources?
Parent – Are the program manager and investment manager good caretakers of college savers’ capital? Is the state managing the plan professionally?
Performance – Have the plan’s options earned their keep with solid, risk-adjusted returns over relevant time periods?
Price – Are the investment options a good value?
Each pillar is given a positive, neutral, or negative rating. CollegeCounts 529 fared very well in this evaluation once again, scoring the same marks as the previous year: a positive rating in Process, People, and Parent and a neutral rating in Performance and Price.
To learn more about Morningstar’s rating system, or to compare CollegeCounts to various other 529 plans, visit Morningstar.com.
If you don’t already have a CollegeCounts account, visit CollegeCounts529.com to learn more about Alabama’s Silver-rated program and start saving today.