529 Plan Assets Increase in Q1 2012

Total 529 college savings plan assets were an estimated $158.3 billion in Q1 2012, according to data from Financial Research Corporation (FRC), a division of Strategic Insight.

This is a 9.6% increase from Q4 2011 assets of $144.4 billion, and an 8.1% increase from Q1 2011 assets of $146.4 billion.`

Compared with other products, long-term mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets (excluding fund-of-fund affiliated) increased 10.6% over the past quarter, from $8.9 trillion, to $9.8 trillion, and increased 4.9% over the past year, from $9.4 billion. Estimated 529 net inflows were $2.9 billion in Q1 2012 compared to inflows of $2.4 billion in Q4 2011 and inflows of $3.3 billion in Q1 2011.

The top five 529 plans by Q4 2011 assets, FRC data found, were CollegeAmerica –Virginia ($33 billion), NY College Savings – Direct -New  York ($11 billion), CollegeBoundfund -Rhode Island ($8 billion), UNIQUE College Investing Plan -New Hampshire ($7 billion), The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan -Nevada ($7 billion), Next Gen -Advisor -Maine ($6 billion), Utah Ed Savings Plan Trust (UESP) -Utah ($5 billion) , ScholarShare College Savings Plan -California ($4 billion) , BlackRock College Advantage -Ohio ($4 billion) and U.Fund College Investing Plan – Massachusetts ($4 billion).

The top five 529 plan program managers by Q1 2012 assets were American Funds ($33 billion), Upromise Investments ($32 billion), TIAA-CREF ($13 billion), Fidelity ($12 billion) and AllianceBernstein ($8 billion).  

More information is available here.