February 12, 2016

Buckingham Helps Improve Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan

Buckingham’s commitment to do the right thing extends beyond helping clients achieve their goals. The firm’s fiduciary promise to work in the best interest of its clients is also a driving force to do the right thing for all investors. Recently, Buckingham helped families saving for college by playing a part in improving MOST, Missouri’s 529 college savings plan.

“We’re very fortunate to have had the opportunity to help shape the investment choices for the children of our clients and that of the citizens of Missouri,” says Al Sears, Buckingham Chief Operating Officer.

Sears serves on the Missouri State Treasurer’s Advisor Council and had a hand in moving MOST in the right direction. For the past several years, he has worked closely with State Treasurer Clint Zweifel to support efforts to reduce costs while increasing expected returns across state-supported investments for the benefit of Missouri citizens.

In this instance, the benefits even reach beyond the state’s borders since the MOST 529 Direct Plan is open to anyone across the country who wants to save money for college. The changes to the MOST 529 Direct Plan include adding five new portfolios managed by Dimensional Fund Advisors, which Buckingham works with for its own client portfolios. Sears helped by providing guidance on pricing and facilitating an introduction to Dimensional.

Buckingham Director of Investment Strategy Kevin Grogan also reviewed the remapping of the plan’s fund choices to Dimensional funds. MOST 529 Direct Plan participants now have access to funds that are usually reserved for large institutions and private wealth management clients.

“The new fund choices reduce the costs of investing,” Sears says, “which helps investors increase their odds of reaching their college-savings goal.”

Along with new fund choices, a new management agreement reduces costs for MOST 529 Direct Plan by 28 percent, which makes it one of the 10 lowest-cost plans in the nation for age-based investors. A description of all the changes to the plan is available from the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office.