This reflects a 3% increase from the total assets in the savings plans in the previous quarter, when assets were $164 billion, and a 17% increase from the same quarter a year earlier, when assets were $144 billion, according to data from Financial Research Corporation (FRC).
Long-term mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets (excluding affiliated funds-of-funds) increased 1.9% over the past quarter, from $10.210 trillion, to $10.400 trillion, and increased 17.2% over the past year, from $8.873 trillion.
Estimated net inflows to 529 plans were $3.138 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with inflows of $2.429 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The increased inflows reflect that investors are successfully using 529 plans for their intended purpose of saving for qualified higher education expenses. From an industry asset level perspective, 529 saving plans continue to reach year-over-year all-time highs. Therefore investor interest in 529 plans and saving for education in a tax-efficient manner continues to rise.
FRC is a division of Strategic Insight, an Asset International company.