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Ever wonder where teens get most of their information on the stock market? According to a recent survey, 43% of teens turned to social media to learn about investing. Yes, really. That same survey found that if given money to invest, 43% would invest in the stock market (good), while 25% would focus on cryptocurrency (not so good).
These results underscore the importance of getting teens started investing early with the right guidance. To that end, picking the right investment app t0 help educate your child when it comes to investing can be a helpful first step.
Pick the wrong app, and the experience may feel more like gambling than investing (cough, Robinhood, cough). Pick a solid app, and your child may well be on their way to a lifetime of sound wealth building. Here are five of the better apps to help your teen start investing.
5 Investing Apps for Teens
This banking and investing app boasts features that your kids will like. These features include a personalized debit card and direct debit for allowance. It also has features mom and dad will appreciate, like pre-approved stores where your kid can spend and real-time notifications any time the card is used.
But it’s the investing arm where this app really shines. Offering parental control on every trade, Greenlight has no trading fees, allows little investors to buy fractional shares from their favorite companies, and has an educational aspect that teaches kids about more in-depth concepts like compound growth. Worth noting, the investment platform is only available through the card’s mid and top-tier options, Greenlight+ Invest and Greenlight Max.
Fidelity Youth Account
Meant for teens ages 13-17, the Fidelity Youth Account helps kids learn how to spend, save and invest responsibly. Though parents are required to have a Fidelity account for their kids to use this tool, it’s important to note that it’s a teen owned brokerage account. It’s not a custodial account, meaning that the teen makes the investment decisions. This may not be enough oversight for some parents. But if you’re willing to give your kid some leeway, this tool could be an excellent stepping stone for would-be investors.
This brokerage account allows teens to spend, save and invest all in one place. They can get started investing with fractional shares and as little as a $1. Fidelity Youth accounts are fee-free, require no minimum balances and don’t charge domestic ATM fees.
Voted the best investment app for parents by Forbes, Stockpile offers supervised accounts. These accounts allow kids to choose which stocks they buy and sell, but with parental approval. Teens have a separate log-in from their parents where they can peruse thousands of popular stocks and ETFs and build their portfolio however they like. Once the trades are requested, mom and dad can log-in from their account for approval.
This app is fee-free, meaning you won’t pay trading fees or commissions for your teen. It also has a rather unique feature—this app offers gift cards for stock.
If your kid is a bit too young or not interested in investing just yet, you might choose a more parent-involved option, like Ally Invest’s custodial account. These accounts offer many of the same features of other investing apps for teens. These features include helping teens build their investment portfolio, earn dividends, and work toward long term financial goals, like saving for college.
The setup process isn’t quite as seamless though. It requires parents to open their own Ally Invest account in their name, choose either the self-directed or robo-investing option, then select options such as risk tolerance and goals, and finally select a custodial account. So while this account might be a good option for some, it might not work for those teens who crave a bit more hands-on approach to investing.
Acorns is perhaps best known as a round-up app. It will round-up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invest it automatically. For parents who are short on time but still big on investment goals for their teens, the app offers a Family account. For $5 a month, parents can add multiple children at no additional cost. Parents can 0pen an account and get their kid started investing in under three minutes.
Acorns Early, as the account is called, is a UTMA/UGMA account. As such, these funds are not limited to education like a 529 savings plan. Acorns Early is transferable once your teen is an adult. Though Acorns is user-friendly for parents, it’s not quite as user-friendly for teens and doesn’t boast a separate log-in interface for teens like Stockpile.
Teaching teens about investing isn’t easy. But with these five investing apps for teens, you can educate your teen on everything from the stock market to the importance of saving. While some apps require a bit more parental involvement than others, all teach important lessons about the value of a dollar—and how to make that dollar work for you.