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Even before my baby was born, I was considering how to help set set up an easy investing account for a child. I wanted to do my best to set her up for financial success. My mom found the perfect solution: Stockpile.
She gifted my daughter Stockpile credit for her first Christmas gift. Just like that, my baby was a little investor!
The credit was marked for Apple (and that’s what what we used it for), but one of the neat things about Stockpile is that you can apply gifted credit to another company’s stock.
So, say you feel that Apple is a really poor investment. No problem. Grandma can mark it for Apple when she gives it to you, but since you haven’t applied your information to make an account and actually made the purchase yet, you can just invest in Disney, Tesla or other companies.
Stockpile also has an app I’ve found really easy to work with. Both my daughter and I have accounts, and I can toggle between the two at the top of the screen. Near the top of the homepage, I can see how our overall portfolios are performing by the day, week and month.
Scrolling just beneath that, you can see how much available cash is in your Stockpile account and see the exact accounts you have. Beneath that you can see your Watchlist, where you can add any companies you want to keep an eye on. You’ll see an overall view of the companies.
If you click on the icon for one of the companies on your Watchlist, you can bring up more detail and see how they are performing that day, week, month, year or for the maximum time.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of extra time to spend watching stock performance. I’m too busy chasing my toddler. With Stockpile, I can check on my account and quickly switch to my daughter’s to view her portfolio’s performance.
You only need pocket change
Another positive aspect is that you purchase dollar amounts rather than shares. You don’t have to purchase a whole share. At the time of this writing, Amazon’s share price runs almost $1,500+. With Stockpile, you could purchase just $5, $10, $15, etc. worth, owning a fraction of a share.
My mom gifted my daughter $25 for her first investment. One of the points that Stockpile advertises is that you can begin your investing journey with as little as $5, making it a great option for an investing account for a child who may want to crack open his or her piggy bank.
One thing I appreciate about Stockpile is that it allows me to set up automatic reinvestment of our dividends. You may only get a few cents, but instead of pocketing it you can stick it right back into that account to try to grow your portfolio even more.
I still get notifications via email when my daughter’s dividends are reinvested. We then know what’s going on and can track her increase for her tithe.
Connect it to your bank account
When you set up your account, you can either use a gift card from the store or use your credit or debit card to add money. You can also connect the account to your bank account. If stock dips and you want to buy– or you read this post and realize stock is the perfect gift for your best friend’s baby– you can do it quickly and easily right from your desktop or your app on your phone. This is a great way to stay involved when you’re traveling or out for the day and want to make quick changes to your account.
Easy access to documents
Whether you’re on the app or on your desktop, it’s easy to view a timeline of your account or to look up account statements, tax documents and trade confirmations. The confirmations are listed by date and when you click on it in the app it pulls the document up.
When it’s tax time, you can easily download and print the documents if you need them.
As my daughter gets older, I’m going to teach her everything I can about finances. I’m not a financial expert and am definitely still learning, but I want her to have a good financial education and feel comfortable making decisions with her money.
For now, that means that we manage her tiny investment account, save her cash gifts in a relatively high-yielding savings account and tithe as appropriate. We are slowly growing her investment by utilizing the automatic reinvestment setting for her dividends, and will probably purchase more stock for her account with some of her cash.
Stocks are hard for adults to understand, so teaching them to a kid can be tricky. I think Stockpile’s graphs, easily-recognizable company logos, and fun colors and buttons will help hold my daughter’s attention when she’s a bit older, making it a great option for us as an investing account for a child. I’m hoping it will make explaining investing a bit easier to her, even if it is on just the most basic level.
The only real downside to Stockpile are the fees.
But you’ll find fees anywhere. If you’re investing large amounts of money, you may want to find a brokerage firm, but for our relatively small accounts, Stockpile works well.
If you buy stock for yourself, you will probably want to use cash, incurring only a $0.99 trading fee. Purchasing $50 in Disney stock would have a total of $50.99. If you sell stock, there’s also a $0.99 fee.
If you buy stock with a credit or debit card, you’ll pay for the $0.99 trading fee plus 3 percent.
There is a small gifting fee and, as with most cards, a physical gift card fee. It’s cheaper to give e-gifts rather than physical gift cards.
I bought stock for my niece for her first birthday. It was super easy and is something that I hope will grow with her. I also liked that Stockpile makes it simple for her busy parents to check on her account, making it the perfect investing account for a child. I paid the small gifting fee when I sent her credit, but when I add money to my or my daughter’s account using cash in our existing Stockpile accounts there’s only the $0.99 fee per trade. So purchasing $20 in stock costs us only $20.99 that way.
Setting up my daughter’s account was easy. Now that she has one, it’s even faster to add her credit if she receives a gift code.
The only other downside? It’s the stock market. There’s obviously a chance you’ll lose your investment. But there’s also a chance that you’ll gain. It’s the nature of stocks.
This post is comprised of my opinion and facts from Stockpile.com. It is not intended to substitute for professional financial advice. At the time of this writing, the author’s family owns a fractional amount of stock in AAPL.