Currently, BabyMint customers are already investing in every active 529 plan on the market, said Bill Koleszar, a spokesman for BabyMint. That would mean that investors are already using BabyMint to invest in Waddell & Reeds Arizona-based InvestEd 529 program, through BabyMint. But the agreement has Waddell & Reeds 3,200 financial advisors listed in BabyMints web-based Financial Advisor Program, to bring greater visibility to InvestEd. In addition, BabyMint will supply Waddell & Reeds financial advisors with marketing materials.
The BabyMint program gives advisors a reason to call clients and talk about college savings, Koleszar added. "Literally, weve had dozens and dozens of advisors tell us how its a non-threatening way to start the conversation," he said. "Advisors have not had a lot to call clients about over the last year. This gives them an opportunity."
Thomas Butch, chief marketing officer at Waddell & Reed, concurred with Koleszar, calling the program "a great enhancement for InvestEd."
BabyMints network of more than 700 retailers, which provide rebates to customers of between 1% and 20% of their purchases, includes Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble and Macys. BabyMint estimates that if a consumer spends $6,000 in a 12-month period in the program, he or she will have an extra $900 in his or her 529 plan, according to Koleszar.
"True, $900 is not going to make or break a 529 plan; its simply a supplement. But that adds up over time," Koleszar said.