OppenheimerFunds Enhances 529 Plan

A wider array of investment options, an adviser-focused micro site and new branding are among the improvements to OppenheimerFunds’ Scholar’s Edge 529 Plan.

The existing investment options now include Portfolio Allocator, which provides the opportunity to invest across 23 individual fund portfolio options covering the major asset classes, as well as alternative investments. Investors can have their accounts automatically rebalanced every quarter. The firm also unveiled a new microsite, AdvisorsEdge529.com, that gives advisers easier access to enrollment kits and educational resources to aid them in conversations about college savings.

The new Portfolio Allocator option provides an opportunity for clients and their advisers to create a fully customized asset-allocation strategy by choosing from any of the 23 Individual Fund Portfolios now available to the Scholar’s Edge platform, which include options from OppenheimerFunds, MainStay, Thornburg and American Century.

Clients who participate in the Portfolio Allocator approach benefit from automatic portfolio rebalancing on a quarterly basis to ensure the investments conform to their current elected asset allocations.

Investors and their advisers can still choose between the two original investment options: an age-based approach with six portfolios ranging from aggressive to conservative, with funds automatically shifting into increasingly conservative strategies as the beneficiary grows older;  and a custom option, which allows clients and their advisers to mix and match any of the portfolios with a wider line up of individual fund portfolio options.

According to Steve Dombrower, vice president and director of college savings programs at OppenheimerFunds, choice is paramount in helping investors feel the conviction they need to make these decisions. The wider array of investment options, along with online education tools, gives financial advisers and the investors they serve the opportunity to create accounts specifically tailored to their investment beliefs and goals, Dombrower said.

OppenheimerFunds also unveiled a new Scholar’s Edge brand and refreshed website, which are designed to promote greater access to educational materials and fund information. Financial advisers will also benefit from a distinct microsite to help them get their clients started on the Scholar’s Edge platform and guide them through the investment allocation process.

When investors have exposure to a more diversified and highly rated array of mutual funds, college can be attainable and affordable, with a start early and save often approach, Dombrower said.

The full listing of funds available on the Scholar’s Edge 529 plan is at the plan’s website.