Recently my oldest son turned 16 and I was wondering for weeks beforehand what to get him for his birthday. I knew he would like some new sneakers but I also wanted to get him something that wouldn’t just be “stuff”.
Stuff only lasts for a short period of time and then kids will just forget how much they liked it at first anyway. Getting him a gift that would mean something to him years later was important to me. Buying him stock in a company that made products that he liked and used seemed like a good idea.
I eventually decided to get him some Vans sneakers and 16 dollars worth of VF Corp. (stock symbol: VFC), the company that owned the Vans brand at the time of me writing this. The idea was to get him interested in the companies behind brands that he loves and in the stock market in general.
My hope was that he would remember that his father bought him stock for his birthday long after the sneakers wear out. It’s all part of me trying to educate him on finances and getting interested in investing. I tried to make it more memorable by buying him 16 dollars in stock for his 16th birthday.
Anything to leave an impression. (I also opened him up a savings account on his 13th birthday with 13 dollars.)
He thought it was cool but didn’t seem excited about it. There’s still time, he may become more fascinated by it later on in life and that’s fine by me. I’m just planting seeds here, no need to rush.
I’m just trying to spark his interest and maybe build him a nice portfolio that he can tap into as an adult. You may want to do the same.
It’s very easy to do in this day and age with all the new investing apps out there. I used an app called Stockpile that you may want to try.
[Disclaimer: this is not financial advice. I am not recommending Stockpile. I am not recommending that you buy VFC stock or any other stock.]
Stockpile is an app that allows you to open an investment account right there on your phone in a matter of minutes. It also allows you to open what is known as a custodial account, this is an account that you open for someone under the age of eighteen.
They can have their own login and watch the account grow. They can also choose their own stocks but you would have to approve the transaction first.
To sign up you’ll have to give them your information such as your social security number and the name of your employer. Then you can open the custodial account for the minor that you wish to. Stockpile will also need their personal information.
There’s no way around that, these are the rules. Government regulations require it.
Then you’ll be asked to “fund” the account. You’ll have to establish a link to a checking account or use a debit card to buy whatever stock you choose.
There is an extra fee that they charge for using the card. If you pay using the bank account then you don’t have to pay that fee but it will take at least 3 days for the transfer to complete.
They do charge a commission fee however of 99 cents every time you buy stock but that’s pretty good. Most discount brokerages charge between 5 to 7 dollars per trade.
Another good thing about Stockpile is they allow you to buy fractional shares. Fractional shares are partial shares.
That means you can buy part of a stock. If the price of a share is 100 dollars then you can buy one fifth of a share for 20 dollars.
Another great feature is the dividend re-investment program (DRIP).
A dividend stock is a stock that pays shareholders a dividend, a monthly or usually a quarterly payment. Stockpile allows to you put your dividend stocks on a DRIP, an automatic re-investment program.
That means that instead of depositing payment into your account they will automatically use that money to buy more of the stock so you can own more without dipping into your cash.
That can really help to build the custodial account over the years.
Stockpile also allows you to buy stock as a gift. You can buy a physical gift card for stock that you can give as a unique gift to others.
Stockpile is something to consider using to build your child’s investment account and get them interested in the stock market. Check it out for yourself and decide.