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Again you do not have control over what they invest in a mutual fund just like the 529.
Not directly - BUT - if you invest in a index fund, their performance has to mirror the index - so they invest in the index.

Why not allow us to open a brokerage account designated as a 529 plan and allow us to invest in whatever we want.
Because that's not the way the law is written.
Don't like it? Talk to your representative and senator.

Over 10 years if you invest $10,000, the cost (fee) is about $1,000 and that is with a 5% rate of return.
This is for my state, yours might be better.

If you think mine are better, just transfer your 529 account to my state's plan.
There's no reason you have to stay with Maryland's plan.
I can understand with the state income tax deduction you'd want to contribute initially to the Maryland plan.
But that doesn't mean you can't transfer the money elsewhere after a few months.

If you think you can do better by putting the money in a cash brokerage account and picking stocks, then go ahead. Certainly nothing stopping you.
I think the better option from risk/reward is to put the money in a 529 in a S&P500 index. Tax sheltered, and good ROI (even with fees).
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