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Fidelity begins offering no-fee brokerage accounts to teens

May 18, 2021, 4:33 PM UTC

Fidelity is hoping to lure the next generation of traders.

The brokerage announced plans Thursday to offer debit cards and investment/savings accounts to 13- to 17-year-olds whose parents or guardians invest with Fidelity. The service will not charge account fees or commissions for online trades.

With those accounts, teens will be able to invest in stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, but—as with any Fidelity account—they won’t be able to put money into cryptocurrencies, which are especially popular with younger investors.

“Fidelity is committed to responsibly supporting young investors,” said Jennifer Samalis, senior vice president of acquisition and loyalty at Fidelity Investments, in a statement. “Our goal…is to encourage young Americans to learn through action and foster meaningful family conversations around financial topics…The account [provides] the ability for teens to build healthy money habits through learning by doing.”

Fidelity increasingly has been striving to become a lifetime partner for people as they make financial decisions—and has been making some solid progress. The Wall Street Journal reports the brokerage added 1.6 million accounts from investors 35 years old or younger in the first quarter of 2021, which is more than triple the rate at which it did so in 2020.

Technically, it’s the parent or guardian who is entering the brokerage contract with Fidelity, not the teen—a distinction that lets the company avoid legal entanglements. The adult then transfers that account to the teen but retains a supervisory role, can close it when he or she wants, and receives transaction alerts.

There’s no minimum investment required, and teens will not have access to their parents’ accounts.

Accounts will transition to a standard brokerage account with additional choices when the teen turns 18.

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