updated 6/5/2005 6:47:59 PM ET 2005-06-05T22:47:59

If you're like most college graduates, you mastered the art of filling a blue book when you were completely unprepared, but you don't know much about personal finance.

You'll be on your own after graduation and it's time to start planning for the future.

"I think one of the biggest reasons college students don't plan is that their lives have been broken into semesters for the last four years," says Stuart Ritter, a certified financial planner for T. Rowe Price in Baltimore. "Looking ahead more than a few semesters isn't something they've had to do."

Click here for financial tips for college grads.

Ritter, who teaches a class in career search strategies at the University of Maryland, College Park, business school and a personal finance class to undergraduates there, says most students lack understanding of the basics — not motivation or the skills needed to learn about financial planning.

He says students are filled with nuts-and-bolts questions that include topics such as mutual funds, retirement planning, long-term investing and saving. Marriage isn't on the immediate agenda for many of these students, but it often comes soon enough, and with it questions about mortgages, 529 College Savings Plans and life insurance.

There are many Web sites that offer students a good place to start with their personal finance education, including T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, Putnam Investments or major banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America or JPMorgan Chase.

It's your future, kiddo.

© 2012


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