Investing For Beginners

Investing For Beginners is a series of articles, resources, and other information about basic investments, value investing, quantitative research and other ideas.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy Stocks?

In most states (and countries), a person must be of legal age before they can open a brokerage account.  In fact minors do not have the right to contract, thus they cannot own bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and life insurance policies.  How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy Stocks? Legal age varies between the age of 18 and 21 based on state, province, or country.


In most states (and countries), a person must be of legal age before they can open a brokerage account.  In fact minors do not have the right to contract, thus they cannot own bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and life insurance policies.  Legal age varies  between the age of 18 and 21 based on state, province, or country.

To get around this age limitation in the United States, a custodial investment account may be established for minors.The ability to set up a child account falls under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, a modernized law that has replaced the earlier Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) in almost all states.  A trustee for the account must be appointed and the social security number of the child must also be provided.  

The money used within the custodial account must be "gifted" by an adult (donor).  The custodian is responsible for managing the money for the benefit of the minor in a prudent fashion.

CAUTION: Before opening a custodial account, one should thoroughly research the tax consequences as custodial accounts only make sense if the beneficiary won’t be applying for financial aid before the age of 24.

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