Morningstar, Kiplinger give UESP high marks

UESP has received the 2017 Analyst Rating™ of Gold from Morningstar, Inc., an independent investment research firm, for the seventh straight year. Morningstar released its annual ratings for 529 college savings plans on Oct. 24. UESP was one of four plans awarded the Gold rating, out of 62 plans evaluated.

The Utah Educational Savings Plan continues to be recognized as one of the best plans in the country by respected investment experts.

Morningstar lauded UESP’s low fees, “standout oversight,” and attractive investment options, noting that “do-it-yourself investors and the advisors increasingly turning to its plan will appreciate the flexibility provided by its customizable options.”

UESP’s selection of underlying funds from Vanguard and Dimensional Fund Advisors is a “mix of proven strategies,” according to the analysis.

Kiplinger released its 2017 Best College Savings Plans report in September, naming UESP the best 529 for hands-on investors. Additionally, Kiplinger listed UESP as one of its “top picks” for college savings plans for its low fees and 14 investment options, saying that UESP’s customized options, “combined with low fees and a solid fund lineup, make Utah’s plan a winner for investors who want to do the driving.”

UESP was rated “Gold” or its equivalent by Morningstar 2004-2007, 2009, and 2011-2017; rated “Silver” or its equivalent in 2008 and 2010. The Morningstar Analyst Rating® for 529 College-Savings Plans is not a credit or risk rating. To determine an Analyst Rating, Morningstar’s analysts consider five factors: the plan’s strategy and investment process; the plan’s risk-adjusted performance; an assessment of the individuals managing the plan’s investment options (people); the stewardship practices of the plan’s administration and parent firm (together, parent); and whether the plan’s investment options are a good value proposition compared to its peers (price). Plans are then assigned forward-looking ratings of “Gold,” “Silver,” “Bronze,” “Neutral,” and “Negative.” The top three ratings (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) indicate that Morningstar’s analysts think highly of a 529 plan; the differences correspond to the level of analyst conviction in the ability of a plan’s investment options to collectively outperform their respective benchmarks and peers through time, within the context of the level of risk taken. Morningstar does not rate all 529s every year; it rated just 62 of 84 Plans in 2017.

 Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar analysts’ current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause Morningstar’s expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Morningstar does not represent its Analyst Ratings to be guarantees.

Please visit Morningstar.com for more information about the Analyst Ratings, as well as other Morningstar ratings and fund rankings.