MADISON, Wis., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Wisconsin College Savings Program today announced that the state’s 529 college savings plans, EdVest and tomorrow’s scholar, will undergo portfolio reallocations this month that will lower expenses for plan participants. The plans serve as investment vehicles that allow families to save for higher education while offering them state and federal tax benefits.
The reallocations made to the plans’ portfolios reduce expenses across the majority of investment options by as much as 14 basis points. The fee reductions will result in annual savings of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for plan participants.
“We want to help families plan for the future by constantly giving them more reasons to invest for college,” said Wisconsin State Treasurer Dawn Sass. “We’ve continued to reduce plan fees and expenses so that families have more of their money going towards meeting escalating college costs.”
The Wisconsin College Savings Program Board voted to approve the changes, which were recommended by Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, in October 2006. Wells Fargo Funds Management manages both plans on behalf of the state of Wisconsin.
“This reallocation is just one more improvement in a series of changes that have been made in recent years to keep this program competitive in the marketplace and an attractive college savings option,” said Sarah Henriksen, vice president of education planning with Wells Fargo Funds Management. “The changes have a dual benefit of reducing expenses and also increasing portfolio diversification.”
The Wisconsin College Savings Program Board and Wells Fargo Funds Management have made multiple fee reductions to keep the Wisconsin 529 plans among the lowest costing plans in the country. In fact, EdVest was recently recognized by BusinessWeek as a “low-cost plan,” offering equity investment portfolios with expense ratios as low as 0.35%(1). Across all investment options, EdVest participants pay an average of only 0.79% in annual portfolio expenses.
DETAILS ABOUT NEW PORTFOLIO ALLOCATIONS
In addition to reducing expenses, which will create an estimated annual savings of $733,000, the adjustments to the underlying investments in the affected portfolios have been made with the goal of strategically broadening their exposure to new asset classes. In conjunction with the changes, the portfolios will increase their exposure to international equity securities, reallocate weightings in the Mid Cap category, and provide direct exposure to the Small Cap category.
Modifications made to the EdVest plan apply to its Wells Fargo Aggressive, Moderate, and Balanced Portfolios. These three EdVest portfolios will diversify to introduce three new Wells Fargo Advantage Funds(SM), including an equity value fund, a growth fund, and a diversified small cap fund.
Refinements to the tomorrow’s scholar plan apply to its six non-Stable Value portfolios and include changes to both proprietary and nonproprietary funds. These portfolios will have greater exposure to growth funds and will increase allocations within its diversified equity income fund.
Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, offers investment solutions for individual and institutional investors. The firm manages the EdVest and tomorrow’s scholar College Savings Plans, as well as the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, a family of 120 mutual funds across a wide range of asset classes, representing more than $116 billion in assets under management, as of 9-30-06. Wells Fargo Funds Management also provides portfolio management services through its Wells Fargo Advisor(SM) program, and customized investment solutions through Wells Fargo Managed Account Services, which is a program of professionally managed portfolios consisting of individual securities.
For more complete information about Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, EdVest, or tomorrow’s scholar obtain a current prospectus or program description by calling 800-222-8222 or visiting www.wellsfargo.com/advantagefunds or by contacting your investment professional. Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the investment carefully before investing. This and other information about Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, EdVest, or tomorrow’s scholar can be found in a current prospectus or program description. Please read it carefully before investing.
An investor’s or a designated beneficiary’s home state may offer state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. Please consider this before investing.
(1) “529s Just Might Make the Grade” by Anne Tergesen, BusinessWeek, January 15, 2007
EdVest and tomorrow’s scholar are state-sponsored Section 529 college savings programs administered by the Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer. Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, provides investment advisory and administrative services for the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, EdVest, tomorrow’s scholar, the Wells Fargo Advisor program, and Wells Fargo Managed Account Services. Other affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company provide subadvisory and other services for the Funds. The Funds and shares in the 529 plans are distributed by Wells Fargo Funds Distributor, LLC, Member NASD/SIPC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.