BALTIMORE, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM) announced today that its Scholars Choice College Savings Program was once again named one of the two best advisor-sold 529 plans by Savingforcollege.com for both the one-year and three-year rolling periods ending June 30, 2012, based on investment performance, including the impact of fees. Also noteworthy, this marks the 11th quarter in a row that Savingforcollege.com included Scholars Choice among the top 4 performing advisor-sold 529 plans for a quarterly rolling one-year period.
"It may be time for back-to-school, but there's nothing seasonal about our 529 performance," noted Matt Schiffman, Head of Global Marketing for Legg Mason. "As the results clearly demonstrate, we maintain our focus on investment excellence -- and costs -- all year round."
Joseph Hurley, founder and CEO of Savingforcollege.com, commented, "Costs needn't deter anyone from using a 529 plan. In fact, choosing a low-fee 529 with a recognized track record is a great way to start off the new school year right."
Schiffman also highlighted recent enhancements to the plan's investment menu, which further solidify Scholars Choice as a back-to-school essential. For investors who want to build their own portfolio -- or complement another strategy by emphasizing a particular asset class -- the plan now includes individual fund portfolios, each of which invests 100% of its assets in a single underlying fund.
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.
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- and 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
Legg Mason, Inc. is a global asset management firm with $636 billion in assets under management as of July 31, 2012. The Company provides active asset management in many major investment centers throughout the world. 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 plans1, with assets of over $2.8 billion as of June 30, 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 plans2.
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.
The ranking is based on short-term performance (i.e., rolling one- and 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 and/or an investor's beneficiary are not Colorado taxpayers, 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.
While the U.S. Treasury securities in which the U.S. Treasury Zero-Coupon Bond Target Maturity Portfolios invest are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, interests in the Portfolios themselves are not obligations of or guaranteed by the U.S. government. Zero-coupon bonds, and the Scholars Choice U.S. Treasury Zero-Coupon Bond Target Maturity Portfolios, will fluctuate in value in response to changes in interest rates and may experience significant volatility. The value of units redeemed prior to a portfolio's maturity date may be worth less than what the investor paid for them due to the impact of interest-rate changes on a portfolio's holdings.
Legg Mason, Inc., its affiliates, and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to taxpayers. These materials and any tax-related statements are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used or relied upon, by any such taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties or complying with any applicable tax laws or regulations Tax-related statements, if any, may have been written in connection with the "promotion or marketing" of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed by these materials, to the extent allowed by applicable law. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
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 is the Investment Manager and Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC is the primary distributor of interests in the Program; together they serve as Manager of the Program. Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation, LLC, Batterymarch Financial Management, Inc., Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC, ClearBridge Advisors, LLC, Royce & Associates, LLC, Western Asset Management Company, and Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC are Legg Mason, Inc. affiliates. Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. is not affiliated with Legg Mason, Inc.
1 Source: Financial Research Corporation, "2Q12 College Savings Quarterly Update."
2 Source: Financial Research Corporation, "529 College Savings Quarterly Fee Analysis, Second 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 8/12 FN1212867
SOURCE Legg Mason, Inc.