How does Backer choose investments to recommend to me?


529 College Savings Plan

Backer focuses on helping American families save for college. Specifically, we provide advice on investing in a 529 college savings plan, which is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle designed to encourage saving for future education costs. We recommend investing your college savings in a 529 plan because your investment will grow tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for your child's future education costs. It's like a retirement account for college.

For more details on why we recommend saving for college by investing in a 529 plan, please see: Why do you recommend saving with a 529 plan? How does it compare to other options, such as UGMA/UTMA, Coverdell, and savings bonds?

Internet-Based Advice

As an internet-based investment adviser, we provide investment advice to our clients exclusively through our website and mobile apps. Through our platform, interactive software-based applications receive the information that you submit and help us provide an investment advisory service that is based on the personal information that you input. Our recommendation as to the particular 529 plan and portfolio selection within the plan will depend on the information you provide during the account-opening phase, but does not otherwise purport to meet your specific overall objectives or needs. Please note that we only provide advice as to certain 529 plans and on certain portfolios, which means another 529 plan or portfolio may be more suitable for you.

Our Investment Recommendation

We base our 529 plan investment recommendation on a variety of factors, including ease of administration, the ability of Backer to coordinate its technological processes with the 529 plan, the level of fees charged by the 529 plan, the reputation of the investment managers of the 529 plan’s investment options, the overall terms of the plan, and its available investment options. Details concerning our operational due diligence of 529 plan options are available in our Form ADV Part 2A.

We base our portfolio selection recommendation on various factors, including the age of the beneficiary and your risk tolerance. We recommend an age-based portfolio that automatically adjusts based on the beneficiary's age to become less aggressive and less risky as the beneficiary reaches college enrollment age. If you are saving for a future baby, we take that into account as well, and will help you update your portfolio selection once the baby is born.

We receive no financial benefit from recommending a particular 529 plan or portfolio, which helps align our incentives with yours.

One of the most important factors that we consider is the level of fees charged by the 529 plan and associated portfolios because lower fees will help our clients save more in the long term. You will have the opportunity to review our recommendation before making a decision to invest, and you will have the opportunity to change your portfolio allocation twice per calendar year.

For more details about 529 plan fees, please see: How does Backer charge for its service? What fees will I pay?

We do not require a minimum account size or investment amount to become a client.

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