Fidelity to offer free brokerage accounts for teens
All-new account helps teens get their foot in the door.
If you’ve ever regretted waiting too long to start investing, here’s your chance to save your teenager from a similar fate.
Fidelity Investments announced on Tuesday the launch of a new investment account – dubbed the Fidelity® Youth Account – for adolescents aged 13 to 17 who wish to start trading.
Previously, investment firms typically required investors to be at least 18 years old to open their own brokerage accounts. Which makes sense, as this is the age required to legally enter into deals on your own. But that meant that teens interested in the business often had to find other ways to get their feet wet.
Accounts include debit cards, stocks and fund transactions
Heralded as the “first of its kind,” the new Fidelity® Youth account will allow teens to trade most US stocks, ETFs and Fidelity mutual funds. However, certain types of transactions, including cryptocurrency and foreign currency exchange, will not be allowed.
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Accounts can be funded by:
- Cash deposits
- Mobile check deposit
- Bank transfers
- Parent’s existing Fidelity account
Teens will also have the option of using payment apps to add funds to their account, such as:
Each account will come with a free debit card for cash withdrawals, although there are daily debit card withdrawal limits. Accounts will also be free of subscription or account fees, as well as national ATM fees.
There will be no minimum investment amount, which will allow potential investors to start trading with the funds they wish to commit. Although there is no fixed investment maximum, Fidelity reserves the right to restrict deposits.
Unlike a traditional joint or custodial account – often known as Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts, the Fidelity® Youth account is owned by the teenager. This means that they make all the decisions about what, when and how much to trade. They will also be responsible for all tax implications, including the necessary tax returns.
Parent / Guardian must be a Fidelity customer
Of course, the parent or guardian will not be completely speechless in this matter. For one thing, the accounts are only available to teens who have a parent / guardian with an existing Fidelity Investments account.
Additionally, while the teenage account holder will activate and manage their own account in the mobile app, the parent must initiate and approve the opening of the account. The parent / guardian will also have the option to cancel the debit card or completely close the account at any time.
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You will also be able to keep tabs on your teen’s account, debit card statements and transaction confirmations as an interested party with access to inquiries. And Fidelity will consider the parent to be the “trusted contact” for the account.
Be sure to explore the Youth Learning Center
Since it is not a good idea to allow teens to blindly err in the stock market, Fidelity has provided a range of educational resources in their Youth Learning Center. The curated content will include beginner-level primer on the basics of brokerage and trading, which will be available from the mobile app.
Fidelity also hopes the account will help open a dialogue about money between parents and teens; the broker even produced a series of articles on the topic of talk to family about money. Hope this helps parents start the conversation with their kids. Ideally, these conversations – and first-hand market experience – will allow teens to make smart investment decisions when they reach legal age.
Once the teens turn 18, the account can be transformed into a standard brokerage account fully under the control of the young account holder. At that time, the parent will lose the ability to monitor or close the account.