Alliance Capital will begin allowing participants in Rhode Island’s 529 program to create customized portfolios based on nine different Alliance funds, becoming one of the first college savings programs that offers such an option, the company announced today.

In addition to the five investment portfolios currently available, Rhode Island participants will be able to create their own portfolios. Typically, college savings programs offer investors a set number of portfolios that have predetermined allocations of funds.

"This is an important step for the 529 industry," said Paul Tavares, Rhode Island’s general treasurer, in a statement. "The ability to customize an allocation portfolio in this way gives parents and grandparents far greater control over the way they save for their children and grandchildren’s college educations."

Currently, Alliance has approximately $1.7 billion in assets in its section 529 program, said Richard Davies, executive VP of Alliance Fund Distributors.

The nine Alliance funds that participants can choose from include: Growth & Income, Mid-Cap Growth, Alliance Premier Growth, Alliance Quasar, Alliance Technology, Alliance Quality Bond Portfolio, AllianceBernstein International Value, AllianceBernstein Small Cap Value and AllianceBernstein Value.

In addition, Alliance has added a sixth portfolio option to the plan. The Principal-Protection Income offers college savers a more conservative option that is based on fixed-income securities, the company said.

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