Physician's Money Digest, July15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 13

Some parents who have beenputting college money into state sponsored529 plans have been lessthan thrilled with returns over thepast 3 years. With the stock marketin a 3-year bear hug, 529 accountsthat are overloaded with stocks arelosing money. The 529 funds that arebond-oriented, on the other hand,have done very well. Many suchfunds had yields in the 10% rangelast year, with funds that invested inhigh-yield bonds returning anywherefrom 12% to 15%. Most states offerat least 2 options: accounts thatblend a fixed percentage of stocksand bonds, and age-based funds thatswitch money from stocks to bondsas the beneficiary gets closer to collegeage. Some states are addingmore conservative choices, such asguaranteed income funds, whichpromise at least minimum returns.You can compare the various 529plans at www.savingforcollege.com.