Due to a new requirement for consistent presentation of performance data in broker/dealers' and municipal securities dealers' ads for 529 college savings plans, picking a college plan has just become a little bit easier.

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) rule came into effect on Dec. 1, requiring performance figures in advertisements to be limited to average annual return, current yield, tax equivalent yield and after-tax return. Ads that present data must also include maximum sales loads or any other recurring fee. The life of a municipal fund securities issue should be measured from when the issuer first issues the securities.

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