529 Conference 2016: Interview with Chris Stack Esq., Managing Consultant with SavingforCollege.com

By Paul Curley | paul.curley@strategic-i.com | February 24, 2017

What is Chris Stack’s perspective on 529 sales with advisers?

This article features a transcript of a video interview with Chris Stack Esq., Managing Consultant with SavingforCollege.com, from Day 1 of the 529 Conference 2016. At the event, Chris taught “The 529 Landscape” and “Comparing College Savings Vehicles: How do 529s Stack Up?” sessions at the ‘529 Essentials’ pre-conference seminar, and moderated the “Distribution Strategies – View from the Independent RIA Channel” session at the 529 Conference 2016. Since 2001, Chris has led the Savingforcollege.com consulting and educational services. Currently, Chris advises and consults with several major investment companies and presents nationally to financial advisors, as well as accountants, attorneys, employers and actual investors on 529 plans. For over 25 years, he has been a practicing attorney and was previously a partner at a major New York law firm. Prior to SavingforCollege.com and the law firm, Chris graduated from Fordham College and Fordham University School of Law located in New York City. You can watch the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/ZtumXVTLy18, and learn more about Chris Stack and his firm at SavingforCollege.com. Last but not least, thank you Chris for your time, insight and support for working with me on the interview, and we look forward to your presentations at the 529 Conference 2017 as well. Please read the question and answer to learn about his perspective on advisor-sold 529 distribution, and hope that the article provides you with an opportunity to learn more from your peers.

Question 1 (Paul Curley, Editor of the 529 Dash): What is your perspective on 529 sales with advisers?

Answer 1 (Chris Stack Esq., Managing Consultant with SavingforCollege.com): Thanks Paul. My perspective on the issue of advisor-sold 529 plans versus direct is that advisers are missing out on a huge opportunity to serve an important need for their client. When you see the growth of the direct plans, there is clear evidence that there is a need and that families are taking it upon themselves to prepare for these costs. The costs being typically for an independent college a quarter of a million dollars today. And so if the adviser has a grandparent with five grandchildren, you’re looking (at) well over a million dollars just for this need alone. So I remain perplexed why advisers are not more aggressive in addressing this need with their clients and helping them grow their own book. Although I am aware that there many regulatory and logistical issues that sometimes makes doing this business unappealing.

Editor’s Final Note: Thank you Chris Stack for your time and insight at the 529 Conference 2016, and we look forward to your presentations at 529 Conference 2017. Also, I would like to provide a special thank you to the readers for learning from your peers, for your support and your engagement. Learn more about the 529 Conference 2017 at www.529conference.com.