Editor's Picks

– Perspectives
– Perspectives
– News
– Research
– Data
– Events
– Presentations
– ABLE Act Column
– Recruiter’s Corner

529 Dash, Required Reading for Your 529 Education: The goal of the 529 Dash is to address the specific needs and concerns of advisers, accountants and estate planners who sell and service families and institutions in the college financial planning process by providing industry relevant news, product training and best practices. Building upon the product training and trends will be our editorial insight, market data and research. Also, the 529 Dash will provide opportunities for you to learn from and network with your peers based on real life case studies and forums such as the Strategic Insight 529 Dash LinkedIn Group. By reviewing these success stories on college financial planning from your peers of advisers, accountants and estate planners, the barriers to supporting your clients and building your book of business will be reduced.

Please Read, Engage and Share.

Paul Curley, CFA
Editor-in-Chief of 529 Dash
Director of College Savings Research
Twitter: @PaulCurleyBC
LinkedIn: Strategic Insight 529 Dash LinkedIn Group

Perspectives: Editor's Letter

Top-3 Reasons to do the College Financial Planning Business

This article provides an overview of three reasons why you should do the college financial planning business. Based on conversions I have had with advisers, many struggle with why to do the business and how to show the value they provide to the client in the college financial planning process. Therefore, this article provides a short overview of the top three reasons to do the business based on conversations with your counterparts that have been successful in growing their book of business.

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Perspectives: Editor's Letter

ABLE Act Update, 2017 NDSS Buddy Walk on Washington and How to Justify Your Fee as an Adviser

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News: Article Round-Up

Here is what you need to know from stories released this week.

WealthManagement.com, “Six financial planning steps for expecting parents.” Editor’s Take: Help your clients to save, and to save efficiently throughout the college financial planning process. Where needed, help your clients through the difficult conversations and decision points together.
Forbes, “College savings plans: The next big employee benefit?” Editor’s Take: College financial planning employee benefits is on the rise both from an employer offering perspective, and from an employee demand perspective. Having the conversation with both sides will increase your value proposition.

Last Week’s Most Read Story:
New York Times, “New York’s free-tuition program will help traditional, but not typical, students.” Editor’s Take: While the program will pay for the tuition portion of the cost of higher education for certain families such as those earning less than $100,000 per year, it will not cover other expenses considered qualified expenses for 529s such as room and board, fees, books and electronics. Additionally, the Excelsior Scholarship will not pay for graduate school, requires that students graduate on time and that the scholarship recipients work within the state for four year after graduation. Therefore families will need to continue to create and execute a college financial plan.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

Here is what you need to know from data and research released this week.

69% of parents want more specific college financial planning guidelines. Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to add value to 69% of parents through college financial planning.
20% of parents know what a 529 plan is. Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to create value for a client by educating them on 529s and getting the college financial planning started with them. Data shows they would not have opened an account without you, and therefore 529s act as a marker of the value that you have brought them.
3% of households headed by those aged 64 or older have student loan debt. Editor’s Take: College financial planning is a retirement issue, and needs to receive the prioritization as such.

Data: Market Sizing Update

Here is the latest market data by Strategic Insight that can be used by the media and other organizations, and contact Strategic Insight for more information and commentary on its proprietary data, research, events and digital publications.

December 2016 Quarterly 529 Market Sizing Data
– 13.1 million accounts invested $275 billion in assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans
– 12.0 million accounts invested $252 billion in assets in 529 savings plans
– 1.1 million accounts invested $23 billion in assets in 529 prepaid plans
– 4,064 accounts invested $14 million in assets in ABLE (529A) accounts

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This section provides a list of upcoming live presentations and webcasts, and please contact Paul Curley at paul.curley@strategic-i.com if you are seeking a speaker for an upcoming event.

– NAPFA, “Everything you wanted to know about 529 plans (Using them with holistic fee-only planning)” by Paul Curley, CFA, in Edina, Minnesota, on May 9th from 5pm to 7pm. This in-person live continuing education presentation is designed for advisors, but the general public is welcome. Register here.

– Strategic Insight and Legg Mason hosted a live continuing education 529 Webcast on March 29th titled, “Develop an Effective College Funding Strategy” with Paul Curley of Strategic Insight and Stephen Jobe of Legg Mason. Click here for a recording of the event, or read the follow-up brochure here to learn about the topics covered.

Events: 529 Conference 2017

When: September 11-13, 2017
Where: JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
Overview: The 529 Conference is a highly interactive and educational industry gathering where you’ll meet and network with the entire 529 ecosystem. Using a 360-degree perspective, the conference drills down into the most significant trends and challenges facing the industry today and includes critical conversation and debate surrounding the latest legislative developments, product innovations, investment options, distribution strategies, marketing initiatives, consumer trends, regulatory announcements and much more.

Optional sessions are available in conjunction with the 529 Conference to offer attendees additional education and training. The pre-conference ‘Essentials Seminar’ provides an understanding of the granular details of 529 plans in a constantly evolving market, and the post-conference ‘ABLE Session’ provides insight and networking into successfully implementing ABLE accounts.

529 Conference Agenda Updates:
Rosemary Becchi, Partner with McGuireWoods LLP, has been confirmed as a moderator of the “Regulatory and Legislative Update” panel.
Rachel Ramos, Product Manager, Investment Services, American Funds, has been confirmed as a moderator of the “Advisor Perspective: Top Producer’s Panel.”
Registration for the event is now open.

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ABLE Act Column

This section will cover this week’s top legislative updates, product developments, news and resources relating to ABLE accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for certain individuals with disabilities and their families. After-tax contributions grow tax deferred, and distributions from the accounts are tax exempt when used for qualified expenses.

News, Research & Resources:
Webinar, “Managing your ABLE United Account” on April 27th at 8pm
Webinar, “The ABLE Act: A Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes” on April 27th by the LEAD Center in collaboration with the ABLE National Resource Center
Enable Savings Plan, “Possibilities” quarterly newsletter
529 Insiders, “Editor’s Letter: ABLE Act Update, 2017 NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington and How to Justify Your Fee as an Adviser”
529 Insiders, “List of Open ABLE Programs”
Strategic Insight: 4,064 accounts invested $14 million in assets in ABLE accounts as of December 31, 2016.

Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2017 on September 13, 2017 at the JW Marriott, Orlando Grande Lakes

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Recruiter's Corner

Please email job descriptions that would be of interest to the readership of the 529 Dash to paul.curley@strategic-i.com.

Northwestern Mutual, Investment Product Specialist in Milwaukee, WI
Wells Fargo, Product Consultant in St. Louis, MO
The Hartford, Relationship Manager, National Accounts – Wirehouse Channel in Radnor, PA or New York City area
Union Bank & Trust, National 529 Field Representative

April 24th, 2017
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