Investment Portfolios

Building a 529 Plan account that is right for you takes planning. The ScholarShare College Savings Plan offers you a choice of 19 Investment Portfolios. These choices vary in their investment strategy and degree of risk, allowing you to select an investment portfolio or combination of investment portfolios that may fit your needs.

For more information on the risks involved in investing in such investment portfolios, and the type of investor for whom each investment portfolio may be appropriate, read the Disclosure Booklet (PDF).

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Investment Portfolios

Changing Your Investments
Once you invest in a particular investment portfolio, you can transfer contributions and any earnings to another investment portfolio once per calendar year or upon a transfer of funds to a ScholarShare College Savings Plan account for a different beneficiary.

Periodically Review Your Investments
It's a good idea to periodically re-evaluate your investment strategy as your goals, investment horizon, and personal situation change - for example, annually at tax time, on a yearly basis if your income changes, or upon the birth of another child.



Age-Based Investment Portfolios (Risk level shifts from aggressive to conservative as the beneficiary ages)

Each of the age-based investment portfolios seeks to match the investment objective and level of risk to the investment horizon by taking into account the beneficiary's current age and the number of years before the beneficiary turns 18 and is expected to enter college. Depending on the beneficiary's age, allocations to the Age-Based Investment Portfolios will be placed in one of nine age bands, each of which has a different investment objective and investment strategy. The age bands for younger beneficiaries seek a favorable long-term return by investing in underlying funds that invest primarily in equity securities, which have a higher level of risk, but greater potential for returns than more conservative investments. As a beneficiary nears college age, the age bands allocate less to underlying funds that invest in equity securities and allocate more heavily to underlying funds that invest in fixed-income securities and a Funding Agreement to preserve capital.

As the beneficiary ages, assets in your account that are attributable to an Age-Based Investment Portfolio are moved from one age band to the next on the first "rolling date" following the beneficiary's fifth, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth birthdays. The rolling dates are March 20, June 20, September 20 and December 20 (or the first business day thereafter).


 
 

Allocations for all investments are as of August 2012. Allocations are reviewed and adjusted periodically.


Active Age-Based Investment Portfolio

This investment portfolio invests primarily in underlying funds that are actively-managed. An actively-managed fund is different from an index fund in that an actively-managed fund is not managed to track its benchmark index, but rather, managed pursuant to the investment style and strategy of its investment adviser. This means that the performance of an actively-managed fund can vary greatly from that of its benchmark index - in either a positive or negative direction. Because of the active management style, actively-managed funds tend to have higher expenses than index funds. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Passive Age-Based Investment Portfolio

The Passive Age-Based Investment Portfolio invests primarily in underlying funds that are index funds. An index fund is managed to track a specific securities index that the fund uses as a benchmark. The Passive Age-Based Investment Portfolio also invests in certain other underlying funds (the TIAA-CREF Inflation-Linked Bond Fund and the TIAA-CREF High Yield Fund) and a Funding Agreement. Thus, although a majority of the underlying funds in which this investment portfolio invests are passively managed, it does not invest exclusively in passively-managed underlying funds. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Multi-Fund Investment Portfolios

These investment portfolios seek to provide investment options for participants who prefer to select an investment portfolio for its asset allocation. Each multi-fund investment portfolio is allocated to multiple underlying funds and/or a funding agreement and has a different investment objective and investment strategy, which are described in more detail below. The allocations in the multi-fund investment portfolios do not change automatically as the beneficiary ages as they do in the Age-Based Investment Portfolios. Investments will remain in the multi-fund investment portfolio(s) selected by a participant until the participant instructs the Plan to transfer them to another investment portfolio or portfolios. The Board may add or remove investment portfolios and change the investment allocations of, or the investments held by, an investment portfolio at any time.


Active Diversified Equity Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return by investing primarily in actively-managed equity underlying funds. Because of the high exposure to domestic and foreign equities, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments), if you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios in the Plan. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Active Growth Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation, by investing primarily in a combination of actively-managed equity and fixed-income underlying funds. Because of the high exposure to equities, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments), if you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios in the Plan. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Active Moderate Growth Investment Portfolio (Risk level - moderate)

This investment portfolio seeks moderate growth by investing primarily in a combination of actively-managed equity and fixed-income underlying funds. The investment portfolio seeks a balanced asset allocation and invests a larger portion of its assets in underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed-income securities than does the Active Growth Investment Portfolio. Underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed-income securities have a lower level of risk, but a lower potential for returns than underlying funds that invest primarily in equity securities. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium to short investment horizon and can tolerate a moderate level of risk. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Active Conservative Investment Portfolio (Risk level - conservative to moderate)

This Investment Portfolio seeks to provide preservation of capital along with a moderate rate of return. Approximately half of the portfolio invests in actively-managed underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed-income securities, which have a lower level of risk and corresponding lower potential for returns than more aggressive investments. The rest of the portfolio is allocated to a Funding Agreement. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium to short investment horizon and can tolerate a conservative to moderate level of risk. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Active Diversified Fixed Income Investment Portfolio (Risk level - moderate)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide preservation of capital along with a moderate rate of return by investing primarily in actively-managed underlying funds that invest in a diversified mix of fixed-income investments. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium-term investment horizon and can tolerate a moderate level of risk. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Active International Equity Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return by investing in actively-managed international equity underlying funds. Because of the high exposure to foreign equity investments, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments) or you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios offered by the Plan. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Passive Diversified Equity Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation, by investing in underlying funds that are primarily equity index funds. Because of the high exposure to domestic and foreign equities, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments), if you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios in the Plan. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Passive Growth Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation, by investing in underlying funds that are primarily equity index funds. The investment portfolio seeks to invest a relatively small percentage of assets to underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed income securities. Because of the high exposure to domestic and foreign equities, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments), if you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios in the Plan. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Passive Moderate Growth Investment Portfolio (Risk level - moderate)

This investment portfolio seeks moderate growth by investing primarily in a combination of equity and fixed-income underlying funds. The equity underlying funds in which the investment portfolio invests are index funds and the investment portfolio invests in a combination of actively-managed and index funds with respect to its investments in fixed-income underlying funds. The investment portfolio seeks a balanced asset allocation and invests a larger portion of its assets in underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed-income securities than does the Active Growth Investment Portfolio. Underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed-income securities have a lower level of risk, but a lower potential for returns than underlying funds that invest primarily in equity securities. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium to short investment horizon and can tolerate a moderate level of risk. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Passive Conservative Investment Portfolio (Risk level - conservative to moderate)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide preservation of capital along with a moderate rate of return. Approximately half of the portfolio invests in active and index underlying funds that invest primarily in fixed-income securities, which have a lower level of risk and corresponding lower potential for returns than more aggressive investments. The rest of the portfolio is allocated to a Funding Agreement. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium to short investment horizon and can tolerate a conservative to moderate level of risk. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Passive Diversified Fixed Income Investment Portfolio (Risk level - moderate)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide preservation of capital along with a moderate rate of return by investing primarily in underlying funds that invest in a diversified mix of fixed-income investments. The majority of the investment portfolio is invested in an Underlying Fund that is an index fund. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium to short investment horizon and can tolerate a moderate level of risk. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Index International Equity Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return, mainly from capital appreciation, by investing in international equity index underlying funds. Because of the high exposure to foreign equities, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments), if you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios in the Plan. Click here to view the underlying mutual funds in this Portfolio.


Single Fund Investment Portfolios

These investment portfolios are each invested solely in either shares of a single Underlying Fund or a Funding Agreement. For those investment portfolios invested in an Underlying Fund, their performance is entirely reliant on the performance of that Underlying Fund and may be more volatile than the age-based investment portfolios or the multi-fund investment portfolios. You should be aware that participants do not own shares of the underlying funds directly. Each of the single fund investment portfolios is described in more detail below.


Social Choice Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return. The Social Choice Investment Portfolio Invests 100% of its assets in the TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Fund, which invests primarily in equity securities of companies that meet certain social criteria, such as product safety, corporate citizenship, human rights and environmental performance. Because of the high exposure to domestic and foreign equity investments, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments) or you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios offered by the Plan.


Index Bond Investment Portfolio (Risk level - moderate)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide preservation of capital along with a moderate rate of return from interest income and capital appreciation. This investment portfolio invests 100% of its assets in the TIAA-CREF Bond Index Fund, which employs a "passive management" - or indexing - strategy and seeks to match the total return of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you have a medium to short investment horizon and can tolerate a moderate level of risk.


Index U.S Large Cap Equity Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide a favorable long-term total return. The Index U.S. Large Cap Equity Portfolio invests 100% of its assets in the TIAA-CREF S&P 500 Index Fund, which invests primarily in an investment portfolio of equity securities of large domestic companies selected to track U.S. equity markets based on a market index. This investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments) or you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios offered by the Plan.


Index U.S. Equity Investment Portfolio (Risk level - aggressive)

This investment portfolio seeks to provide favorable long-term growth, mainly from capital appreciation. The U.S. Equity Index Investment Portfolio invests 100% of its assets in the TIAA-CREF Equity Index Fund, which employs a "passive management" - or indexing - strategy and seeks a diversified investment portfolio selected to track the overall market for common stocks publicly traded in the U.S., as represented by the Russell 3000 Index. Because of the high exposure to equity investments, and the corresponding high degree of risk, this investment portfolio may be appropriate for you if you already have substantial college savings from less volatile investments (e.g., fixed-income investments) or you have a long investment horizon and you can tolerate a higher level of risk, or for use in conjunction with other investment portfolios offered by the Plan.


Principal Plus Interest Investment Portfolio (Risk level - conservative)

This investment portfolio seeks to preserve capital and provide a stable return. It may be appropriate for you if you have a short investment horizon and are looking for a conservative investment with a low level of risk. The assets in this investment portfolio are allocated to a Funding Agreement issued by TIAA-CREF Life to the Board on behalf of the Plan, which is the policyholder under the agreement. The Funding Agreement provides for a return of principal plus a guaranteed rate of interest and allows for the possibility that additional interest may be credited as declared periodically by TIAA-CREF Life. The interest rate guarantee is made to the Board only, and not to participants or beneficiaries. The rate of any additional interest is declared in advance for a period of up to 12 months and is not guaranteed for any future periods.

Accumulations (including contributions and earnings) under the Funding Agreement for the Principal Plus Interest Investment Portfolio will be credited to ScholarShare with an effective annual interest rate of 1.20%, and are guaranteed to earn this rate through December 31, 2014, subject to the claims-paying ability of TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company.


Allocations for all investments are as of August 2012. Allocations are reviewed and adjusted periodically.


Account values are not guaranteed and will fluctuate with market conditions. For a complete discussion of risks associate with each investment portfolio, please refer to the Disclosure Booklet.

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