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How old do you have to be to invest?

Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.

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.

Last Updated November 7, 2018

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