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FRC Report: 529 Plan Assets Dip by 10% in Third Quarter

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The market value of 529 college saving plan assets declined by more than 10% in the third quarter, according to a new report.

Financial Research Corp., Boston, Mass., published this finding in a summary of result of a third quarter survey of 529 college savings plan assets.

The total of 529 plan assets were an estimated $134.6 billion in the third quarter of 2011, a 10.2% decline from $149 billion recorded in the second quarter, the report says.

By way of comparison, the FRC report notes, the S&P 500 index declined by 14.3% in the third quarter, while the Barclays Aggregate Bond index rose 3.2%.

Compared to the year-ago period, however, 529 assets increased by 5.3%. Estimated 529 net inflows were $354 million in the third quarter compared to inflows of $927 million in the third quarter of 2010.

By company, CollegeAmerica (distributed by American Funds) New York’s College Savings Program (Vanguard) and CollegeBoundFund (AllianceBernstein) were the top three 529 plans in the third quarter. Assets in these plans totaled $28.1 billion, $9.4 billion and $7 billion, respectively.