Uptick in new accounts, assets in WVDirect plan
One of State Treasurer John Perdue’s SMART529 college savings plans accumulated significantly more new accounts in the first two months of this year as opposed to the same period in 2017, and also boasted nearly $100 million more in total assets compared to a year ago.
SMART529 WVDirect saw new enrollments make a 156-account gain in January and February compared to the same months in 2017, while total assets stood at $528.4 million at the end of February, up from $451.1 million roughly a year ago.
SMART529 is West Virginia’s officially sanctioned trio of college savings plans. WVDirect is popular with state residents because it can be purchased directly, without the aid of a financial advisor; does not require minimum initial or subsequent contributions; and offers attractive tax incentives. For more information, or to open a SMART529 account, go to www.SMART529.com or call 1-866-574-3542.
“We’re obviously happy with the numbers,” Treasurer Perdue said. “Anytime more West Virginians are enrolling in SMART529 that’s a wonderful trend. Improving our state’s education climate involves saving for college. It’s not getting any cheaper.”
The good news is also reflected in total state accounts across all three plans. The 32,149 total is a high-water mark within the state. Other SMART529 plans include SMART529 Select and The Hartford SMART529. The latter two are available to investors across the country.
The new enrollments in January powered a $2.1 million jump in sales, or total new money paid into the plan, in comparing January 2017 to 2018. January is part of a three-month period thatreflects the success of Treasurer Perdue’s exhortation to make opening or contributing to a SMART529 account a Christmas gift.
In November 2017, investors poured $5.1 million into WVDirect, $1.1 million more than in October. The trend exploded in December, with $10.5 million in sales and on into January’s $7.9 million, which, as noted, outdid January 2017 by a handsome percentage.
“It’s an odd time to make a pitch for opening or contributing to a Christmas-season SMART529 account, but these numbers illustrate that many Mountaineers are doing just,” Treasurer Perdue said. “Again, it’s nice to see numbers that vindicate all the hard work we’ve been doing.”