13 DS Wants to Invest in the Market. Where Do We Begin?

Updated on August 09, 2019
C.D. asks from Newtown, CT
10 answers

My 13 year old son is interested in investing... where do I begin? Online investing? With low commissions? I’d have to open a custodial account? Stocks? Bonds? Futures? EFTs? What if he is starting with small chunks of money? Can he buy a portion of a stock? Any advice? TIA

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If he's that interested, he may want to start by reading Charles Schwab's guide to financial independence: simple solutions for busy people. It was one of the best books on investing I have ever read.

Once he has that as a foundation, I would recommend Charles B Carlson's books about Dividend Reinvestment Programs / Buying Stocks Without a Broker.

I would teach him from the beginning how to be confident in investing and eliminating unnecessary commissions.

If you go with mutual funds then Vanguard has no-load funds with low fees.

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answers from Norfolk on

A good site to learn about this stuff is Investopedia.
Our sons high school used it when they taught about basic finances.
You and your son can learn a lot about investing from it.
They have a stock simulator where you can practice investing before trying it for real.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

At that age he should definitely “team up” with a knowledgeable adult. To have adult oversight by an adult who knows the system. If you yourself are not already well-versed about trading, you can learn alongside him (or let it be his thing without mom, either way).

If you do not have an adult relative who already knows about trading, he should talk to someone at your bank or take a class on the weekends at a community center, something like that. (You’ll see in the replies below, kids have done trading with oversight from a parent or a teacher.)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

First, you educate yourselves about it. The LAST thing you need to do is end up losing money or learn by accident that you owe the IRS. You must be knowledgeable about it and if you are not, then you need to seek the advice of your financial counselor. I hope you have a financial counselor for retirement and college planning.

At age 13, he will not be able to open his very own account and you or your husband will need to be linked on an account. He can make choices, etc as far as what he wants to invest in but no bank or other financial institution will open an individual account for a 13 yr old.

I think it is great that he is interested and if it were me, I'd be getting financial advice from my counselor so he can learn all aspects of investing. It is a great thing to be educated on and can help him throughout his adult life.

Personally, we have a counselor at Edward Jones and she is the best. I also work with my banker. Spread it out and be diverse.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on


Start with your local bank. They should have an investment team there to help and educate both of you on investing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

One of mine does penny stocks? I think it is. He does it with his dad. But he took the lead initially (his idea and he started it all). I'm not super familiar. I think he just does it online - he wasn't a whole lot older than your son when he started (his friend was also).

Otherwise, if he wants someone else to handle it and he can just follow along, he could do it through a bank/financial advisor - and meet with them to discuss goals, etc.

My son got a book from library (I think they even might have one for Dummies or something similar, his was very basic.). He could go and ask a librarian.

For my son, it's just a hobby (doesn't invest a lot). I think if you Googled you'd find info. Pretty sure that's all he did. Good luck :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Yes, you have to open a custodial account. It is very clear that you know nothing about investing because you mention futures. No reputable broker would ever let you trade futures in a child’s account. Be careful! It is easy for people who don’t know what they are doing to get in trouble investing!

ETF is an exchange traded fund. A lot of people who want to live off of dividends choose those. The question is what does your son want his goal to be? Does he want to save over the long term and watch his money grow by investing monthly? The only way to buy a portion of a stock is to buy a mutual fund. There are front load, back load and no load mutual funds. The front load funds will eat his money alive. There are also tax implications for buying mutual funds in a non-retirement account. You should talk to your accountant before you make this decision - same with ETF’s because those are also baskets of companies’ stocks that may have tax implications that you should be aware of.

TD Ameritrade has discount commissions and if there is an office nearby you, you can go in with your son and talk to a broker. Make sure you bring his birth certificate or passport and his social security number. Documents have to be signed. (I have a retirement account with them, which is why I mention them.)

Don’t be hood-winked by anyone telling you get rich quick with penny stocks. You are just asking to lose money!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I would ask your bank about speaking to a financial adviser. These people have the proper training to advise people on investments, depending on their desire for risk and amount of investment. Most banks provide them for free, as an additional perk/asset to their customers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Oh dear, you need to ask around for local recommendations. If no one in your family has a financial planner or broker ask friends, coworkers, other parents, etc. for referrals. I would NEVER invest online on do anything high risk/low comission with my own money let alone let my kid do it!
You need to find someone honest and conservative. Stocks can be great but they are long term investments, so make sure your son understands that. This isn't some kind of "wolf of wall street" thing that's going to make him rich.
If he has a genuine interest in this get him a subscription to the Wall Street Journal! It's still the best source for financial news and information.
ETA: Minors can NOT buy stocks, so yes, you have to set up a special account for him (the advice given below about having him do it himself is exactly why you need to be careful about getting professional advice on a mom site like this one-good luck!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New London on

You have to manage it for him as he's a minor. Check into the guardian acct or the custodial acct and understand the taxes.

Or a simple thing to do would be to call a company like Fidelity, etc...and tell them that u want to invest a certain amt in a solid company that pays dividends and that it will be for long-term for your son. See if there are fees, etc.... Tell them it's an informational call.

My friend bought Disney stock for her son 5 yrs ago ( She bought him 6 shares,,,... Was 80,00 a share and it's now about 130,00 a share) Her child keeps tabs on it! Great learning exp! The child knows it's "his" and it cannot be cashed out until he is an adult!
He buys one more share every yr.

There are merits to dividend stocks!

Look into stock club/group during HS yrs @ school! Many high schools do this and students "PLAY" the market!

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