The Florida College Investment Plan ranked first among all direct-sold 529 savings plans in one-year and three-year investment performance for the period that ended Dec. 31 in a study by Savingforcollege.com.

Florida's 529 plan, administered by the Florida Prepaid College Board, uses the services of six outside money managers to invest in the plan's five investment options. It is one of the smaller 529 savings programs, with assets of less than $150 million; assets in the direct-sold New York 529 savings program managed by Upromise Investments and Vanguard Group exceed $6 billion.

Other top five finishers for three-year performance included the 529 plans from Iowa and Nebraska. For one-year performance the top five included plans from Utah, Missouri and Georgia. Louisiana and South Carolina, whose plans are restricted to residents of those states, also were among the top five in one-year performance.

For the first time, the number of 529 plans with five-year track records was sufficient to produce five-year performance rankings. The top five performers were Louisiana's Start Saving Program, the College Savings Plan of Nebraska, Nevada's Vanguard 529 Savings Plan, Iowa College Savings and the Utah Educational Savings Plan.

In producing its rankings, Savingforcollege.com compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan.

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