Investing is an intimidating subject. But with the right knowledge and skills, anyone can learn to invest, no matter the age or experience. And if you’re going to try to get your child to start young, it’s hard to find a better way than having them invest in stocks.
And today, to help you with that goal, we’re going to show you a selection of tailor-made stocks for kids.
Stock market investing has been around for ages, and we suggest it as one of several ways to teach your children about money management.
The key to getting your children interested in investing is starting out with companies they likely are familiar with/interact with, and that are (relatively) easy to understand. Fortunately, Wall Street is loaded with kid-friendly stocks.
Here’s our list of our favorite stocks for kids to get your child excited about investing!
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute individualized investment advice. These stocks appear for your consideration and not as personalized investment recommendations. Act at your own discretion.
Table of Contents
Can Kids Invest in Stocks?
Kids are absolutely able to invest in the stock market, but they will need help from a parent or guardian.
The only ways for kids to invest is through joint brokerage or custodial accounts, meaning that a parent or guardian must open these types of investment accounts for children.
You can open these accounts as early as the day your child enters this world, with as little as $1, and gift up to $17,000 per person ($34,000 per couple) per year into the account without any tax consequences. (Those numbers jump to $18,000 and $36,000, respectively, in 2024.)
WealthUp Tip: Gifts made into custodial accounts are irrevocable. That means once you add money to the custodial account to buy stock, the money becomes the property of the account owner (that is, the minor who is investing in stocks).
What Are Good Stocks to Buy for My Kid or Grandkid?
Kids’ stock picks typically will include companies they already know about and interact with.
Just as important, though, is that these companies are likely to stand the test of time. These are investments, after all, and you should intend for them to remain in the child’s account for several years.
So you don’t just want familiar companies—you want familiar companies that also are among the best stocks on the market.
You also want to buy stocks for children with the goal of teaching them about investing in the future. That’s why the stock’s underlying business should be something that is both somewhat easy to understand, and also appealing to a child.
A company that sells cool clothes or makes fun game apps will be a lot easier to teach an 8-year-old child about than a reinsurance firm.
You should keep all these factors in mind when you’re ready to introduce your kids to investing through one of the brokerage account options listed, or even through a custodial Roth IRA. (The latter account type requires the child to have earned income, but if your child qualifies, it can be a tax-smart way to save for retirement and allow the returns to compound on their investment.)
How to Buy Stocks for Teens in a Joint Brokerage Account: Fidelity Youth™ Account ($50 bonus for teens)
— Available: Sign up here
— Price: No account fees, no account minimum, no trading commissions*
— Platforms: Web, mobile app (Apple iOS, Android)
— Promotion: Teens get $501 on Fidelity® when they download the Fidelity Youth™ app and activate their Youth Account
Is your teen interested in jumpstarting their financial future? Do you want them to build smart money habits along the way?
Of course you do! Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot. And one tool that can help your teen get that jump is the Fidelity Youth™ Account—an account owned by teens 13 to 17 that’s designed to help them start their money journey. They can start investing by buying most U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and Fidelity mutual funds for as little as $1!⁴
Your teen will also get a free debit card with no subscription fees, no account fees³, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees⁵. And they can use this free debit card for teens to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.
And as for building smart money habits? You and your teen can access your account through the Fidelity Youth™ app, which has a dedicated Learn tab packed with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits. Not only will Fidelity’s interactive lessons, videos, articles, tools, and calculators accelerate their learning—but for every level they complete, reward dollars will be deposited into their account to use however they want.
Controls parents want and need
A parent or guardian must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity Youth™ Account. For new Fidelity® customers, opening an account is easy, and there are no minimums and no account fees.
Parents and guardians have plenty of tools they can use to monitor their teen’s activity: They have online account access, can follow monthly statements and trade confirmations, and can view debit card transactions made in the account.
To make it even easier, you can set up alerts to notify you of trades, transactions, and cash management activity, keeping you firmly in the loop on actions your teen takes across the Fidelity Youth™ Account’s suite of products.
If your teen has an interest in learning about investing and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, you should consider downloading the Fidelity Youth™ app and opening a Fidelity Youth™ Account. The account comes custom-built for their needs, which will help them become financially independent and start investing for their future.
Read more in our Fidelity Youth™ Account review.
What Kid-Friendly Stocks Make Sense in 2024?
If you’re building an investment gift list for your child, we have a number of kid-friendly stocks to suggest.
The goal here is to check off most if not all our needs: We want household names with strong financial foundations that also have simple enough businesses that you can at least broadly explain them to kids.
Here are 12 kid-friendly stocks we like, listed in alphabetical order:
Alphabet (GOOGL), the parent company of the better-known Google, boasts the world’s leading search engine.
Er, sorry. It boasts the two leading search engines: Google Search and YouTube.
Whenever you have a question and type it into a browser or phone or ask it out loud to a smart speaker, odds are Google provides you with the answer. That level of dominance makes Alphabet difficult to compete with, and has built a financial foundation that will allow the company to invest heavily in its future.
Joseph Bonner, a stock analyst with research firm Argus Research, says that “Alphabet has been doing extensive work on AI for years, including through its DeepMind subsidiary, which it has now integrated into its Google division. Google is looking to apply its deep research into AI across its platforms and applications, including search and advertising.”
Alphabet is also a great example of how even the best stocks you can buy aren’t perfect. In this case, the company is constantly under the microscope of regulators in the U.S. and other countries, too—and legal challenges can force companies like Alphabet to change how they do business, affecting their sales and profits.
Still, Google has survived many such challenges already, and the billions it re-invests into its business should allow it to keep adapting and surviving in the future.
“We see Alphabet as one of the industry’s leaders,” Bonner says, grouping it with a few other companies … including our next two great kid-friendly stocks.
WealthUp Tip: Alphabet actually has two sets of publicly traded stock: GOOGL, the company’s “Class A” stock that grants shareholders the right to vote on company matters, and GOOG, its “Class C” stock that has no voting rights.
Amazon (AMZN) dominates the retail world. It is a one-stop shop for nearly anything you could want. And it has redefined customer expectations—they were a pioneer in two-day, one-day and even same-day shipping.
And yet, it’s also so much more than that. Consider this summation as to why Truist analyst Youssef Squali rates AMZN shares at Buy:
“We find management’s maniacal focus on the customer (by focusing on selection/price/ convenience) and its leveraging of technology innovation to disrupt commerce, entertainment and IT services, to be strong differentiators and sustainable competitive advantages. Such a focus has and should continue to enable the company to grow disproportionately faster than peers, gain market share in several segments of the global economy and sustain above-peers valuation multiples for years to come, in our view.”
Amazon is an e-commerce company, sure. But it’s also the world’s biggest cloud provider, it’s an entertainment company through its Amazon Prime service, and it’s one of the biggest advertising companies, behind only giants Google and Facebook. AMZN makes for such an attractive stock because it’s supported by a diversified business with ample opportunities to enter new markets and disrupt well-seated industry incumbents.
Amazon, like Alphabet, invests heavily in itself, and has been a top innovator for years as a result. It constantly sets new expectations for consumers—expectations that other companies are forced to emulate or risk getting left in the dust.
Apple (AAPL) is one of the world’s largest companies, and it features the most recognizable brand of any company on this list.
For these and so many more reasons, Apple is a must-have list for anyone—a kid, an adult…heck, a goose if someone’s willing to give it a brokerage account.
Unlike many top-tier technology companies, Apple hasn’t made a name by inventing products, but by reinventing them. Apple didn’t create the first mouse, but it popularized its use. Apple didn’t create the MP3 player, but the iPod was the best-selling one ever. Apple didn’t create the smartphone, but the iPhone left Nokia, BlackBerry and virtually every other device in the dust.
It’s all about positioning with Apple, and that’s what makes it one of the most kid-friendly stocks for teens that want to build wealth long-term.
Apple is one of the few technology companies whose products are considered premium or luxury. That’s not just something fun to brag about—it allows Apple to charge premium prices, which means it can generate higher profits from its sales.
Better still: Apple is a lifestyle. It’s rare you find someone with just an iPhone. That person is also likely to have a MacBook and/or an iPad, they listen to iTunes on their AirPods, and they use their Apple Watch to control their Apple TV.
This is what’s called an “ecosystem,” and once a consumer gets in, it’s difficult to get out. That’s an attribute called “stickiness,” which makes it likelier that someone who currently owns Apple products will continue buying them going forward. The cost of leaving is just too high.
That provides a lot of financial stability for Apple, and allows it to invest heavily in products it hopes will be the “next big thing” and spur even more growth, like its AR/VR headset.
Coca-Cola (KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, and in addition to being one of the most recognized brands in history, it also commands an extensive portfolio of beverages that are everyday household names.
Barq’s root beer, Costa Coffee, Dasani water, Fanta, Fresca, Gold Peak and Honest teas, Minute Maid, Powerade, Smartwater, Sprite and Vitaminwater—these are just some of the 200-plus brands that Coca-Cola lords over in addition to its namesake colas.
It’s easy to see why KO is such a kid-friendly name. Any child whose parents are OK with letting them have a sugary drink from time to time has almost certainly come across one (if not many) of these beverages.
Not to mention, while Coca-Cola is a massive operation—it literally sells drinks in every country in the world except North Korea and Cuba—it’s a straightforward business: It sells beverages to restaurants and other businesses, as well as to consumers.
Another thing to love about Coca-Cola is its longstanding dividend program, which has been around for more than a century! The company has paid dividends each and every quarter since 1920, and it has increased the amount of money it has paid out every year for the past six decades.
That has earned KO membership in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats—a group of elite dividend stocks that raise their payouts year in and year out.
Professional stock researchers know just how integral KO can be for investors of all types. “We believe that high-quality stocks like Coke play an important role in portfolio construction,” says Chris Graja, an equity analyst with Argus Research.
5. CVS Health
Any investor with their money in U.S. stocks should have at least a little of it parked in the healthcare sector. That’s because healthcare is perhaps the best blend of growth and defense.
Let’s start with growth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2021-30 National Health Expenditure (NHE) report presents health spending and enrollment projections for the coming decade. And according to CMS, “annual growth in national health spending is expected to average 5.1% over 2021-2030, and to reach nearly $6.8 trillion by 2030.”
In short, healthcare spending has been relentless, and according to this NHE report, it will continue to be for at least the rest of this decade. You can largely thank space-age advances in biopharmaceuticals, genetics and medical devices, which continue to improve both the length and quality of human life.
But healthcare is also defensive for similar reasons. As a general rule, humans want to, you know, live—and especially as they age, it takes drugs and devices to do that.
Which means that in an economic downturn, you might hold off on buying a new pair of Nikes or taking a vacation to the Outer Banks. But you’re still going to spend money on certain necessities, including power, water, food … and your medicines.
What makes CVS Health (CVS) stand out is its positioning in numerous businesses throughout the healthcare cycle.
You probably know it best for the pharmacy where you pick up prescriptions (or maybe some soap, shampoo, candy, toilet paper … you get the picture). But CVS is so much more than that, including:
— 1,126 Minute Clinics. That’s right. CVS Health has more than a thousand locations of what are essentially doctor’s offices right inside the store. And CVS is planning to add hundreds of primary-care centers, so in some cases, you might see your regular doctor at the pharmacy chain.
— Caremark. CVS also has what’s called a “pharmacy benefits management” (or PBM) business. PBMs work behind the scenes, managing prescription drug benefits for large-scale payers, including health insurance companies, major employers, Medicare Part D drug plans and more. While you’ll never really see this arm of the business in action, it’s what powers the flow of prescription drugs through CVS.
— Aetna. In 2018, CVS closed on a $69 billion deal for Aetna—a major benefits firm offering up medical, dental, vision and other types of health-related insurance.
In short, CVS can be found up and down the healthcare chain. That makes it a likely beneficiary of a projected increase in health spending over the next decade.
Toys are a part of everyday life that has endured for eons. The toys might change—wooden dolls have given way to kids’ tablet computers and chemistry sets—but the desire to make a business out of entertaining children isn’t going anywhere.
Kids who would like to invest in some of their favorite toys can consider either Hasbro (HAS) or Mattel (MAT)—the two 500-pound gorillas in the space.
Hasbro’s brands (whether owned or licensed) include Play-Doh, Monopoly, Marvel, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Beyblade, Transformers, Playskool, Peppa Pig and more. “Hasbro remains a leader in the $30 billion toy industry,” says Jim Corridore, stock analyst with Argus Research. “Hasbro’s digital products, licensing agreements and ability to create content have also differentiated it from other toy companies.”
He adds that the toy industry could grow further, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region, as well as in emerging markets.
Mattel, meanwhile, is the home to Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, DC, Uno, Scrabble and Minecraft, among others. BofA Global Research analyst Jason Haas says “Mattel is a successful turnaround story that we believe the market has not yet fully rewarded. We expect multiple expansion as the company continues to grow by leveraging its (intellectual property) through content to drive toy and game sales.”
McDonald’s (MCD) is one of the world’s best-known brands. The burger-slinger’s current global footprint is more than 40,000 restaurants in 120 countries and territories, through which it serves more than 68 million people every single day.
You might know McDonald’s as a fast-food restaurant, but on Wall Street, it and companies like it are referred to as “quick service restaurants,” or QSRs. And as far as QSRs go, Mickey D’s stands out above the rest. It’s the largest drive-through player in the world, and it also does roughly $16 billion in delivery sales, making it tops in QSR delivery orders, too.
Wedbush analysts Nick Setyan and Michael Symington, who rate the stock at Outperform, say “We came away from MCD’s Investor Day incrementally more confident that the company is positioned to extend its multi-year streak of category share gains for the foreseeable future.”
They’re hardly alone. S&P Global Market Intelligence, a top market data provider, surveys stock analysts, and of those that it has talked to, 30 call MCD a Buy, while only eight say it’s a Hold, and none of them say McDonald’s stock is a Sell right now.
But also, we’re looking at McDonald’s for the really, really, really long run. And from that standpoint, there’s a lot to like.
McDonald’s turns a lot of its revenues into cash flows that allow it to do things such as buy back its own stock (which makes any remaining shares worth more) and increase its dividend. In fact, McDonald’s—just like Coca-Cola—is another Dividend Aristocrat, with 47 years of uninterrupted annual dividend increases under its belt.
That means you not only stand to benefit from the potential growth of MCD shares over time, but because MCD is an income generating asset, you’ll likely collect a lot of cash that you can either save up, or reinvest in more stock!
8. NextEra Energy
A little earlier, we were talking about how CVS Health was a “defensive” stock because people simply need what it sells (pharmaceutical drugs, healthcare coverage, etc.).
Well, NextEra Energy (NEE) is attractive for pretty much the same reason.
NextEra Energy is the world’s largest utility company—a type of company that provides some sort of basic human need, typically electricity, natural gas, water and/or sewage services.
And through a few subsidiaries (basically, company-sized divisions within a larger company), it provides electricity—and a couple other things on top of that.
The utility operations are run through Florida Power & Light Company, which delivers electricity to more than 12 million Florida residents. This is one of the most stable kinds of business you can find. That’s because almost all people simply need electricity to get by, so no matter what a person’s finances are like, they’re going to try to find a way to get their electricity bill paid.
Also, like most other utilities, Florida Power & Light’s rates for delivering electricity are regulated, meaning the company can typically only increase rates a little bit every so often.
There’s usually not a lot of growth in these kinds of companies, so their value tends to come from dividends. The utility sector is one of the highest-yielding sectors on the market, and NEE’s dividend yield (what percentage of the stock price is paid out in dividends every year) of 3.1% is twice as high as the S&P 500’s current 1.5% yield.
But wait, there’s more! NextEra Energy, through its NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary, is (in its own words) “the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.”
This business has helped NEE grow much more rapidly than most other utility stocks—and it also makes NextEra’s shares look more attractive to investors who want to put their money behind companies that are helping the environment.
9. Realty Income
If you’ve ever spent money at a Walgreens, 7-Eleven, LA Fitness, Dollar General, AMC Theaters, Red Lobster, Home Depot or dozens of other businesses, chances are you’ve lined not only the pockets of those companies, but those of Realty Income (O).
Investing in real estate is typically very expensive—if you want to buy commercial property, you’ll need tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
However, in 1960, Congress established real estate investment trusts, or REITs, to give everyday investors easier and cheaper access to the real estate market. A REIT is a company that owns (and sometimes operates) real estate of all kinds, from malls and hotels to hospitals and apartment complexes. And you can invest in this real estate for the price of a single REIT share—anywhere from $10 to a couple hundred dollars, but rarely much more.
Realty Income is one of the biggest and most popular REITs out there. It has more than 13,250 properties—spread across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Italy, Ireland, and Spain—that are leased out under long-term contracts to nearly 1,300 different clients, including the companies we mentioned above.
Effectively, if you walk into a Walgreens or 7-Eleven, Realty Income might actually own that building and is just renting it out to that company.
One of the most important qualities of any REIT is that it’s actually exempt from U.S. federal income tax—as long as it pays out at least 90% of its taxable income as dividends to shareholders. Thus, REITs tend to pay out far larger dividends than your average stock. But Realty Income’s dividend is really special. In addition to having a yield of 5.3% that is more than three times the S&P 500’s yield, Realty Income is a rare monthly dividend payer.
Most U.S. companies that do pay a dividend do so quarterly (once every three months). However, Realty Income pays three times more frequently, distributing cash each and every month.
This is so important to some income investors that Realty Income has branded itself “The Monthly Dividend Company,” and its homepage will tell you how many consecutive months O shares have paid a dividend, as well as how many consecutive quarters the company has increased its dividend.
The company itself is pretty boring—it’s a landlord, after all. But it’s one of the premier real estate companies in the world, and its cash payments can really add up over time.
Shell (SHEL) is one of the largest energy companies in the world—and that probably makes it the most complicated of these 12 kid-friendly stocks.
Shell is referred to as an “integrated oil major.” That’s because Shell is responsible for just about every single process in the energy lifecycle—from searching for sources of energy and pulling it out of the ground, to refining it into usable products such as gasoline, to transporting it across the world, to selling it to consumers at your local gas station.
The company operates in more than 70 countries. It produces 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) every single day, and it has 9.6 billion boe of proved oil and gas reserves.
The thing is, fossil fuels such as oil are a major contributor to global climate change. As a result, Shell’s primary business—and that of just about every other oil company around the world—will be in constant question for the foreseeable future as the world tries to balance trying to “go green” with the realities of the world’s current energy needs.
Shell is attempting to broaden its horizons into many cleaner sources of power, including producing wind and solar energy, as well as supplying low-carbon biofuels and even hydrogen fuel.
Meanwhile, it’s also trying to become more friendly to shareholders as well.
“Shell has been working to increase portfolio returns by selling less profitable assets, and, more recently, by cutting capital spending and operating costs,” says Bill Selesky, a stock analyst with Argus Research.
“As the company moves past its recent period of heavy capital spending and continues to lower costs, we expect free cash flow to improve significantly—providing additional resources for dividend hikes and share buybacks.”
It’s difficult to know whether any established fossil-fuel energy company can transition successfully to an eventual greener world, but Shell has the resources to make a serious run at it—and if successful, investors will be able to hold it far past the end of oil and gas use.
Visa (V) is something of a hybrid, allowing young investors to get exposure to both technology and finance.
Visa is the world’s top payment card network. Right now, some 4.3 billion Visa credit and debit cards are in circulation around the globe, which have been used to generate roughly $15 trillion in total transaction volume in just 12 months (Sept. 31, 2022, to Sept. 31, 2023). More than 130 million merchants are part of Visa’s network, meaning you can use its cards to buy just about anything, from high-end jewelry to a pack of gum.
And it’s not just consumers who swipe with Visa. Many businesses actually purchase from other businesses using the company’s plastic.
But what’s interesting about Visa is that, despite making it possible for literally trillions of dollars’ worth of transactions to go through, it’s not really responsible for any of the underlying funds.
Visa itself is not a bank—instead, some 14,500-plus banks and other financial institutions use Visa’s technology to give its customers the ability to spend anywhere, anytime. So if your parent uses a Chase Visa, Chase Bank is taking on the financial risk—Visa is just acting as the middleman between the merchant and the bank.
A big reason Visa is one of the best kid-friendly stocks to begin investing with is that, no matter how much the financial world changes, Visa keeps making a place for itself. Just consider this statement about Visa and rival Mastercard (MA) from CFRA analyst Alexander Yokum:
“Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) are world-class companies that enjoy double-digit revenue growth and widening margins … CFRA believes Visa and Mastercard are well positioned amid a potential slower economic backdrop in 2024, as they are seeing strong network transaction growth, and both companies are relatively agnostic to consumer spending preferences (e.g., products or services).”
Not only can Visa grow—it can also provide cash. Sure, it doesn’t have the same length of dividend growth as some of the other stocks on this list. But it is trying to make up for lost time.
Consider that over the past 10 years, Visa has grown its dividend from 10 cents per share every quarter to 52 cents—a jump of 420%! (That’s more than eight times as fast as the S&P 500, which has grown its dividends by 50% over the same time frame.
12. Walt Disney
Lastly, what kid wouldn’t want to have a piece of Walt Disney (DIS)?
Walt Disney is one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world. In fact, let’s try to give you an idea of just how big it is by giving you a quick breakdown of its different businesses:
Disney Entertainment: This includes all of Disney’s entertainment media and content businesses globally, including streaming. These assets include Walt Disney Studios, Marvel, LucasFilm, 20th Century Studios, Pixar, ABC, Freeform, FX, Hulu, National Geo, Disney+, and more.
ESPN: This includes the full lineup of ESPN networks, as well as the ESPN+ streaming service.
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: This division encompasses theme parks and resorts, cruise and vacation experiences, and consumer products. Assets include Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Publishing, and the Disney Store, among others.
Buying shares of Walt Disney stock for your children might just mold them into buy-and-hold investors for the rest of their lives.
Much like a strong investment portfolio, Walt Disney has diversified into many different businesses. It’s a good example for anyone: No matter your status as a young investor or seasoned futures market trader, don’t ever put all your eggs in one basket.
One of the Best Ways to Invest $1,000 for a Child? Index Funds!
Sure, the purpose of this article is detailing some of the best stocks for kids, but we’d be remiss not to tackle another ideal type of investment: index funds.
Index funds are a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that effectively makes all of its investment decisions based on a set of rules and algorithms. (This is different from an actively managed fund, where all stocks, bonds and other assets are picked by one or more portfolio managers.)
So, why index funds?
These products offer the same level of broad diversification (in other words, spreading your risk across many, many investments) as actively managed funds, but they tend to be much cheaper because you’re not paying for a team of human managers.
Here’s why diversification is important: If your child holds only a handful of stocks, a big decline in one could take a king-sized bite out of their overall savings. But when they invest in a few stock funds, for instance, a big tumble in one of the fund’s stock holdings will have a minimal impact on performance, preserving their savings.
Ultimately, the best portfolios will include a few funds for diversification’s sake. But make sure your child buys some stocks, too. Individual stocks are how investors try to outperform the market, and they’re generally more interesting than funds—which will keep your child more mentally invested in the stock market and their portfolio.
A mix of relatable stocks, some conversations with your child and a few investing books for kids is just about all you need to make sure your kid grows up with high financial literacy and a head start on their lifelong savings goals.
Where Can I Buy Stock for a Child?
A custodial account is one type of financial account that an adult maintains for another person, usually a child.
Many parents use custodial accounts to invest for their teens. Importantly, custodial accounts can hold a variety of assets—stocks and bonds, sure, but also CDs, insurance contracts, even antiques and collectibles.
The money in these accounts is controlled by a custodian, typically a parent. The teen or child doesn’t have access to the funds until he or she reaches that state’s age of majority. Depending on the state, that age might be 18, 21 or even 25.
Custodial accounts allow custodians to control assets for the benefit of the minor without the need for setting up a special trust fund, which has its own advantages but is a far more complicated process.
Whereas assets in a joint brokerage account are co-owned by the child and the custodian, assets in custodial accounts irrevocably belong to the minor.
However, the listed custodian can complete transactions on the minor’s behalf until they are of legal age to take over the account and its investments as a young adult.
The other way kids can invest in stocks is through a jointly owned brokerage account, which allows two or more people to sit on the account’s title and act as owners of all assets within the account.
These accounts most commonly exist between spouses, but they can also be opened between multiple family members (say, a parent and child) or two or more individuals who share financial goals (say, unmarried partners or business partners).
When a parent and child have a jointly owned brokerage account, they can share in the decision-making of what to buy and sell. Many investing apps for kids allow you to open a brokerage account with joint ownership.
How to Buy Stocks On Behalf of Your Kids and Grandkids
As mentioned before, kids can’t make money investing in stocks without opening up a custodial account or joint brokerage account.
There is no black and white when it comes to “the best account,” but there are some considerations that can help you make a decision for what will work best for your individual financial situation:
— Fees. This is one of the most important things to decide when you are choosing an account. Most custodial accounts have low or no fees if you are a customer of the brokerage company. Some stock brokers charge trading commissions while others charge a monthly fee and act as a free stock trading app within the account. Some even offer free stocks for signing up in the form of shares or a sign-up bonus. Consider your preferred model.
— Account minimums. Before opening a brokerage account, look into the minimum deposit required, as well as the minimum balance required. (For instance, an account might require you to deposit $500 upon opening, but the minimum required balance after that might be only $250.)
— Investment options. You’ll also want to think about the types of investment options you’ll have available. Some custodial accounts offer a wide range of investment choices, while others provide guardrails with fewer choices but more simplified offerings.
These accounts typically use apps to control them. And the best investing apps for beginners focus on simplicity, functionality and ability to grow alongside the investor. Investing apps that control investment accounts can be a one-stop shop for everything finance-related.
These apps provide comprehensive services to manage your finances, including investing advice and kid-friendly stocks in 2024.
Better still, these apps can monitor things such as budgeting, saving and spending. Having all of your financial needs consolidated into one app can make managing your money easier and keep you from being overwhelmed by constantly switching between apps. That’s why we recommend the Fidelity Youth™ Account.
Terms and Conditions for Fidelity Youth™ Account
The Fidelity Youth™ Account can only be opened by a parent/guardian. Account eligibility limited to teens aged 13-17.
* $0.00 commission applies to online U.S. equity trades and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in a Fidelity retail account only for Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC retail clients. Sell orders are subject to an activity assessment fee (from $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). Other exclusions and conditions may apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for details. Employee equity compensation transactions and accounts managed by advisors or intermediaries through Fidelity Institutional® are subject to different commission schedules.
¹ Limited Time Offer. Terms Apply. Before opening a Fidelity Youth™ Account, you should carefully read the account agreement and ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities to monitor and supervise your teen’s activity in the account.
² The Fidelity Youth™ app is free to download. Fees associated with your account positions or transacting in your account apply.
³ Zero account minimums and zero account fees apply to retail brokerage accounts only. Expenses charged by investments (e.g., funds, managed accounts, and certain HSAs) and commissions, interest charges, or other expenses for transactions may still apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for further details.
⁴ Fractional share quantities can be entered out to 3 decimal places (.001) as long as the value of the order is at least $0.01. Dollar-based trades can be entered out to 2 decimal places (e.g. $250.00).
⁵ Your Youth Account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using the Fidelity® Debit Card at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or Star® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited. Please note, for foreign transactions, there may be a 1% fee included in the amount charged to your account. The Fidelity® Debit Card is issued by PNC Bank, N.A., and the debit card program is administered by BNY Mellon Investment Servicing Trust Company. These entities are not affiliated with each other, and Fidelity is not affiliated with PNC Bank or BNY Mellon. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association, and is used by PNC Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.
⁶ Venmo is a service of PayPal, Inc. Fidelity Investments and PayPal are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. Use a Venmo or PayPal account may be subject to their terms and conditions, including age requirements.
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