The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for July 20, 2011

EdVest Changes Make Saving for College Easier


Earlier this month, Edvest, the Wisconsin College Savings Plan, announced several changes.

“The addition of three index portfolios provides more low-cost options for plan participants, which makes saving for college easier for Wisconsin families,” said Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Program Director Jim DiUlio. “We are very excited about these enhancements to EdVest.

Three new portfolios result in index options across nearly all asset classes

A new Vanguard International Index Portfolio has been added to the EdVest plan. The portfolio invests entirely in the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund, providing a 100% international index investment option. In addition, the existing Baird Bond Portfolio and Legg Mason Aggressive Portfolio have been transformed into low-cost index portfolios. The Baird Bond Portfolio has become the Vanguard Bond Index Portfolio, and the Legg Mason Aggressive Portfolio has become the Vanguard Small Cap Index Portfolio. These two shifts result in reductions to underlying fund expenses of nearly 23 basis points and 71 basis points, respectively (100 basis points equals 1.00%).

“We consider any opportunity to reduce expenses as a significant benefit to families working toward their goal of affording a higher education for their children,” said Sarah Henriksen, vice president of education planning with Wells Fargo Funds Management. “Collectively, these changes add up to an estimated savings of more than $500,000 per year for existing investors combined.”

With these changes, EdVest now offers five low-cost Vanguard options that cover international, domestic, fixed-income, and balanced asset classes to complement the Wells Fargo diversified portfolios currently available in the plan.

Actively managed portfolios reallocated to help capture emerging markets opportunities

The underlying investments in the four Wells Fargo-blended portfolios with an equity component have been reallocated to gain direct exposure to emerging markets. Emerging markets have proven to be one of the few sources of robust economic growth over the past 10 years. They contributed more than 50% to global growth in the late 2000s and have seen their share of global gross domestic product increase from 24% to more than 35% over the past five years. Emerging markets provide a way to add additional economic diversification while maintaining a level of volatility that has generally been consistent with domestic small-cap stocks.

To learn more about EdVest, please visit EdVest.com, where you can find detailed information about the program, request an enrollment kit, or even enroll online. If you would like to speak with an EdVest specialist, please call 1-888-EdVest-WI (1-888-338-3789). Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

EdVest portfolios may invest in stock and bond investments. Stock investment values fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions. Bond investment values fluctuate in response to the financial condition of individual issuers, general market and economic conditions, and changes in interest rates. In general, when interest rates rise, bond investment values fall and investors may lose principal value. Foreign investments are especially volatile and can

rise or fall dramatically due to differences in the political and economic conditions of the host country. These risks are generally intensified in emerging markets. Consult a program description for additional information on these and other risks. There is no guarantee that an account will grow enough to cover higher education expenses.

An investor’s or a designated beneficiary’s home state may offer state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. Please consider this before investing.

For more complete information about EdVest, obtain a current program description by calling 1-888-338-3789, visiting EdVest.com, or contacting your investment professional. Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the investment carefully before investing. This and other information about EdVest can be found in a current program description. Please read it carefully before investing. 

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