Loftis: Future Scholar Offers a Range of Investment Options

Interested in opening a 529 college savings plan but not sure which investment track is right for your family?

As South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis explains, many plans offer a “no hassle” age-based investment option or a customizable option.

“Fortunately, South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan offers both,” he said.

So how do these two tracks compare?

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An age-based option allows you to follow an investment strategy based on the age of your child or the number of years remaining before your child is expected to enroll in college. As enrollment draws near, the mix of investments in your account automatically shifts from more aggressive equities to more conservative fixed-income and money market mutual funds.

“I like to use the analogy of a ship pulling into port,” said CPA Roger Harrelson. “When you’re out in open waters you’ve got a little more distance before you pull into port. You can take a little risk of riding the waves up and down.”

But as you come into port, Harrelson said, you want the waters to be calm. “So as the child gets closer to the age of 18, the investments shift over to more conservative type of investments,” he said.

A customizable option allows investors to tailor their investments to their specific needs. For example, you can invest in one or more asset allocation or single fund portfolios. Each portfolio offers a distinct investment objective ranging from aggressive to more conservative. Unlike the age-based option, your investment in these portfolios remains constant unless you decide to change them.

“Whatever path you choose, you can’t go wrong by opening a Future Scholar College Savings Plan and starting early,” Loftis added. “Funds grow tax free and if you file an S.C. tax return, you may be eligible for additional tax advantages.”

For more information on 529 plans and investment options read on:

To learn about Future Scholar’s investment tracks visit