A post from Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs:
I am very proud to announce that our 529 college savings plans have been rated best in the nation by independent analyst Morningstar.
Bright Start received gold medal honors for the second consecutive year. Bright Start plans are purchased directly by individuals. Illinois’ Bright Start was one of only four 529 plans in the country to earn a Gold rating. Bright Directions received a Silver medal for the fourth consecutive year. Silver is the highest rating available because there is no Gold medal in this category. Bright Directions plans are sold through investment advisors.
We are proud of these rankings and the progress we have made to improve our 529 plans and ensure that Bright Start and Bright Directions continues to offer high quality investment options at a low cost. We are honored that Morningstar sees the value in our programs.
According to Morningstar, Bright Start is considered a “Valedictorian” among its peers and continue to be one of the highest-rated plans in the country, thanks to its investment diversity and choice, low costs, and overall structure. Morningstar recognized Bright Directions for its low-cost, well-constructed age based portfolios, and exceptional selection of individual options.
Morningstar assigns Gold, Silver, and Bronze ratings based on five key pillars: Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. This year, both Bright Start and Bright Directions earned an upgrade in the Parent Pillar, which measures if the plan’s leaders are good caretakers of college savers’ investments.
In the past four years, we have worked to reduce fees so that more investment dollars go directly to college savings, which will result in less student debt. These changes have helped the plans grow to more than 600,000 accounts and more than $10 billion in assets.
The Bright Start and Bright Directions programs are another way the Illinois Treasurer’s Office is invested in you. We hope it pays dividends for your children through their lifetimes.
Did you know 529 plans can be used for K-12 expenses starting in 2018? Please contact Mentor Capital Management Inc if you are considering saving for your child’s education, or if you have questions about your current educational plans.