Money talks and teens are listening! The stock market, investing, trading, shares — these are all terms floating around the minds of today’s teens. While these things all might seem a little confusing to even the most educated parents, there are many apps and other resources for teens and parents to use to learn all about investing!
First things first, you must be at least 18 years old to invest in the stock market in the United States without the help of a parent or legal guardian. However, it is never too early to start learning. Helping your kids understand investing could set them apart as they become legal adults.
Parents can set up something called a custodial account through a broker to help their child invest under their name. The child will be able to access their account on their own once they become a legal adult. “[Your] parent will have to sign you up for a custodial account offered by an online broker,” according to TeenVestor.com. “You would own the assets in the custodial account, but your parent would control the investments in it (hopefully, with your help) until you are no longer a minor.”
TeenVestor.com is a very useful resource for teens and parents when it comes to learning about the stock market and investing. Some of the most helpful resources are stock market simulators. These are online “games” that simulate the real ebb, flow and thrill of investing in the stock market. This can be very helpful for your teen to learn all the different terms and rules regarding investing. TeenVestor.com has both a stock market simulator game and a stock certification course, not to mention countless articles with some really valuable information.
If you are looking for some apps for your teens to download, here are some that will help fuel their investing curiosity:
This popular microsavings app operates by rounding up every purchase you make and investing the extra cents for you. So, if your morning coffee costs $3.30, the app rounds the purchase up to $4 and invests the 70 cent difference. Again, for a minor to use the app to invest, you have to set up a custodial account through the “Acorns Early” product that is available under the Acorns family plan. “Making regular contributions over long periods of time can go a long way toward building lifelong wealth,” according to Acorns. You and your child can invest these extra cents together!
This company works more like a debit card for kids that is funded by the parents. However, the app can help teach valuable lessons about spending, saving and investing!
“Families on the Greenlight Max or Greenlight + Invest plans have access to our investing platform designed just for kids,” according to the company’s website. “Kids learn about the world of investing with their own Greenlight investor profiles while parents approve every trade. Families can research, buy and monitor real stocks and funds all from the Greenlight app.”
There is a monthly subscription fee, but there are no age limitations for those who can use the app! The entire family can get involved.
YNAB (YOU NEED A BUDGET)
So, YNAB is not an investing app — it’s actually a budgeting app! It can help teach your child how to properly budget, spend and save their money so that when it is time to start investing, they have money of their own to invest! There is a monthly/yearly subscription fee, but it could really help bolster your child’s savings account before they reach adulthood. And the better your child is with their money, the more secure their finances will be when they start investing.