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6 Pieces of Advice for College Graduates

Some things to consider as you prepare for your life ahead.

Welcome to the real world, college graduates! Now comes the fun part: finding a job, paying student loans, and saving for retirement.

I know what you may be thinking: That sounds like a hefty list. You don't have to tackle it alone. Here are six pieces of advice:

First, don't compare yourself to others. Morningstar's director of personal finance Christine Benz reminds us that even if our peers get a fast start, that doesn't necessarily mean they will end up ahead. Everyone's journey is different.

Second, start building your emergency fund. While you're living at home with your parents, it's the perfect opportunity to start saving up enough to cover basic expenses, like food and rent.

Third, invest in the market using a tax-sheltered account like an IRA or 401(k) plan. These early investments can add up over time.

Fourth, play the long game. At Morningstar, we are all about investing for the long term. Set realistic expectations. Find a strategy that works for you during market volatility, like not checking your account balance. 

Fifth, invest in yourself as early as you can. You can continue your education in several ways, from pursuing a master's degree to earning additional certifications. Many employers may offer tuition assistance. You might get a boost in pay because of the additional training.

Sixth, make time for what matters to you. Benz encourages college graduates to pay close attention to what she refers to as "time-on-earth allocation." Find a balance with how you spend your time and money so that it brings you joy and does some good. This is personal for each graduate, and it can change over time.

Congrats Class of 2022.