Participation in 529 college savings plans has leveled off after years of growth, according to a Fidelity survey. Perhaps not coincidentally, the study found that most advisors do not "proactively suggest the 529 plan" to parents with youngsters.

Matt Golden, vice president of college planning at Fidelity, said 529 accounts often start with small amounts so they might not be the first topic planners discuss with clients. "However," he added, "advisors who want to manage a client's assets should be having a conversation about being prepared for college costs, mentioning 529 plans. Substantial amounts can go into these accounts, over time. Advisors who raise this issue can build trust with clients and attract more of their business. Building trust also can lead to more referrals."

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