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Thursday, May 09, 2002

COLLEGE SAVINGS
529 Investors Get Show

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Strong is offering free educational videos to drum up demand for the college savings plan product. The video ("529 Plans: A Less Taxing Way to Save for College") runs seven minutes and is intended as a quick way for investors to brush up on the plans.

The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based firm is making the video through multiple channels, including its strong529plans.com Web site. Individuals can also request a CD-ROM version through a toll-free number.

The video is also being pushed by the firm's reps to corporations offering the Strong 529 to employees (the firm offers plans through Nevada, Oregon and Wisconsin). This strategy recalls the standard practice of offering employee 401(k) retirement planning videos through the workplace.

"Many people are starting to hear about a great new savings vehicle called a 529 plan but don't know all of the benefits yet," says Sarah Henriksen, director of education planning for Strong. "When people first hear about 529 plans, they often think they are 'too good to be true.' This video is a quick and easy way to learn about the many features of 529 plans."

The video covers the rising cost of tuition, financial aid implications, possible estate and gift-tax benefits, and the flexibility of the plans, among other important topics. A section of the video also answers frequently asked questions.  

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