BALTIMORE, Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Legg Mason, Inc., (NYSE: LM) announced today that its Scholars Choice® College Savings Program has been named by Savingforcollege.com as the top-ranked advisor-sold 529 plan in the rolling one-year period ended December 31, 2010.
The ranking is based on investment performance and includes the impact of fees. Scholars Choice has now earned the top rank for five consecutive quarters.
Laura Zimmerman, Head of Product and Marketing for Legg Mason, noted, "We're honored that Savingforcollege.com awarded Scholars Choice the number one ranking for the fifth straight quarter. Since the ranking takes fees into account, this means investors are getting the best returns of any advisory-sold 529 plan. Legg Mason's commitment to helping families save for college is strong and continues to grow."
Joseph Hurley, founder and CEO of Savingforcollege.com, commented, "The need for effective college savings solutions remains high, particularly during economically challenging times. Our rankings give financial advisors important information to help them guide their clients through the college savings process."
Savingforcollege.com, one of the leading experts on college savings, is an independent informational website owned by JFH Innovative LLC. Scholars Choice is managed by Legg Mason's independent investment firms and distributed by Legg Mason Investor Services for the State of Colorado.
The Savingforcollege.com Plan Composite Rankings, which rank Class A Unit portfolio performance for a universe of 36 advisor-sold 529 plans, apply to the rolling one-year period through the end of each calendar quarter.
Savingforcollege.com derives the rankings using each plan's relevant portfolio performance in seven unique asset allocation categories: 100% Equity, 80% Equity, 60% Equity, 40% Equity, 20% Equity, 100% Fixed and 100% Short Term. The plan's composite ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking in these categories. Within each category, portfolios are compared and ranked based on published investment returns. Separate rankings are produced for one-, three- and five-year periods. In addition, two versions of rankings for each performance period are produced: one based on performance without sales charges and the other based on performance with maximum sales charges. Please visit www.savingforcollege.com for more information about the ranking.
Additional unit classes may exist for each plan ranked. Please refer to each plan's program disclosure statement for more information regarding its performance, fees and expenses. For Scholars Choice's program disclosure statement, please visit www.scholars-choice.com.
About Legg Mason
Legg Mason is a global asset management firm with $672 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2010. Through its diversified group of independent investment affiliates, it provides specialized active asset management in major investment centers globally. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: LM).
About Scholars Choice
The Scholars Choice College Savings Program is the advisor-sold College Savings Program for the State of Colorado and is also used by investors and financial advisors throughout the U.S. It is one of the largest advisor-sold 529 college savings plans(1), with assets of over $2.5 billion as of December 31, 2010. Scholars Choice is managed by Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC and primarily distributed by Legg Mason Investors Services, LLC. It is one of the lowest-cost advisor-sold 529 college savings plans(2).
Scholars Choice offers seven Age-Based Portfolios, five Years-to-Enrollment portfolios, six Static Portfolios and three U.S. Treasury Zero-Coupon Bond Target Maturity Portfolios. Investment options encompass a wide range of carefully constructed portfolios consisting of funds managed by Legg Mason affiliates including Batterymarch Financial Management, Brandywine Global Investment Management, ClearBridge Advisors, Legg Mason Capital Management, Royce & Associates and Western Asset Management; and one unaffiliated fund managed by Thornburg Investment Management.
The ranking is based on short-term performance (i.e., rolling one-year period). The performance and ranking discussed are inherently limited and not indicative of longer-term performance. This information should not be the sole basis for any investment decision. Market volatility, interest-rate changes and economic events, among other factors, can affect an investment's short-term returns.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance results used for this ranking, resulting in different rankings that may be lower than those shown.
An investor should consider the Program's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing. The program disclosure statement at www.scholars-choice.com, which contains more information, should be read carefully before investing. If an investor or an investor's beneficiary is not a Colorado taxpayer, they should consider before investing whether their home states offer 529 Plans that provide state tax and other benefits only available to state taxpayers investing in such plans.
Investments in the Scholars Choice College Savings Program are not insured by the FDIC or any other government agency and are not deposits or other obligations of any depository institution. Investments are not guaranteed by the State of Colorado; CollegeInvest, Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC; Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC; or Legg Mason, Inc. or its affiliates, and are subject to investment risks.
Scholars Choice is a registered service mark of CollegeInvest. CollegeInvest and the CollegeInvest logo are registered trademarks. Administered and issued by CollegeInvest, State of Colorado. Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC, Investment Manager. Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC is the primary distributor of interest in the Program; together, they serve as Manager of the Program. Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC; ClearBridge Advisors, LLC; Legg Mason Capital Management, Inc.; Batterymarch Financial Management, Inc.; Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC; Royce & Associates, LLC; Western Asset Management Company and Western Asset Management Company Limited; and Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC are Legg Mason, Inc. affiliates. Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. is not affiliated with Legg Mason Inc. and its affiliates.
(1) Source: Financial Research Corporation, “3Q10 College Savings Quarterly Update.”
(2) Source: Morningstar, “2010 529 College-Savings Plans Research Paper and Industry Survey,” November 1, 2010.
SOURCE Legg Mason, Inc.