June 05, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
Legg Mason's Scholars Choice® College Savings Program Dominates 3-Yr Performance Rankings from Savingforcollege.com

BALTIMORE, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM) announced today that its Scholars Choice College Savings Program has locked up the #1 spot for advisor-sold 529 plans for the three-year period as of March 31, 2012, based on investment performance. For the first time, Savingforcollege.com gave Scholars Choice top honors for the three-year period both with and without the impact of fees. In addition, this is the tenth quarter in a row that Savingforcollege.com ranked Scholars Choice among the top 4 performing advisor-sold 529 plans for a quarterly rolling one-year period (including fees).

"Tuition continues to rise, making college affordability a major concern for parents right now," remarked Matt Schiffman, Head of Global Marketing for Legg Mason. "With its solid results and active management, Scholars Choice helps investors make the most of their savings, putting college within reach for investors nationwide."

Joseph Hurley, founder and CEO of Savingforcollege.com, noted, "A proven track record is an important criterion to consider when choosing a 529 plan. In fact, over time plan performance may even trump the value of the state tax benefit. Investors and their financial advisors would be wise to factor this into their analysis."

Savingforcollege.com—an independent informational website owned by JFH Innovative LLC — is generally regarded by industry professionals as one of the leading experts on college savings. Scholars Choice is managed by Legg Mason's independent investment firm, Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, and distributed by Legg Mason Investor Services for the State of Colorado.

Ranking Methodology

The Savingforcollege.com Plan Composite Rankings, which rank Class A Unit portfolio performance for a universe of advisor-sold 529 plans, apply to the rolling one-, three-year periods 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 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 scholars-choice.com.

About Legg Mason

  • A leading global investment company with $643 billion in assets invested worldwide as of March 31, 2012
  • A diverse family of specialized money managers, each pursuing long-term alpha-generating strategies with independent thought and analysis
  • Over a century of experience in identifying opportunities and delivering smart investment solutions to our clients

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 $2.8 billion as of March 31, 2012. 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, Royce & Associates and Western Asset Management; and one unaffiliated fund managed by Thornburg Investment Management.

Important Information

The ranking is based on short-term performance (i.e., rolling one-, three-year periods). 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 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, including loss of principal amount invested.

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; 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, "1Q12 College Savings Quarterly Update."

(2) Source: Financial Research Corporation, "529 College Savings Quarterly Fee Analysis, First Quarter 2012."

©2012 Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC. Member FINRA, SIPC.

Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC is a subsidiary of Legg Mason, Inc.

SCHX013129 407444 6/12 FN1211796

SOURCE Legg Mason, Inc.

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