Investment Options

Every family has different time frames, needs and goals. So we offer you a wide range of investment choices to help you build your 529 college savings strategy.

The Edvest 529 College Savings Plan offers a choice of 22 investment options. These options vary in their investment strategy and degree of risk, allowing you to select an option or combination of options that will match your investment style and savings goals.

For more information about the risks involved in investing in a particular investment option, and whether or not an option is appropriate for you, read the Disclosure Booklet (PDF). To learn more about your own investing style, take our risk quiz.

Review Fees and Expenses

Changing Your Investments
Once you invest in a particular investment option, you can transfer contributions and any earnings to another investment option only twice per calendar year or upon a transfer of funds to an Edvest account for a different beneficiary.

Periodically Review Your Investments
It's a good idea to periodically re-evaluate your investment strategy as your goals, investment horizon, and personal situation change - for example, annually at tax time, on a yearly basis if your income changes, or upon the birth of another child.


Age-Based Investment Options

The age-based investment options seek to match the investment objective and level of risk to the investment horizon by taking into account the beneficiary’s current age and the number of years before the beneficiary turns 18. Depending on the beneficiary’s age, contributions to these investment options will be placed in one of nine age bands, each of which has a different investment objective and investment strategy. The age bands for younger beneficiaries seek a favorable long-term return by primarily investing in mutual funds that primarily invest in equity securities (including real estate securities), which may have greater potential for returns than debt securities, but which also have greater risk than debt securities. As a beneficiary nears college age, the age bands invest less in mutual funds that invest in equity securities (including real estate securities) and more in mutual funds that invest in debt securities.

As the beneficiary ages, assets in your account invested in an age-based investment option are moved from one age band to the next on the first “Rolling Date” following the beneficiary’s fifth, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth birthdays. The Rolling Dates are March 20, June 20, September 20 and December 20 (or the first business day thereafter).


Age-Based Option

Each age band in the Age-Based Option will invest a larger percentage of its assets in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities than the corresponding age band within the Aggressive Age-Based Option. Likewise, each age band in the Age-Based Option will invest a smaller percentage of its assets in mutual funds that invest primarily in equity securities than the corresponding age band within the Aggressive Age-Based Option. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.

Allocations for the Age-Based Option


 
 



Aggressive Age-Based Option

Each age band in the Aggressive Age-Based Option will invest a larger percentage of its assets in mutual funds that invest primarily in equity securities than the corresponding age band within the Age-Based Option. Likewise, each age band in the Aggressive Age-Based Option will invest a smaller percentage of its assets in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities than the corresponding age band within the Age-Based Option. Unlike the Age-Based Options, none of the age bands within the Aggressive Age-Based Option invest in the TIAA-CREF Money Market Fund. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.

Allocations for the Aggressive Age-Based Option


 
 

Multi-Fund Options

There are five separate index-based, and five separate active-based multi-fund portfolios. Each of these portfolios has its own investment objective and each of these portfolios has a fixed risk level that does not change as the beneficiary ages.


Investment Strategy for each of the Five Index-Based Multi-Fund Portfolios. Each of these Portfolios invests in multiple mutual funds. A number of these mutual funds are considered “index funds,” meaning that they are designed to track a benchmark index. However, each of the Index-Based Multi-Fund Portfolios also invests in a number of actively managed mutual funds. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in these Portfolios.


Risk level: aggressive

This investment option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly through capital appreciation.


Risk level: aggressive

This investment option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly through capital appreciation.


Risk level: moderate

This investment option seeks moderate growth.

 

Risk level: conservative to moderate

This investment option seeks to provide moderate long-term total return mainly through current income.


Risk level: conservative to moderate

This investment option seeks to provide a moderate long-term rate of return primarily through current income.

 


Investment Strategy for each of the Five Active-Based Multi-Fund Portfolios. Each of these Portfolios invests in multiple mutual funds that are actively managed. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in these Portfolios.

Risk level: aggressive

This investment option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly through capital appreciation.

Risk level: aggressive

This investment option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly through capital appreciation.

Risk level: moderate

This investment option seeks moderate growth.

 

Risk level: conservative to moderate

This investment option seeks to provide moderate long-term total return mainly through current income.

Risk level: conservative to moderate

This investment option seeks to provide a moderate long-term rate of return primarily through current income.

 

International Equity Index Portfolio

Risk level: aggressive

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly through capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy. Each of the mutual funds in which this Investment Option invests is considered an “index fund,” meaning that it attempts to track a benchmark index. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Balanced Portfolio

Risk level: moderate

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, through capital appreciation and income.

Investment Strategy. Each of the mutual funds in which this Investment Option invests is considered an “index fund,” meaning that it attempts to track a benchmark index. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Single Fund Options

Small-Cap Index Portfolio

Risk level: aggressive

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests100% of its assets in one “index fund,” meaning that the fund attempts to track a benchmark index. The mutual fund in which this Investment Portfolio is invested is: TIAA-CREF Small-Cap Blend Index Fund.


U.S. Equity Active Portfolio

Risk level: aggressive

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests100% of its assets in one mutual fund. The mutual fund in which this Investment Portfolio is invested is: DFA U.S. Core Equity 1 Portfolio.


U.S. Equity Index Portfolio

Risk level: aggressive

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests100% of its assets in one “index fund,” meaning that the fund attempts to track a benchmark index. The mutual fund in which this Investment Portfolio is invested is: TIAA-CREF Equity Index Fund.


Large-Cap Stock Index Portfolio

Risk level: aggressive

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests 100% of its assets in one “index fund,” meaning that the fund attempts to track a benchmark index. The mutual fund in which this Investment Portfolio is invested is: TIAA-CREF S&P 500 Index Fund.


Social Choice Portfolio

Risk level: aggressive

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return that reflects the investment performance of the overall U.S. stock market while giving special consideration to certain social criteria.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests 100% of its assets in one actively managed mutual fund. The mutual fund in which this Investment Portfolio is invested is: TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Fund.


Bond Index Portfolio

Risk level: moderate

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks to provide current income along with a moderate long-term rate of return.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests100% of its assets in one “index fund,” meaning that the fund attempts to track a benchmark index. The mutual fund in which this Investment Portfolio is invested is: TIAA-CREF Bond Index Fund.


Bank CD Portfolio

Risk level: conservative

This investment option seeks income consistent with the preservation of principal. It seeks to achieve its objective by investing at least 80% of its assets in CDs, with a duration not to exceed 24 months, insured by the FDIC and issued by banks with a main, home, or branch office located in Wisconsin (“Eligible Banks”). Interest rates payable on the underlying CDs will be set by the issuing Eligible Banks based on current market conditions and are not uniform.


Principal Plus Interest Portfolio

Risk level: conservative

This investment option seeks to provide current income consistent with the preservation of principal. The assets in this investment option are allocated to a funding agreement issued by TIAA-CREF Life. The funding agreement provides a minimum guaranteed rate of return on the amounts allocated to it by the investment option. The minimum effective annual interest rate will be neither less than 1% nor greater than 3% at any time. The guarantee is made by the insurance company to the policyholder, not to account owners. In addition to the guaranteed rate of interest to the policyholder, the funding agreement allows for the possibility that additional interest may be credited as declared periodically by TIAA-CREF Life. The rate of any additional interest is declared in advance for a period of up to 12 months and is not guaranteed for any future periods.

Accumulations (including contributions and earnings) under the Funding Agreement for the Principal Plus Interest Investment Portfolio will be credited to Edvest with an effective annual interest rate of 1.10% and are guaranteed to earn this rate through December 31, 2015, subject to the claims-paying ability of TIAA-CREF Life.



Reflects current allocations for all investment options. Allocations are reviewed and adjusted periodicially.

Account values are not guaranteed and will fluctuate with market conditions. For a complete discussion of risks associate with each investment option, please refer to the Disclosure Booklet.

The TIAA-CREF Institutional Money Market Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although the Fund seeks to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share, you can lose money by investing.

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