Author: Vince Sullivan, Director, NEST 529 Direct Plan, First National Bank of Omaha

When it comes to planning for higher education, no two students are quite alike. Some may prioritize pre-professional courses, while others may seek specific professors, sports programs, locations or specialties.

Likewise, when it comes to college savings, we know that different account owners have different goals, priorities and timeframes. To help each account owner fit their unique preferences and circumstances, we offer a diverse and personalized range of investment options to choose from.

With these options, you can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you'd like when it comes to managing your investments. Furthermore, if your strategy changes, you have the flexibility to change your investment option twice per calendar year per beneficiary account.

To help you make the choice that’s right for your unique savings goals, join us for a guided tour of the three paths to investing with NEST 529 Direct:

Age-Based Investment Options

When you choose an Age-Based Option, your account will be placed initially in a portfolio based on the child’s age. Each age-range portfolio has a different mix of allocations to underlying funds, starting out as less conservative and changing to more conservative as the child nears college age.

Age-Based Options make saving for college as simple as possible. You leave the selection of underlying funds and the mix among asset classes to the investment experts, and your account will automatically move to the next age-range portfolio one month after your child reaches each age milestone.

There are three Age-Based Options to choose from.

  • AgeBased Aggressive Investment Option

This option seeks to provide capital appreciation. The investment strategy is based on the understanding that the volatility associated with equity markets can be accompanied by the highest potential for long-term capital appreciation. As the child ages, the portfolio moves to seek income.

  • AgeBased Growth Investment Option

This option seeks to provide capital appreciation and some current income. The investment strategy is based on accepting the risks associated with stocks, which have the potential to provide high returns, and seeking to balance the effects of volatility through diversification in fixed-income securities.

  • AgeBased Index Investment Option

This option aims to provide a balance of capital appreciation and current income through the use of index-based investments. This strategy is based on accepting the risks associated with stocks, which have the potential to provide high returns, and seeking to balance the effects of volatility through diversification in fixed-income securities.

To learn more about each of these options and portfolios, visit the NEST 529 Direct Age-Based Options page.

Static Investment Options

Static Investment Options offer a fixed allocation throughout the life of your account. Unlike Age-Based Investment Options, Static Investment Options do not shift to a different allocation mix as your child approaches college-enrollment age.

There are six Static Investment Options to choose from.

  • The All Equity Static Investment Option aims to provide longterm growth.
  • The Growth Static Investment Option seeks to provide growth of capital and some current income.
  • The Moderate Growth Static Investment Option aims to provide growth of capital and some current income.
  • The Balanced Static Investment Option seeks to provide a balance of growth of capital and current income.
  • The Conservative Static Investment Option aims to provide current income and some growth of capital.
  • The FDICinsured Bank Savings Static Investment Option seeks income consistent with the preservation of principal.

To learn more about each of these options, visit the NEST 529 Direct Static Investment Options page.

Individual Investment Options

Individual Investment Options give you the greatest amount of hands-on control. You can create a savings portfolio that is conservative or aggressive, or you can add one or more Individual Investment Options to an Age-Based or Static Investment Option.

The NEST Direct Plan offers 15 Individual Investment Options from various investment companies. You can choose options in Domestic Equity, US Real Estate, International Equity, International Bond, Fixed Income and Money Market. The FDIC-insured Bank Savings Static Investment Option is not available as an Individual Investment Option, but is included in some Age-Based Investment Options and is offered as a Static Investment Option.

It is important to note that with an Individual Investment Option you do not own shares of the underlying investments, but rather own an interest in the Option offered by the NEST 529 Direct Plan. Furthermore, account owners should always be aware that performance differences for the Individual Investment Options and their underlying funds may result from differences in the timing of purchases and sales and fees charged.

To learn more about these options, visit the NEST 529 Direct Individual Investment Options page.

At NEST 529, our priority is to help you reach your college savings goals. By offering a diverse range of investment options, we strive to make the savings process as personalized and effective as possible. Happy investing!

If you have any questions regarding NEST 529 Direct investment options, contact the NEST 529 team at clientservice@nest529direct.com or call 1-888-993-3746.