Skip to Content
Special Report

Morningstar's Guide to Target-Date Investing

Learn how these investments work, what to look for when choosing one, and which ones earn our highest ratings.

As the default option in many employer-sponsored retirement plans, target-date strategies play important roles for many. Target-date vehicles can also be good choices for investors who would like simplify their portfolios and be less hands-on with their asset mixes. 

In a nutshell, target-date strategies blend stocks and bonds in a single portfolio, providing asset-class diversity in a single fund. The portfolios become less risky as they draw closer to their "target date." That target date generally corresponds to the owner’s retirement date. 

In this guide, we explore how target-date portfolios work and how they differ, key factors to consider when choosing among vehicles, and how various target-date series rate based on key factors like price and investment process.

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.

How to Choose a Target-Date Fund
Expenses and glide path are just two factors that investors should consider.

The Best Target-Date Series
A surprise retirement and our updated methodology lead to a shakeup of series with Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Gold.

This Target-Date Series Stands Above Its Peers
Top-rated BlackRock LifePath Index follows a path worth traveling.

Are You Using Your Target-Date Fund Incorrectly?
Here are some issues that can arise as well as some potential solutions.

Is Guaranteed Income the Next Frontier for Target-Date Funds?
The SECURE Act opens the door for annuities in target-date funds.

Morningstar's 2020 Target-Date Strategy Landscape Report
Our annual report uncovers the market trends and driving factors behind the growth and success of target-date strategies.