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 four 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
This Investment 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 college. 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 in Underlying Funds that invest primarily in equity securities and real estate-related securities, which have a higher level of risk, but greater potential for returns than more conservative investments. As a Beneficiary nears college age, the Age Bands allocate less to Underlying Funds that invest in equity securities and allocate more heavily to Underlying Funds that invest in fixed-income securities and money market securities to preserve capital.


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


 
 

Allocations for all investments are as of April 2012. Allocations are reviewed and adjusted periodically.


Diversified Equity Option (Risk level — Aggressive)

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

This Investment Option seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation, by investing in equity securities and real estate-related securities. Because of the high exposure to domestic and foreign equities, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this Investment Option may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments), if you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other Investment Options in the Direct Plan. Effective as of April 4, 2012, this Investment Option will increase allocations to Underlying Funds that focus on investment in the equity securities of emerging market issuers or in instruments with economic characteristics similar to emerging market securities.


Fixed Income Option (Risk level — Moderate)

This Investment Option seeks to provide preservation of capital along with a moderate rate of return by investing primarily in Underlying Funds that invest in a diversified mix of fixed-income investments. This Investment Option is invested primarily in an Underlying Fund that is an index fund. This Investment Option may be appropriate for you if you have a medium-term investment horizon and can tolerate a moderate level of risk.


Guaranteed Option (Risk level — Conservative)

This Investment Option seeks to preserve capital and provide a stable return. It may be appropriate for you if you have a short investment horizon and are looking for a conservative investment with a low level of risk. The assets in this Investment Option are allocated to a Funding Agreement issued by TIAA-CREF Life to the Board on behalf of the Trust, which is the policyholder under that agreement. The Funding Agreement provides for a return of principal plus a guaranteed rate of interest and allows for the possibility that additional interest may be credited as declared periodically by TIAA-CREF Life. The interest rate guarantee is made to the Board only, and not to Account Owners or Beneficiaries. 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.



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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