A Program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury · David H. Lillard, Jr., State Treasurer

Investment Options

With TNStars, you have the power to decide how you will invest your money.

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Growth vs. Balanced vs. Conservative


What type of investor are you?

Are you conservative, growth-oriented or somewhere in between?


While more growth-oriented (aggressive) investment options have the potential for higher return, they can also leave you more vulnerable to the ups and downs of the investment marketplace.

On the flip side, conservative investment options are considered less risky but may cause you to miss out on the opportunity for greater return investment opportunities.

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If you are considering selecting your own investment options rather than going with the age-based track, the tools on this page can help you understand where you fall on the risk spectrum.

Self-Selected vs. Age-Based

At the broadest level, you have three options when choosing how to invest in your TNStars account: self-selected, age-based, or a combination of the two. Here’s how they work:

Age-Based Option

If you prefer to be more hands-off, the age-based option allows you to “set it and forget it” by automatically adjusting from more aggressive to more conservative as your beneficiary gets closer to college age. The age-based option is made up of 10 age bands.

Asset Allocation for the Age Based Option and Participant Costs

Age-Based option is a blend of stocks and bonds that become more conservative as your child grows

Age-Based Investment Option: Expenses for the Age Bands within the Age-Based Investment Option represent the applicable weighted average of the expenses of the Underlying Investments, based on data available in the most recent prospectus of the applicable Underlying Investment(s) as of June 5, 2019, and assuming an allocation among the Underlying Investments as described in Section 15 of the Disclosure Brochure.

Review the Disclosure Brochure for the asset allocation of the underlying mutual funds that make up each of the age bands within the age based investment option.

Self-Selected Investment Options

The following charts categorize the self-selected investment options available through TNStars in three ways.

Growth Options

Through investment in stock and specialty portfolios, these options are designed to seek maximum returns for investors with higher risk tolerance.


Investment Option Name Underlying Mutual Fund Underlying Mutual Fund Ticker Symbol Estimated Underlying Mutual Fund Expense Program Management Fee Total Annual Asset-Based Fee
TN Aggressive Growth Fund PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growth Fund POAGX 0.640% 0.200% 0.840%
TN Emerging Markets Stock Fund Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares VEMAX 0.140%% 0.200% 0.340%
TN Total International Stock Fund Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund VTSNX 0.080% 0.200% 0.280%
TN Real Estate Fund Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund VGSLX 0.120%% 0.200% 0.320%
TN Small Cap Fund Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund VSMAX 0.050% 0.200% 0.250%
TN US Large Cap Value Fund DoubleLine Shiller Enhanced CAPE-I DSEEX 0.0560% 0.200% 0.760%
TN Total Stock Market Fund Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund VITSX 0.030% 0.200% 0.230%



Balanced Option

Through a blend of stocks and bonds, this option is designed to balance risk and return for investors with moderate risk tolerance.


Investment Option Name Underlying Mutual Fund Underlying Mutual Fund Ticker Symbol Estimated Underlying Mutual Fund Expense Program Management Fee Total Annual Asset-Based Fee
TN Balanced Fund Vanguard Wellington Fund VWENX 0.170% 0.200% 0.370%



Conservative Options

Through a higher concentration in fixed income, these options are designed to provide low-to-moderate growth for investors with a lower risk tolerance.


Investment Option Name Underlying Mutual Fund Underlying Mutual Fund Ticker Symbol Estimated Underlying Mutual Fund Expense Program Management Fee Total Annual Asset-Based Fee
TN Total International Bond Fund Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund VTIFX 0.070% 0.200% 0.270%
TN High-Yield Corporate Fund Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund VWEAX 0.130% 0.200% 0.330%
TN Core Plus Bond Fund Western Asset Core Plus Bond Fund WACPX 0.450% 0.200% 0.650%
TN Total Bond Fund Vanguard Total Bond Fund VBTIX 0.035% 0.200% 0.235%
TN Short-Term Corporate Fund Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index Fund VSCSX 0.070% 0.200% 0.270%
TN Short-Term Inflation Protected Securities Fund Vanguard Short-Term Inflation Protected Securities Index Fund VTSPX 0.040% 0.200% 0.240%
TN Interest Bearing Account First TN Interest Bearing Account N/A * * *


Self-Selected Investment Options: The estimated Underlying Investment expenses is based on data available in the most recent prospectus of the applicable Underlying Investment(s) as of June 5, 2019.

*TN Interest Bearing Account: The interest rate paid is the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Federal Funds Target Rate, as set from time to time by the FOMC, minus a discount of 0.50% (50 basis points) retained by the financial institution, and minus the program management fee of 0.20% (20 basis points). (If the FOMC sets a rate using a range, the rate used to calculate the interest rate will be the highest rate within the range.) Daily interest is calculated by multiplying each day’s rate in effect, minus the discount and program management fee, by the invested balance amount that day, divided by 365 (calendar days). The aggregate of each day’s interest during a calendar month will be credited to the applicable Account on a monthly basis, on the first day of the following month, and will be reflected on the Participant’s Account statement as of the last business day of each month. Additional information on the FOMC’s Federal Funds Target Rate can be found at www.FederalReserve.gov/MonetaryPolicy/OpenMarket.htm. At this time, in order to ensure that the effective interest rate paid under the TN Interest Bearing Account does not fall below 0.00%, State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr., in his capacity as Chair of the College Savings Trust Fund Program Board, has approved a recommendation to temporarily modify the program management fee. Additionally, at this time, the financial institution has temporarily adjusted its discount fee. As a result of these actions, effective March 16, 2020, the effective annual interest rate for the TN Interest Bearing Account is 0.00%. Going forward, while the annual interest rate may fluctuate due to future changes in the Federal Funds Target Rate, discount fee or program management fee, the minimum effective annual interest rate of the TN Interest Bearing Account will be zero percent (0.00%). Any updates to this rate will be available for you to view on the Investment Performance page of the website or by calling us at (855) 386-7827.

Investment Performance Disclosures The performance data represents past performance and, as such, current performance may be lower or higher. Past performance is not indicative and is no guarantee of future performance. The principal value of your TNStars Account and the investment return may fluctuate, and the Units of Interest, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the amount you contributed.

The overall performance of an Account may vary based on the overall allocation to Investment Options chosen by the Account Owner. Additionally, because in an Age-Based Strategy, the Program will automatically transfer from one Age Band to the next, overtime, based on the Beneficiary’s age, the Account may be invested in more than one Age Band during the performance reporting period.

Review the Disclosure Brochure for more information.