Editor's Picks

– Reader’s Perspective: Question and Answer with Martin Federici, Jr., CEO of MF Advisers
– News: Article Round-Up
– Research: Survey Stats on the Go
– Data: Market Sizing Update
– ABLE Act Column
– Events: 529 Conference 2017
– 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

Reader’s Perspective: Question and Answer with Martin Federici, Jr., CEO of MF Advisers, Inc.

What client trends does a full-service, fee-only RIA firm and fiduciary see in terms of college financial planning?

This article features an interview with Martin Federici, Jr., CEO of MF Advisers, Inc. Based in Dallas, Pennsylvania, and Jensen Beach, Florida, MF Advisers specializes in wealth management, investment advice and financial planning. Martin has served as a financial advisor since 2005, and has his series 65 and his AAMS professional designation. In addition to MF Advisers, he is also the CEO of MF Tax & Accounting. Additionally, Martin is active in social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest and Quora) and leverages a monthly newsletter to engage current and potential clients. Prior to MF Advisers and MF Tax & Accounting, Martin worked with Edward Jones as a financial advisor for five years. You can learn more about Martin Federici, Jr., at http://mfadvisers.com/. Last but not least, thank you Steve for your time, insight and support for working with me on the article. Please read the question and answers to learn about his perspective on college financial planning, and hope that the article provides you with an opportunity to learn more from your peers.

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News: Article Round-Up

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

Hired Graduate, “Exploring 529 College Savings Plans with Paul Curley.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Jason for interviewing me in the podcast, providing the transcript of the interview in this article, linking the article back to 529insiders.com and for helping families prepare for college from a financial perspective.
Investopedia, “Is it ever too late to start a 529 plan for college?” Editor’s Take: Ideas on how to motivate your clients to start the college financial planning process. Thank you Steve Stanganelli, CFP, CRPC, AEP, for your perspective in this Investopedia article, and for your time and insight in the recent interview in the 529 Insiders article as well.
Morningstar, “Be strategic in saving for grandkids’ college.” Editor’s Take: Timely topic, and read our 529 Insiders article on how college financial planning can help intergenerational wealth planning here.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

40% of HNW individuals received education and guidance on wealth and money from meetings with their financial advisor, while 44% received it from reviewing information from the advisor and 19% received it from a financial literacy program offered by the advisor. Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to support the intergenerational wealth planning, and we cover the topic in a 529 Insiders article here.
30% of HNW individuals have done nothing so far to prepare for the transfer of their wealth. Editor’s Take: Further evidence that creating a legacy through college financial planning will help you retain assets when the transfer does take place.

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 on its proprietary data, research, consulting and presentations for subscribers.

3Q 2016 Quarterly 529 Market Sizing Data
– 13.0 million accounts invested $272 billion in assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans as September 2016
– 11.9 million accounts invested $248 billion in assets in 529 savings plans as of September 2016
– 1.1 million accounts invested $24 billion in assets in 529 prepaid plans as of September 2016
Source: Strategic Insight

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.

Article Round-Up, News and Resources:
– Data: 1,934 accounts invested $4 million in assets in ABLE accounts as September 2016, according to Strategic Insight.
529 Insiders, “What are the key product feature differences between 529 plans and ABLE accounts?”
ABLE Summit 2017 (post 529 Conference 2017 session – September 13): With the launch of ABLE accounts in 2016, we’re dedicating an entire afternoon to product training, news and trends on how firms are involved in the industry, and how firms can successfully participate in the industry from a consumer, product, marketing, distribution and outlook perspective.

List of Open ABLE Programs:
– Alaska: Alaska ABLE Plan
– Florida: Florida ABLE United Program
– Illinois: Illinois ABLE
– Iowa: IAble
– Kansas: Kansas ABLE
– Kentucky: STABLE Kentucky
– Michigan: MiABLE
– Minnesota: Minnesota ABLE plan
– Nebraska: Enable Savings Program 
– Nevada: ABLE Nevada
– North Carolina: NC ABLE
– Ohio: Ohio STABLE Program
– Oregon: ABLE for All Savings Program
– Oregon: Oregon ABLE Savings Plan
– Rhode Island: RI’s ABLE
– Tennessee: ABLE TN
– Virginia: ABLEnow

Events: 529 Conference 2017

When: September 11-13, 2017
Where: JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando.
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’ gives advice and insight into successfully implementing ABLE accounts.

Updates to the agenda and website:
Andrea Feirstein, Managing Director of AKF Consulting Group, will present the “Plan Governance & Administration Best Practices” session at the 529 Essentials Seminar 2017.
Chris Stack Esq., Managing Consultant of Savingforcollege.com, will present the “529 Primer & Landscape” and “Comparing College Savings Vehicles: How do 529s Stack Up?” sessions at the 529 Essentials Seminar 2017.
529 Essentials Seminar (pre-conference session – September 11): Whether you are new to the college financial planning market or a seasoned pro, this insightful full-day seminar will drill down into the mechanics of 529 plans and provide you with a clear understanding of the ever-evolving tax, regulatory, governance, financial aid, investment and operational implications driving the market today.
Registration for the event is now open.

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Recruiter's Corner: Requests For Information (RFIs)

On February 3, 2017, Ohio Tuition Trust Authority (OTTA) released a request for information (RFI) for investment & actuarial consulting services. Read the RFI here.

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

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February 6th, 2017
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