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Tuesday, April 02, 2002

W&R Makes 529 Deal

by: Tony Pennino

Waddell & Reed has entered into an alliance with BabyMint to offer 529 services to the latter's customers, a spokesperson with W&R told the MutualFundWire.com. BabyMint customers will be able to use the website to connect with a Waddell & Reed advisor convenient to their location.

"It's another tool for advisors to use in prospecting 529 clients," the spokesperson reported. "They can approach people who may not have 529 plans. It provides a vehicle where investors can come to the advisor; the advisor does not always need to be seeking them out. The advisor has help getting the word out. And the system will help the advisor maintain pre-existing relationships."

The firm's InvestEd plan is available through the State of Arizona. Advisors will have access to BabyMint's marketing materials as well. The BabyMint site also provides information about 529 plans as compared to Educational IRAs and other products.

Further, BabyMint has a relationship with approximately 700 retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Pizza Hut. BabyMint users can get a 1%-20% rebate on purchases made at these location. Those rebates can be automatically be accrued for the user's 529 plan, or they can be sent to the user as a check each month.

"By partnering with BabyMint, Waddell & Reed's financial advisors now have the ability to enhance the value that they and the InvestEd Plan offer to their clients," added Peter Davis, president and ceo at BabyMint. "Best of all, whether online or offline, Waddell & Reed clients can become more disciplined investors while they do their daily shopping." 

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