Investment Options

Building a 529 Plan account that is right for you takes planning. The Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program offers you a choice of seven Investment Options. These options vary in their investment strategy and degree of risk, allowing you to select an option or combination of options that may fit your needs.

For more information on the risks involved in investing in such investment options, and the type of investor for whom each investment option may be appropriate, read the Disclosure Booklet (PDF).

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Investment Options

Changing Your Investments
Once you invest in a particular investment option, you can transfer contributions and any earnings to another investment option once per calendar year or upon a transfer of funds to a MACS Program 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.

Managed Allocation Option

Investment Objective. The Managed Allocation Option seeks 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 and is expected to enter an Eligible Educational Institution.

Investment Strategy. Depending on the Beneficiary’s age, contributions to this Investment Option 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 investing primarily 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 primarily in equity securities (including real estate securities) and invest more heavily in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities and in a funding agreement to preserve capital.


Managed Allocation Option (Risk level shifts from Aggressive to Conservative)


 
 


Aggressive AllocationAggressive Allocation Option (Risk level — Aggressive)

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks a favorable long-term return.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests in the same mutual funds and at the same percentages as the Managed Allocation Option age band for Beneficiaries aged 0-4 years. This Investment Option invests primarily in mutual funds that invest primarily in equity securities and, to a lesser extent, in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities.


Moderate AllocationModerate Allocation Option (Risk level — Moderate)

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks moderate growth.

Investment Strategy. This Investment Option invests in the same mutual funds and at the same percentages as the Managed Allocation Option age band for Beneficiaries aged 9-10 years. This Investment Option invests in mutual funds that invest primarily in equity securities and in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities.


Conservative AllocationConservative Allocation Option (Risk level — Conservative)

Investment Objective. This Investment Option seeks a conservative to moderate total return.

Investment Objective. This Investment Option invests in the same mutual funds and at the same percentages as the Managed Allocation Option age band for 15 year-old Beneficiaries. This Investment Option invests primarily in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities and, to a lesser extent, in mutual funds that invest primarily in equity securities.


Aggressive AllocationDiversified Equity Option (Risk level — Aggressive)

Called the 100% Equity Option until 4/3/12

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

Investment Strategy.  This Investment Option invests 100% of its assets in mutual funds that invest primarily in equity securities. 


Fixed Income OptionsFixed Income Option (Risk level — Moderate)

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

Investment Strategy.  This Investment Option invests in mutual funds that invest primarily in debt securities. 


Guaranteed Option (Risk level — Conservative)

Investment Objective.  This Investment Option seeks to preserve capital and provide a stable return.

Investment Strategy.  The assets in this Investment Option are allocated to a funding agreement issued by TIAA-CREF Life, which is an affiliate of TFI, to the Board as the policyholder on behalf of the Trust.  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. 

Effective April 1, 2014, accumulations (including contributions and earnings) under the Funding Agreement for the Guaranteed Option as of March 31, 2014 will be credited to MACS with an effective interest rate of 1.00% and are guaranteed to earn this rate through March 31, 2015, subject to the claims-paying ability of TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company.



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.

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