Studies Offer Guidance for Growing 529 Plan Business

Two research studies from Strategic Insight offer guidance to gaining market share in the 529 college savings plan industry.

The 529 college savings plan industry continues to show growth, with second quarter 2014 assets reaching nearly $225 billion and net flows at $3 billion. The industry is projected to nearly double by 2019, providing an opportunity for plan providers, investment managers, and advisers to gather assets.

Strategic Insight, an Asset International company which provides mutual fund industry research and business intelligence, has published two research studies offering guidance to product providers and distributors looking to gain market share in the 529 college savings plan industry. 

The first study, “529 College Savings Industry Analysis, 2014,” was published in June, based on a survey of more than 1,000 consumers. The report analyzes why parents save for their children’s college expenses and which investment vehicles they use. The findings reveal which factors motivate parents to begin saving, why parents use retirement savings and other investments to pay for college costs, and how firms can capture a larger percentage of the more than $750 billion earmarked for future college expenses. 

 Published in December, the annual “529 Distribution Survey, 2014,” analyzed responses of more than 400 advisers from a variety of distribution channels, compensation models, tenure ranks, and asset levels. The report provides information about which factors have the most impact on an adviser’s 529 plan selection, the college savings vehicles other than 529s that advisers are using and why, and what firms can do to attract more 529 plan business from financial advisers. 

The studies can be ordered by contacting Austin Ulep at 617-399-5629 or