Perspectives Blog

How will you pay for your child’s future education?

Columbia Management, Investment Team | August 27, 2013

College savings plans offer an important tool for managing the cost of higher education. Saving in advance could offer a significant cost savings compared to taking loans during college. College Savings Calculators can help you assess your personal situation. Before you know it, that special day will arrive — your child will be off to college. But are you prepared for the significant college expenses that may come your way? With an education f…

Capture five tax benefits with a 529 college savings plan

Columbia Management, Investment Team | March 21, 2014

…ment. A college education for a child or grandchild. These are aspirations most of us can relate to. Fortunately, there are tax incentives available to help you pursue these substantial financial goals. In the case of college savings, 529 plans offer distinct tax advantages over other college savings vehicles. With a 529 plan, parents, relatives and friends can help fund a significant portion of a loved one’s future college expenses and at the sa…

Half-time report on the U.S. consumer

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | July 28, 2014

…in the last recovery and about 5% in prior recoveries. The more miserly gains in income leave the consumer little scope to advance their discretionary spend, absent the debt channel. A continued fall in inflation is unlikely, savings rates are already meager and the Fed’s wealth effect to boost spending is impaired without some support from rising income. More encouraging is a recent pickup in job gains which, if sustained, should help broaden ag…

Saving for college — What’s the real cost of waiting?

Columbia Management, Investment Team | September 16, 2013

Just a few years’ delay in saving for college can dramatically increase the monthly savings needed to meet education funding goals. Early saving for college can reduce the burden of borrowing and pressure on current income when the child attends college. A “Cost of Waiting” calculator can help you see just how much it could cost you for each year you wait to start saving. Given the skyrocketing cost of higher education, saving for college can…

Could a 529 plan help you pay less for college?

Columbia Management, Investment Team | May 22, 2014

College savings plans offer an important tool for managing the cost of higher education. Saving in advance could offer a significant cost savings compared to taking loans during college. Use our 529 Savings vs. Loans Calculator to run your own personalized estimate. Saving for college early on can greatly benefit you in the long run. By saving in an investment vehicle such as a 529 college savings plan, you may be able to avoid relying on loan…

Hanging in

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | September 20, 2013

…ement spending. With the continued reluctance to use credit and little ability to tap into home equity to support spending, wages are a key determinant this cycle for consumer spending. Some cushion has been found by reducing savings, but this has limits, particularly with savings rates now very low. Spending follows wages and it will be difficult for retail spending to gain much traction with the tie to shallow compensation trends. The chart bel…

Credit alternatives in government-backed debt

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 23, 2014

…, by comparison, offers spreads of 70–75 bps for a security with similar average life. Resolution Funding Corporation The Resolution Funding Corporation (or REFCORP), established in 1989, was created to finance the bailout of savings and loan associations during the S&L crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. S&Ls accept savings deposits and use the proceeds to offer mortgages, auto loans, and other personal loans to their members. During the cris…