What is a Custodial Account and How to Start Investing?

A child’s custodial account can teach them about investing – a laudable goal – but they also count toward the FAFSA and affect potential financial aid your child receives for college.

What is a Custodial Account?

Custodian is defined as “the person who manages assets for another” and typically refers to an adult who holds legal responsibility over the account on behalf of the child, usually their parent.

What is the Difference Between an UGMA and UTMA Account?

Both UGMA and UTMA accounts are similar in that they are custodial accounts with assets held within them for the benefit of the minor. Where they differ are the types of assets that can be held within each.

How Does a Custodial Account Work?

The custodian makes or accepts contributions into the account and manages the underlying assets the funds invest in for the beneficiary.

What is the Best Custodial Account (UGMA/UTMA) for Kids?

Now that we know a lot more about custodial accounts, it’s time to answer the question of where to open your custodial account. You’ll have no shortage of options available to you when deciding where to open an account, but you’ll likely want one with the ability to invest.

1. Acorns Early  ($10 Bonus)

Acorns offers a custodial brokerage account for parents interested in opening an investment account for their child called Acorns Early.

2. Greenlight App

Consider opening a Greenlight Card + Invest account to start investing in a custodial brokerage account for your kids today. The first month is free to trial the product and see if it meets your needs.

3. M1 Finance  ($30 bonus)

M1 Finance is a service designed for self-directed investors by offering flexible, customizable and automated financial solutions. The platform manages your money intelligently based on how you want.

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