Paulette Miniter comments on ETFs in 529 plans in her recent Smart Money article, “New Breed of 529 Plans invests in ETFs”.
iShares 529 from Barclays is the first 529 plan designed with portfolios that invest exclusively with exchange traded funds. It was launched in August and plan types can be selected three different ways.
First, investors can select a plan based on the year their child is expected to start college. They can also select a plan based on their desired level of aggressiveness (aggressive, moderate, conservative). Barclays also gives investors the option of creating a customized portfolio.
Ms. Miniter considers iShares “relatively cheap”. Annual fees can range from 0.61% to 0.65% for selecting based on risk levels or target date. Fees range anywhere from 0.5% to 1.1% for customized portfolios.
Currently, the iShares 529 plans are only available from a fee based financial advisor.
See the iShares ETF Directory for a complete list of iShares ETFs.