Hello, I read a question someone asked you about College Saving Plans and I read your answer about Bright Start. Basically, they didn’t get rid of a management company that was responsible for losing a lot of money. My question to you is! I have a Bright Start account for my daughter that is now 11 years old. I haven’t invested any money into it but before I do. I would like to know should I invest money or pull the account and start over?. I don’t want to lose money when it’s time to send my daughter to college. Is this the best plan for my family? Did Birght Start finally fire the management company? Also, I am thinking of opening another account for my 9 month old. Should I go with another company for the College Savings Plan?. I hope this email reach you and you can help.

Thank you.

Terry Says:  You can invest in any state’s 529 plan — and use the money for college in any state.  So I typically recommend the Vanguard 529 Plan because of its low costs.  Just go to Vanguard.com and it’s easy to open an account.  Here’s a link to that page at Vanguard.  If you really want to learn more about 529 plans in general, I suggest you follow this link to www.SavingforCollege.com.

Now, it’s important that I note two things:  First, last year the Illinois Bright Start plan was one of the top performers.  But it does not even rank in the top 30 state plans over the past ten years!   Second, you get a small tax deduction on your state income taxes for contributing to the Illinois Bright Start Plan.   BUT, the answer to your question (and the reason for my personal pique) is that one of the current investment providers in the Illinois plan is the same company that got away with a lot of damage to investors years ago.  So it’s really a matter of principle to me not to give the plan my endorsement.

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