"The 529 portfolios with AllianceBernstein have had better overall performance, 1- and 3-year, than the American Funds portfolios"
--First I wouldn't use such short term time frames to compare funds to justify one over the other. Second, can AB show a track record 30, 50, or even 70+ years? Third, AFs are structured for both up and down markets and over longer time frames that just 1-3 yrs. The past 3 years have been good years in the market overall...and based on my look ar AB funds take on more risk and are more volatile. Lets compare in 2000-2002 returns.
Correction: Seriously, what is there to knock about the American Funds? Perhaps lack of funds to cover all asset classes..but thats intentional.
Honestly, you are have every right to prefer to use any fund group or investment style. Ofcourse its not mandatory that you use AFs. In fact, I don't believe you would be ridiculed here if you don't...The problem you placed yourself in was stating that advisors who use AFs are sheep and just follow the heard.
Nothing is further from the truth. Perhaps in the future, you may simply want to state your preference of mutual funds and discuss why you like that fund group and/or how that fund group may provide more or something different.
I know we are talking 529 plans here, but as Anon stated they really have no track record to gauge by...which is why looking to the underlying mutual funds is looked at.
Aside from your unfounded comments about American Funds and the "sheep commnents" (Its funny...as if I actually have to defend them...none of the advisors who use AFs have to....we just prefer to ) You do make some good points about asset allocation within 529 plans. Though I will say, lack of age based, static, and having to self-rebalance is not much of an issue for me (Its just that I do that myself vs having the 529 plan to do).
[This message has been edited by Mark A (edited November 12, 2005).]