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Special Report

Morningstar's Money Guide for New Graduates

Designed for recent graduates, our guide walks through budgeting, setting goals, investing a 401(k), and the importance of investing early.

Editor’s note: Read the latest on how the coronavirus is rattling the markets and what investors can do to navigate it.

The Class of 2020 won't be experiencing graduation the same way other classes have in years past. Awards ceremonies are going digital. Commencements have been postponed indefinitely or moved online. Parties are being held via video chat.  

It's always important for new graduates to make smart money choices, but it’s especially critical for the class of 2020--a group that’s entering the workforce during a period of significant economic uncertainty. Some employers are under hiring freezes (if they’re open at all), making job searches more complicated. More grads may find themselves accepting temporary roles they might not have considered just six months ago. And many recognize that their job searches may take longer than they would like--and their pay may be less than they had hoped.

Given these tough circumstances, we’ve pulled together a series of articles and videos to help them hit the ground running when it comes to money matters.

7 Pieces of Financial Advice for New Graduates
How you can help your loved ones get on the right track financially, even in a pandemic. 

How to Turn Your Money Into Superdollars
Investors who start early have a huge head start toward saving enough for retirement.

Strategies for Young Investors
Vanguard's Maria Bruno talks about the decisions young investors face.

Build a Budget and Emergency Fund
How to Assess Your Cash Flows and Create a Budget
Take these steps to ensure that spending doesn't interfere with your ability to save no matter your life stage.

3 Ways to Find Money in Your Budget to Invest
Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz shares her tips for increasing your savings rate.

How to Set and Invest Your Emergency Fund
Here's how to figure out how big your emergency fund should be and how you should invest it.

Establish Financial Goals
Quantify and Set Financial Goals
How investment multitaskers can prioritize competing financial objectives.

How Do Your Financial Priorities Stack Up With Our Pyramid?
Make sure you're not geeking out about small-bore investment problems while giving short shrift to the game-changers.

An Investing Road Map for Early Career Accumulators
Tips on getting the most bang for your investment dollars when you're just starting out.

Start to Invest
A Hierarchy for Retirement Savings
Confused about which vehicles to fund first? We can help.

Finding the Right Asset Allocation For Your Portfolio
Consider time frame, asset class returns, and risk when deciding what to invest in.

Find the Right Investments for Your Retirement Portfolio
Your knowledge level, desire to be hands-on, tax status, and tolerance for short-term volatility can help you identify the right investments.

Managing Your 401(k)
5 Easy Steps to Setting Up a 401(k)
Cross this big to-do off your list by following these easy guidelines.

What Does It Take to Have a $1 Million 401(k)?
 Saving a considerable amount for retirement might not be as hard as you think.

What Are Target-Date Funds?  
Investors in target-date funds can set up a diversified portfolio and maintain a sensible asset allocation for decades without breaking a sweat.

Investments to Get You Started
8 Great Starter Funds
These Morningstar Medalists are good options for your first fund.

What is an ETF?
We explain what ETFs are, how to use them, and how to find the best ones.

Interested in Sustainable Investing? Here's What You Need to Know
How to tell different ESG factors apart in your investing decisions.

Other Resources on
Start Investing

Morningstar’s Investing Classroom

Christine Benz’s Model Portfolios for Savers