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Investing is an intimidating subject. But with the right knowledge and skills, anyone can learn to invest, no matter the age or experience. And if you’re going to try to get your child to start young, it’s hard to find a better way than having them invest in stocks.

And today, to help you with that goal, we’re going to show you 12 tailor-made stocks for kids.

Stock market investing has been around for ages, and we suggest it as one of several ways to teach your children about money management.

The key to getting your children interested in investing is starting out with companies they likely are familiar with/interact with, and that are (relatively) easy to understand. Fortunately, Wall Street is loaded with kid-friendly stocks.

Here’s our list of our favorite stocks for kids to get your child excited about investing!

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute individualized investment advice. These stocks appear for your consideration and not as investment recommendations. Act at your own discretion.

Best Joint Brokerage Account for Teens—Top Pick


Can Kids Invest in Stocks?


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Kids are absolutely able to invest in the stock market, but they will need help from a parent or guardian.

The only ways for kids to invest is through joint brokerage or custodial accounts, meaning that a parent or guardian must open these types of investment accounts for children.

You can open these accounts as early as the day your child enters this world, with as little as $1, and gift up to $16,000 per person ($32,000 per couple) per year into the account.

Just a quick heads-up: gifts made into custodial accounts are irrevocable. That means once you add money to the custodial account to buy stock, the money becomes the property of the account owner (that is, the minor who is investing in stocks).

What are the Best Stocks to Buy for My Kid?


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Kids’ stock picks typically will include companies they already know about and interact with.

Just as important, though, is that these companies are likely to stand the test of time. These are investments, after all, and you should intend for them to remain in the child’s account for several years.

So you don’t just want familiar companies–you want familiar companies that also are among the best stocks on the market.

You also want to buy stocks for children with the goal of teaching them about investing in the future. That’s why the stock’s underlying business should be something that is both somewhat easy to understand, and also appealing to a child.

A company that sells cool clothes or makes fun game apps will be a lot easier to teach an 8-year-old child about than a reinsurance firm.

You should keep all these factors in mind when you’re ready to introduce your kids to investing through one of the brokerage account options listed, or even through a custodial Roth IRA. (The latter account type requires the child to have earned income, but if your child qualifies, it can be a tax-smart way to save for retirement and allow the returns to compound on their investment.)

How to Buy Stocks for Teens in a Joint Brokerage Account

Fidelity® Youth Account ($50 bonus for teens, $100 bonus for parents)


fidelity youth account sign up

  • Available: Sign Up Here
  • Price: No account fees, no account minimum, no trading commissions
  • Promotion: Teens get $50 on Fidelity® when they open an account; parents get $100 when they fund a new account

Is your teen interested in jumpstarting their financial future? Do you want them to build smart money habits along the way?

Of course you do! Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot. And one tool that can help your teen get that jump is the Fidelity® Youth Account—a brokerage account owned by teens 13 to 17 that’s designed to help them start their investing journey. They can use their own brokerage account to start their investing journey by trading most U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and Fidelity mutual funds in their accounts.

Your teen will also get a free debit card with no subscription fees, no account fees, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees. And they can use this free debit card for teens4 to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.

And as for building smart money habits? You and your teen can access Fidelity’s Dedicated Youth Learning Center, which is packed with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits.

Controls Parents Want and Need

A parent or guardian must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity® Youth Account. For new Fidelity® customers, opening an account is easy, and there are no minimums and no account fees.

Parents and guardians have plenty of tools they can use to monitor their teen’s activity: They have online account access, can follow monthly statements and trade confirmations, and can view debit card transactions made in the account.

To make it even easier, you can set up alerts to notify you of trades, transactions, and cash management activity, keeping you firmly in the loop on actions your teen takes across the Fidelity® Youth Account’s suite of products.

If your teen has an interest in learning about investing and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, you should consider opening a Fidelity® Youth Account. The account comes custom-built for their needs, which will help them become financially independent and start investing for their future.

Read more in our Fidelity Youth Account review.

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Teens & Kids [Reloadable]

 

What Kid-Friendly Stocks Does 2022 Have to Offer?


If you’re building an investment gift list for your child, we have a number of kid-friendly stocks to suggest.

The goal here is to check off most if not all our needs: We want household names with strong financial foundations that also have simple enough businesses that you can at least broadly explain them to kids.

Here are 12 kid-friendly stocks we like, listed in alphabetical order:

1. Alphabet (GOOG/GOOGL)


google homepage

Alphabet (GOOGL), the parent company of the better-known Google, boasts the world’s leading search engine.

Er, sorry. It boasts the two leading search engines: Google Search and YouTube.

Whenever you have a question and type it into a browser or phone or ask it out loud to a smart speaker, odds are Google provides you with the answer.

That level of dominance makes Alphabet difficult to compete with, and has built a financial foundation that will allow the company to invest heavily in its future.

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Joseph Bonner, a stock analyst with research firm Argus Research, says that “Google is looking to apply its deep research into artificial intelligence across its platforms and applications, including search and advertising.

Its three primary ‘bets’ for the immediate future are YouTube, the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and hardware.”

Alphabet is also a great example of how even the best stocks you can buy aren’t perfect.

In this case, the company is constantly under the microscope of regulators in the U.S. and other countries, too–and legal challenges can force companies like Alphabet to change how they do business, affecting their sales and profits.

Still, Google has survived many such challenges already, and the billions it re-invests into its business should allow it to keep adapting and surviving in the future.

“We see Alphabet as one of the tech industry’s leaders,” Bonner says, grouping it with a few other companies … including our next two great kid-friendly stocks.

Note: Alphabet actually has two sets of publicly traded stock: GOOGL, the company’s “Class A” stock that grants shareholders the right to vote on company matters, and GOOG, its “Class C” stock that has no voting rights.

Related: How to Buy Google Shares

2. Amazon (AMZN)


amazon home page

Amazon (AMZN) dominates the retail world. It is a one-stop shop for nearly anything you could want. And it has redefined customer expectations–they were a pioneer in two-day, one-day and even same-day shipping.

And yet, it’s also so much more than that. Consider the various reasons why Raymond James stock analyst Aaron Kessler has been bullish on the stock:

  • “Solid long-term e-commerce growth.”
  • “Continued leadership and momentum in the cloud.”
  • “Robust advertising growth.”

That’s right. Amazon is an e-commerce company, sure. But it’s also the world’s biggest cloud provider, it’s an entertainment company through its Amazon Prime service, and it’s one of the biggest advertising companies, behind only giants Google and Facebook.

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Amazon might never go away. It’s just too big to be upended in many respects. And AMZN makes for an attractive stock because it’s supported by a diversified business with ample opportunities to enter new markets and disrupt well-seated industry incumbents.

Amazon, like Alphabet, invests heavily in itself, and has been a top innovator for years as a result. It constantly sets new expectations for consumers–expectations that other companies are forced to emulate or risk getting left in the dust.

Related: How to Buy Amazon Shares

3. Apple (AAPL)


apple home page

Apple (AAPL) is one of the world’s largest companies, and it features the most recognizable brand of any company on this list.

For these and so many more reasons, Apple is a must-have list for anyone–a kid, an adult…heck, a goose if Schwab will give it a brokerage account.

Unlike many top-tier technology companies, Apple hasn’t made a name by inventing products, but by reinventing them. Apple didn’t create the first mouse, but it popularized its use. Apple didn’t create the MP3 player, but the iPod was the best-selling one ever. Apple didn’t create the smartphone, but the iPhone left Nokia, BlackBerry and virtually every other device in the dust.

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It’s all about positioning with Apple, and that’s what makes it one of the most kid-friendly stocks for teens that want to build wealth long-term.

Apple is one of the few technology companies whose products are considered premium or luxury. That’s not just something fun to brag about–it allows Apple to charge premium prices, which means it can generate higher profits from its sales.

Better still: Apple is a lifestyle. It’s rare you find someone with just an iPhone. That person is also likely to have a MacBook and/or an iPad, they listen to iTunes on their AirPods, and they use their Apple Watch to control their Apple TV.

This is what’s called an “ecosystem,” and once a consumer gets in, it’s difficult to get out. That’s an attribute called “stickiness,” which makes it likelier that someone who currently owns Apple products will continue buying them going forward. The cost of leaving is just too high.

That provides a lot of financial stability for Apple, and allows it to invest heavily in products it hopes will be the “next big thing” and spur even more growth, like its AR/VR headset.

Related: How to Buy Apple Shares

4. Coca-Cola (KO)


coca cola homepage

Coca-Cola (KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, and in addition to being one of the most recognized brands in history, it also commands an extensive portfolio of beverages that are everyday household names.

Barq’s root beer, Costa Coffee, Dasani water, Fanta, Fresca, Gold Peak and Honest teas, Minute Maid, Powerade, Smartwater, Sprite and Vitaminwater–these are just some of the 200-plus brands that Coca-Cola lords over.

It’s easy to see why KO is such a kid-friendly name. Any child whose parents are OK with letting them have a sugary drink from time to time has almost certainly come across one (if not many) of these beverages.

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Not to mention, while Coca-Cola is a massive operation–it literally sells drinks in every country in the world except North Korea and Cuba–it’s a straightforward business: It sells beverages to restaurants and other businesses, as well as to consumers.

Another thing to love about Coca-Cola is its longstanding dividend program, which has been around for more than a century!

The company has paid dividends each and every quarter since 1920, and it has increased the amount of money it has paid out every year for the past six decades.

That has earned KO membership in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats–a group of elite dividend stocks that raise their payouts year in and year out.

Professional stock researchers know just how integral KO can be for investors of all types. “We believe that high-quality stocks like Coke play an important role in portfolio construction,” says Chris Graja, an equity analyst with Argus Research.

Related: How to Buy Coca-Cola Shares

5. CVS Health (CVS)


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Any investor with their money in U.S. stocks should have at least a little of it parked in the healthcare sector. That’s because healthcare is perhaps the best blend of growth and defense.

Let’s start with growth. This year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2021-30 National Health Expenditure (NHE) report, which presents health spending and enrollment projections for the coming decade.

And according to CMS, “annual growth in national health spending is expected to average 5.1% over 2021-2030, and to reach nearly $6.8 trillion by 2030.”

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In short, healthcare spending has been relentless, and according to this NHE report, it will continue to be for at least the next decade.

You can largely thank space-age advances in biopharmaceuticals, genetics and medical devices, which continue to improve both the length and quality of human life.

But healthcare is also defensive for similar reasons. As a general rule, humans want to, you know, live – and especially as they age, it takes drugs and devices to do that.

Which means that in an economic downturn, you might hold off on buying a new pair of Nikes or taking a vacation to the Outer Banks. But you’re still going to spend money on certain necessities, including power, water, food … and your medicines.

What makes CVS Health (CVS) stand out is its positioning in numerous businesses throughout the healthcare cycle.

You probably know it best for the pharmacy where you pick up prescriptions (or maybe some soap, shampoo, candy, toilet paper … you get the picture). But CVS is so much more than that, including:

  • 1,100-plus Minute Clinics. That’s right. CVS Health has more than a thousand locations of what are essentially doctor’s offices right inside the store. And CVS is planning to add hundreds of primary-care centers, so in some cases, you might see your regular doctor at the pharmacy chain.
  • Caremark. CVS also has what’s called a “pharmacy benefits management” (or PBM) business. PBMs work behind the scenes, managing prescription drug benefits for large-scale payers, including health insurance companies, major employers, Medicare Part D drug plans and more. While you’ll never really see this arm of the business in action, it’s what powers the flow of prescription drugs through CVS.
  • Aetna. In 2018, CVS closed on a $69 billion deal for Aetna–a major benefits firm offering up medical, dental, vision and other types of health-related insurance.

In short, CVS can be found up and down the healthcare chain. That makes it a likely beneficiary of a projected increase in health spending over the next decade.

Related: Investing for Kids: Best Investments for Children

6. Hasbro (HAS)/Mattel (MAT)


hasbro home page

Toys are a part of everyday life that has endured for eons. The toys might change–wooden dolls have given way to kids’ tablet computers and chemistry sets–but the desire to make a business out of entertaining children isn’t going anywhere.

Kids who would like to invest in some of their favorite toys can consider either Hasbro (HAS) or Mattel (MAT)–the two 500-pound gorillas in the space.

Hasbro’s brands (whether owned or licensed) include Play-Doh, Monopoly, Marvel, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Beyblade, Transformers, Playskool, Peppa Pig and more.

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“Hasbro remains a leader in the $30 billion toy industry,” says David Coleman, stock analyst with Argus Research. “Hasbro’s digital products, licensing agreements and ability to create content have also differentiated it from other toy companies.”

He adds that the toy industry could grow further, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region, as well as in emerging markets.

Mattel, meanwhile, is the home to Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, DC, Uno, Scrabble and Minecraft, among others.

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UBS analyst Arpine Kocharyan says there is “broad-based momentum at Mattel” for a host of reasons, including stronger retail partnerships, expanded shelf space and better content. “Mattel owns some of the best-known toy brands that have had generational relevance,” she adds.

Related:

7. McDonald’s (MCD)


mcdonald's home page

McDonald’s (MCD) is one of the world’s best-known brands. The burger-slinger’s current global footprint is roughly 34,000 restaurants in 118 countries and territories, through which it serves more than 69 million people every single day.

You might know McDonald’s as a fast-food restaurant, but on Wall Street, it and companies like it are referred to as “quick service restaurants,” or QSRs. And as far as QSRs go, Mickey D’s stands out above the rest.

Raymond James analyst Brian M. Vaccaro, for instance, says that McDonald’s is differentiated from its QSR peers because of its “‘owner-operator’ franchise model, significant real estate holdings, and advantages of scale (supply chain, advertising and brand awareness, site selection), which should enable the company to build upon its dominant position.”

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Now, while Vaccaro sounds really positive about the stock, he actually rates it “Market Perform,” which means he recommends that current shareholders keep on holding the stock–but he doesn’t recommend new investors buying it.

This is a super-important lesson for new investors: Sometimes, analysts can be down on very good companies–even ones they otherwise like. 

For instance, Vaccaro outright says he likes the company’s underlying fundamentals, but he doesn’t view MCD as a Buy in the near-term because the stock looks overvalued, and because economic uncertainty around the globe could affect McDonald’s ability to bring in revenues and earnings.

And that’s OK! For one, most analysts do believe McDonald’s is worth buying right now. S&P Global Market Intelligence, a top market data provider, surveys stock analysts, and of those that it has talked to, 27 call MCD a Buy, while only eight say it’s a Hold, and one lone wolf thinks McDonald’s is a Sell.

But also, we’re looking at McDonald’s for the really, really, really long run. And from that standpoint, there’s a lot to like.

McDonald’s turns a lot of its revenues into cash flows that allow it to do things such as buy back its own stock (which makes any remaining shares worth more) and increase its dividend. In fact, McDonald’s–just like Coca-Cola–is another Dividend Aristocrat, with 45 years of uninterrupted annual dividend increases under its belt.

That means you not only stand to benefit from the potential growth of MCD shares over time, but because MCD is an income generating asset, you’ll likely collect a lot of cash that you can either save up, or reinvest in more stock!

Related: How to Buy McDonald’s Shares

8. NextEra Energy (NEE)


nextera energy homepage

A little earlier, we were talking about how CVS Health was a “defensive” stock because people simply need what it sells (pharmaceutical drugs, healthcare coverage, etc.).

Well, NextEra Energy (NEE) is attractive for pretty much the same reason.

NextEra Energy is the world’s largest utility company–a type of company that provides some sort of basic human need, typically electricity, natural gas, water and/or sewage services.

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And through a few subsidiaries (basically, company-sized divisions within a larger company), it provides electricity–and a couple other things on top of that.

The utility operations are run through Florida Power & Light Company, which delivers electricity to more than 11 million Florida residents. This is one of the most stable kinds of business you can find.

That’s because almost all people simply need electricity to get by, so no matter what a person’s finances are like, they’re going to try to find a way to get their electricity bill paid.

Also, like most other utilities, Florida Power & Light’s rates for delivering electricity are regulated, meaning that the company can typically only increase rates a little bit every so often.

There’s usually not a lot of growth in these kinds of companies, so their value tends to come from dividends.

The utility sector is one of the highest-yielding sectors on the market, and NEE’s dividend yield (what percentage of the stock price is paid out in dividends every year) of 2.3% is indeed higher than the S&P 500’s 1.6% right now.

But wait, there’s more!

NextEra Energy, through its NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary, is (in its own words) “the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.”

This business has helped NEE grow much more rapidly than most other utility stocks–and it also makes NextEra’s shares look more attractive to investors who want to put their money behind companies that are helping the environment.

9. Realty Income (O)


realty income home page

If you’ve ever spent money at a Walgreens, 7-Eleven, LA Fitness, Dollar General, AMC Theaters, Red Lobster, Home Depot or dozens of other businesses, chances are you’ve lined not only the pockets of those companies, but those of Realty Income (O).

Investing in real estate is very expensive–if you want to buy commercial property, you’ll need tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

However, in 1960, Congress established real estate investment trusts, or REITs, to give everyday investors easier and cheaper access to the real estate market.

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A REIT is a company that owns (and sometimes operates) real estate of all kinds, from malls and hotels to hospitals and apartment complexes.

And you can invest in this real estate for the price of a single REIT share–anywhere from $10 to a couple hundred dollars, but rarely much more.

Realty Income is one of the biggest and most popular REITs out there. It has more than 11,000 properties–spread across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.K. and Spain–that are leased out under long-term contracts to nearly 1,100 different clients, including the companies we mentioned above.

Effectively, if you walk into a Walgreens or 7-Eleven, Realty Income might actually own that building and is just renting it out to that company.

One of the most important qualities of any REIT is that it’s actually exempt from U.S. federal income tax–as long as it pays out at least 90% of its taxable income as dividends to shareholders. Thus, REITs tend to pay out far larger dividends than your average stock.

But Realty Income’s dividend is really special. In addition to having a yield of 4.4% that is almost three times the S&P 500’s yield, Realty Income is a rare monthly dividend payer.

Most U.S. companies that do pay a dividend do so quarterly (once every three months). However, Realty Income pays three times more frequently, distributing cash each and every month.

This is so important to some income investors that Realty Income has branded itself “The Monthly Dividend Company,” and its homepage will tell you how many consecutive months O shares have paid a dividend, as well as how many consecutive quarters the company has increased its dividend.

The company itself is pretty boring–it’s a landlord, after all. But it’s one of the premier real estate companies in the world, and its cash payments can really add up over time.

10. Shell (SHEL)


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Shell (SHEL) is one of the largest energy companies in the world–and that probably makes it the most complicated of these 12 kid-friendly stocks.

Shell is referred to as an “integrated oil major.” That’s because Shell is responsible for just about every single process in the energy lifecycle–from searching for sources of energy and pulling it out of the ground, to refining it into usable products such as gasoline, to transporting it across the world, to selling it to consumers at your local gas station.

The company operates in more than 70 countries. It produces 3.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) every single day, and it has 9.37 billion boe of proved oil and gas reserves.

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The thing is, fossil fuels such as oil are a major contributor to global climate change. As a result, Shell’s primary business–and that of just about every other oil company around the world–will be in constant question for the foreseeable future as the world tries to balance trying to “go green” with the realities of the world’s current energy needs.

Shell is attempting to broaden its horizons into many cleaner sources of power, including producing wind and solar energy, as well as supplying low-carbon biofuels and even hydrogen fuel.

Meanwhile, it’s also trying to become more friendly to shareholders as well.

“Shell has been working to increase portfolio returns by selling less profitable assets, and, more recently, by cutting capital spending and operating costs,” says Bill Selesky, a stock analyst with Argus Research.

“As the company moves past its recent period of heavy capital spending and continues to lower costs, we expect free cash flow to improve significantly–providing additional resources for dividend hikes and share buybacks.”

It’s difficult to know whether any established fossil-fuel energy company can transition successfully to an eventual greener world, but Shell has the resources to make a serious run at it–and if successful, investors will be able to hold it far past the end of oil and gas use.

11. Visa (V)


visa sign up

Visa (V) is something of a hybrid, allowing young investors to get exposure to both technology and finance.

Visa is the world’s top payment card network. Right now, some 3.8 billion Visa credit and debit cards are in circulation around the globe, which have been used to generate roughly $13 trillion in total transaction volume in just 12 months (Sept. 31, 2020, to Sept. 31, 2021).

More than 100 million merchants are part of Visa’s network, meaning you can use its cards to buy just about anything, from high-end jewelry to a pack of gum.

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And it’s not just consumers who swipe with Visa. Many businesses actually purchase from other businesses using the company’s plastic.

But what’s interesting about Visa is that, despite making it possible for literally trillions of dollars’ worth of transactions to go through, it’s not really responsible for any of the underlying funds.

Visa itself is not a bank–instead, some 15,000-plus banks and other financial institutions use Visa’s technology to give its customers the ability to spend anywhere, anytime.

So if your parent uses a Chase Visa, Chase Bank is taking on the financial risk–Visa is just acting as the middleman between the merchant and the bank.

A big reason Visa is one of the best kid-friendly stocks to begin investing with is that, no matter how much the financial world changes, Visa keeps making a place for itself.

Just consider this from Oppenheimer stock analyst Dominick Gabriele: “We think over the coming quarters investors will witness the unique diversity of V’s business model that, as a whole, can show growth regardless where spend is: debit/credit, in-store/online, services/retail sales, or domestic/international.”

Not only can Visa grow–it can also provide cash. Sure, it doesn’t have the same length of dividend growth as some of the other stocks on this list. But it is trying to make up for lost time.

Consider that over the past 10 years, Visa has grown its dividend from 5.5 cents per share every quarter to 37.5 cents–a jump of 582%! (That’s almost five times as fast as the S&P 500, which has grown its dividends by 118% over the same time frame.

12. Walt Disney (DIS)


disney home page

Lastly, what kid wouldn’t want to have a piece of Walt Disney (DIS)?

Walt Disney is one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world. In fact, let’s try to give you an idea of just how big it is by giving you a quick breakdown of all its different businesses:

  • Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: This division encompasses the famous Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, as well as Disneyland Resort in California–both of which most kids know plenty about. But this division also includes National Geographic; Golden Oak, an upscale residential community within Walt Disney World Resort; Disney Vacation Club, a timeshare program; Disney Cruise Line, for those who prefer to enjoy time with Mickey and Minnie out on the lido deck.
  • Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution: This division encompasses two distinct lines of business. First are two streaming services: Disney+ and ESPN+. But it also includes Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, which is tied to merchandising, putting Disney brands on everything from T-shirts to video games. If you know someone with a Frozen backpack … well, this division is responsible for it.
  • Studio Content: This division is a powerhouse of TV, music and movies. It includes media under the Walt Disney, Searchlight Pictures, Hollywood Records and Twentieth Century Film Corporation banners, among others. It also includes Marvel and Lucasfilm, meaning it’s also responsible for Star Wars and Avengers movies and shows.
  • General Entertainment Content: If you watch regular TV, you’re probably aware of many of Disney’s TV brands, including ABC, FX, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Freeform (the former ABC Family).
  • ESPN and Sports Content: On top of all of this, Disney also is responsible for the entire ESPN collection of channels, providing coverage of everything from the NFL to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

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Buying shares of Walt Disney stock for your children might just mold them into buy-and-hold investors for the rest of their lives.

Much like a strong investment portfolio, Walt Disney has diversified into many different businesses. It’s a good example for anyone: No matter your status as a young investor or seasoned futures market trader, don’t ever put all your eggs in one basket.

Related: How to Buy Disney Shares

One of the Best Way to Invest $1,000 for a Child? Index Funds!


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Sure, the purpose of this article is detailing some of the best stocks for kids, but we’d be remiss not to tackle another ideal type of investment. That is, one of the best ways to invest $1,000 for a child is to purchase index funds.

Index funds are a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that effectively makes all of its investment decisions based on a set of rules and algorithms. (This is different from an actively managed fund, where all stocks, bonds and other assets are picked by one or more portfolio managers.)

So, why index funds?

These products offer the same level of broad diversification (in other words, spreading your risk across many, many investments) as actively managed funds, but they tend to be much cheaper because you’re not paying for a team of human managers.

Here’s why diversification is important: If your child holds only a handful of stocks, a big decline in one could take a king-sized bite out of their overall savings.

But when they invest in a few stock funds, for instance, a big tumble in one of the fund’s stock holdings will have a minimal impact on performance, preserving their savings.

In fact, some of the apps above offer index funds as the primary means for investing because of their ability to combine both safety and return potential over time.

Ultimately, the best portfolios will include a few funds for diversification’s sake. But make sure your child buys some stocks, too.

Individual stocks are how investors try to outperform the market, and they’re generally more interesting than funds–which will keep your child more mentally invested in the stock market and their portfolio.

In fact, a mix of relatable stocks, some conversations with your child and a few investing books for kids is just about all you need to make sure your kid grows up with high financial literacy and a head start on their lifelong savings goals.

Related: 20 Best Stock Market Investing Research & Analysis Sites

Where Can I Buy Stock for a Child?


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A custodial account is one type of financial account that an adult maintains for another person, usually a child.

Many parents use custodial accounts to invest for their teens. Importantly, custodial accounts can hold a variety of assets–stocks and bonds, sure, but also CDs, insurance contracts, even antiques and collectibles.

The money in these accounts is controlled by a custodian, typically a parent. The teen or child doesn’t have access to the funds until he or she reaches that state’s age of majority. Depending on the state, that age might be 18, 21 or even 25.

Custodial accounts allow custodians to control assets for the benefit of the minor without the need for setting up a special trust fund, which has its own advantages but is a far more complicated process.

Whereas assets in a joint brokerage account are co-owned by the child and the custodian, assets in custodial accounts irrevocably belong to the minor.

However, the listed custodian can complete transactions on the minor’s behalf until they are of legal age to take over the account and its investments as a young adult.

The other way kids can invest in stocks is through a jointly owned brokerage account, which allows two or more people to sit on the account’s title and act as owners of all assets within the account.

These accounts most commonly exist between spouses, but they can also be opened between multiple family members (say, a parent and child) or two or more individuals who share financial goals (say, unmarried partners or business partners).

When a parent and child have a jointly owned brokerage account, they can share in the decision-making of what to buy and sell. Many investing apps for kids allow you to open a brokerage account with joint ownership.

How to Buy Stocks for Kids


father daughter smartphone investing medium

As mentioned before, kids can’t make money investing in stocks without opening up a custodial account or joint brokerage account.

There is no black and white when it comes to “the best account,” but there are some considerations that can help you make a decision for what will work best for your individual financial situation:

  • Fees. This is one of the most important things to decide when you are choosing an account. Most custodial accounts have low or no fees if you are a customer of the brokerage company. Some stock brokers charge trading commissions while others charge a monthly fee and act as a free stock trading app within the account. Some even offer free stocks for signing up in the form of shares or a sign-up bonus. Consider your preferred model.
  • Account Minimums. Before opening a brokerage account, look into the minimum deposit required, as well as the minimum balance required. (For instance, an account might require you to deposit $500 upon opening, but the minimum required balance after that might be only $250.)
  • Investment Options. You’ll also want to think about the types of investment options you’ll have available. Some custodial accounts offer a wide range of investment choices, while others provide guardrails with fewer choices but more simplified offerings.

These accounts typically use apps to control them. And the best investing apps for beginners focus on simplicity, functionality and ability to grow alongside the investor. Investing apps that control investment accounts can be a one-stop shop for everything finance-related.

These apps provide comprehensive services to manage your finances, including investing advice and kid-friendly stocks in 2022.

Better still, these apps can monitor things such as budgeting, saving and spending. Having all of your financial needs consolidated into one app can make managing your money easier and keep you from being overwhelmed by constantly switching between apps.

Below are all the investing apps to consider for investing in stocks with your kids. Some accounts only allow the ability to invest in index funds as a means for placing guardrails on your kids’ investments.

Others, such as Greenlight and Stash, allow kids to invest in individual stocks through joint brokerage or custodial accounts, respectively.

AppBest ForFeesPromotions
fidelity investments logo
Fidelity® Youth Account
☆ 4.8 / 5
Free investing without minimums or commissions
No account feesGet $50 on Fidelity® when you open an account
greenlight logo
Greenlight
☆ 4.7 / 5
Teaching investing fundamentals with guidance from parents; allows individual and index fund investing
$7.98/monthFirst month free
stash logo rebrand
Stash
☆ 4.7 / 5
Everyday people looking to start managing their finances
$3/month - $9/month$5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more
Other Investing Apps for Kids Worth Considering (ETFs only)
acorns logo
Acorns Early
☆ 4.8 / 5
Automated investing in the background into diversified investments
$3/month - $5/month$10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
Unest Logo
UNest
☆ 4.5 / 5
Age-based investments in custodial investment account
$3/month - $6/monthMatching bonus with $25 initial deposit ($25 bonus)

 

Joint Brokerage or Custodial Accounts Allowing Individual Stocks

1. Fidelity® Youth Account ($50 bonus)


fidelity youth account sign up

  • Available: Sign Up Here
  • Price: No account fees, no account minimum, no trading commissions
  • Promotion: Get $50 on Fidelity® when you open an account

Do you have a teen who has interest in jumpstarting their financial learning and building smarter money habits?

Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot.

One such tool that could provide the answers you need is the Fidelity® Youth Account, a brokerage account owned by teens 13 to 17 that’s built to start their investing journey.

Your teen will get a free debit card with no account fees or minimums they can use to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.

They can use their own brokerage account to start their investing journey by trading most US stocks, ETFs, and Fidelity mutual funds in their accounts.

There are no subscription fees, no account fees, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees on the included free debit card for teens.**

If you need helpful financial resources, you and your teen can access Fidelity’s Dedicated Youth Learning Center with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits.

Controls Parents Want and Need

As a parent or guardian, you must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity® Youth Account. For new Fidelity®, opening an account is easy, with no minimums and no account fees.

For starters, parents must have a Fidelity® account before their teens can open a Fidelity® Youth Account. New Fidelity® customers can open a brokerage account to qualify for a Fidelity® Youth Account.

Next, they carry responsibility for monitoring their teen’s activity through having online account access, following monthly statements and trade confirmations in addition to following debit card transactions made in the account.

To aid in this, you can set up alerts to notify you of trades, transactions and cash management activity, keeping you firmly in the loop on actions taken by your teen in the Fidelity® Youth Account’s suite of products.

If your teen has an interest in learning about investing and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, then you should consider opening a Fidelity® Youth Account.

The account comes custom-built for their needs to be financially independent and start investing for their future.

Related: Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Teens & Kids [Reloadable]

2. Greenlight App


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $7.98/month after for Greenlight + Invest

Greenlight + Invest is an investment account for kids that comes paired with a debit card for kids.

It’s easy to use and can double as a savings account and banking apps for teens. The app will teach the basics of investing, how to invest money in stocks and ETFs, etc.

It works best if parents and/or grandparents are involved in the process because it requires linked accounts from the custodians’ banks or brokerages.

The all-in-one plan teaches them important financial skills like money management and investing fundamentals — with real money, real stocks and real-life lessons.

You can use the investing feature to:

  • Start investing with as little as $1 in your account
  • Buy fractional shares of companies your kids admire
  • No trading commissions beyond the monthly subscription fee
  • Teens can only invest in stocks and ETFs with a market capitalization over $1 billion.
  • Parents must approve every trade directly in the app.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

3. Stash Invest ($5 Bonus)


stash sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Growth: $3/mo, Stash+: $9/mo

Stash is an all-in-one financial management platform, complete with investing, spending and banking functionality.

The app targets individuals just starting on their financial journey by making everything covered on the app accessible to all levels of financial literacy.

With time, the app aims to build up your financial skills and make you confident with your ability to manage and plan your money.

By signing up, you also can receive a $5 bonus for making your first deposit on the app.

Learn how to get free stocks and other sign up bonuses to add a jumpstart to your investments.

 

Custodial Accounts for Kids Worth Considering (ETFs Only)

4. Acorns Early ($5 Bonus)


acorns

Acorns offers a custodial account for parents interested in opening an investment account for their child called Acorns Early through the Acorns Family plan.

Acorns Early offers investment portfolios of various risk levels, so you can feel confident in the account you’re opening up for your little one.

This micro investing app can be a great way to teach teenagers and minors how to invest money.

The best part about Acorns is that it doesn’t require any minimum deposit to get started and allows you to contribute money on a regular basis.

One of the best ways for parents to invest for their child’s future is in a custodial account like Acorns Early.

Learn more in our Acorns review.

Related: Crypto for Kids: How to Open a Crypto Account for Minors

5. UNest


unest sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: $3/mo: Regular, $6/mo: Family

UNest is a new custodial account that allows parents to invest money for their kids for needs beyond just education but events like a new car, a wedding, vacation or anything else a minor might want some day.

UNest even offers a free matching $25 sign up bonus for opening an account and making an initial $25 contribution.

Related:

Terms and Conditions for Fidelity® Youth Account:

The Fidelity® Youth Account can only be opened by a parent/guardian. Account eligibility limited to teens aged 13-17.
1 Limited Time Offer. Terms Apply. This offer is valid for new or existing Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (“Fidelity’) customers who open through the following link https://www.fidelity.com/go/starter-pack and fund a new, eligible Fidelity account with a minimum of $50 on or after 07/20/2022 and have not otherwise previously taken advantage of Fidelity’s $50 for $100 cash offer. Offer is limited to one bonus award per individual.
2 Limited Time Offer. Terms Apply. Before opening a Fidelity® Youth Account, you should carefully read the account agreement and ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities to monitor and supervise your teen’s activity in the account.
3 Zero account minimums and zero account fees apply to retail brokerage accounts only. Expenses charged by investments (e.g., funds, managed accounts, and certain HSAs) and commissions, interest charges, or other expenses for transactions may still apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for further details.
4 Your Youth Account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using the Fidelity® Debit Card at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or Star® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited. Please note, for foreign transactions, there may be a 1% fee included in the amount charged to your account.
5 Venmo is a service of PayPal, Inc. Fidelity Investments and PayPal are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. Use a Venmo or PayPal account may be subject to their terms and conditions, including age requirements. 
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
About the Author

Riley Adams is a licensed CPA who works at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.