CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fifty-nine West Virginia investment professionals were honored for helping West Virginia families prepare to pay for higher education.The SMART529 program is part of the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees, of which state Treasurer John Perdue is chairman.West Virginians may choose to open SMART529 savings accounts either directly through the program or working with local investment professionals. Those financial advisers who were recognized were evaluated on both the number of new accounts opened and total dollars invested.The Charleston-area investment consultants honored on the 11th annual SMART529 Honor Roll are: Marc Arnold and Dale Goff of Ameriprise Financial Services, Shari Akhtar and Robert Menear of BB&T Investment Services, David Kirby and Kathryn Lester of Hilliard Lyons, Thomas Dillon of Fifth Third Securities, Tony Parsons and Christopher Childress of JP Morgan Chase Securities, Joel McDavid and John Quisenberry of Merrill Lynch, John Burke, Kelly Castleberry III, John Dawson II, Michael Goodwin, Syed Habib, Christopher Heller and Michael Hill of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Ronald Murad of Scott & Stringfellow, Joe Lerose of United Brokerage Services, Jeffrey Borman of Wells Fargo Advisors, Robin Bailey of Edward Jones and Greg Cox of Heritage Investment.
"West Virginia's financial advisers play a valuable role in helping many families prepare for future costs associated with college," state Treasurer John Perdue said in a prepared press release. "Our SMART529 Honor Roll recognizes those who have excelled in spreading the word on the advantages of the state's SMART529 college savings plan."Since the savings program is a "qualified tuition program," participants enjoy tax-free withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses.The program had nearly 116,000 accounts with investments totaling more than $1.9 billion at the end of August, according to the press release.