Q

How old do you have to be to invest?

A

You must be whatever the age of majority is in your state.

Perhaps your baby has the stock picking talent of Peter Lynch in diapers. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but she is legally forbidden from investing.

Because legislative bodies don’t generally trust minors to make informed investment decisions, states have imposed minimum ages for people to invest (and just like buying beer at 7-11, advisories like Wealthsimple always card.) In the US, the age in the vast majority of states, including California and New York, is 18, though a few cautious outliers do make their residents hold off until 21. Since no authoritative list has been compiled online, consult any local broker to find out your state’s rules. Because kids should be allowed to benefit from investment growth, there’s another option for the precocious investor. It’s called a “custodial account,” and any minor can hold one in his or her name — but mom or dad or a legal guardian over 18 is required to sign up as the account administrator.

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