How to Start Investing as a Teenager: A Step-by-Step Guide

Investing isn’t just for adults with big paychecks and serious careers—it’s a smart move for teenagers, too! You might be wondering how you, as a young person, can get into the game of stocks and savings.

Maybe you’ve got some birthday cash or a steady job after school, but what’s next? With everything from apps to online tutorials, investing seems like it’s at everyone’s fingertips.

But where do you start?.

Did you know that if you invest just $100 at age 15 and get an average return of 7% per year, by the time you’re 65 that could grow to over $1,500 without adding another penny? That’s the magic of compound interest! In this guide, we’ll walk through clear steps to help teens like you dive into investing.

From opening your first account to making smart investment choices—this blog is here to make it all easier. Get ready; your financial future starts now!

Key Takeaways

  • Start investing early to use the power of compound interest; even $100 can grow over time.
  • Open a custodial account with an adult’s help to begin investing in familiar companies and practice diversification.
  • Learn about risks and use a “buy and hold” strategy for long – term investment growth.
  • Parents can teach good money habits by modeling them, encouraging research, and using apps designed for young investors.
  • Set clear goals for why you are investing, like saving for college or buying a car.

The Importance of Investing Early

Starting to invest as a teen can help you build wealth over time. Money grows thanks to something called compounding, which means the money you earn from your investments earns more money over time.

The sooner you start, the more your money has a chance to grow. This is why investing at a young age can be so powerful.

Teens who begin early have the advantage of time on their side. They can learn from their experiences and make smarter choices in the future. Also, having an investment strategy now prepares them for bigger financial decisions later in life.

Next up, let’s look at what teens should know before they dive into investing.

What Teens Should Know About Investing

Teens should have a basic understanding of stock market principles, invest in companies they are familiar with, and be aware of the risks involved in investing.

Basic stock knowledge

Teens should start with the basic knowledge of what stocks are and how they work. Stocks represent ownership in a company, and when the company does well, stock values can go up. Conversely, if the company struggles, stock values may decline.

Understanding this fundamental concept is crucial for teens as they begin their investment journey. Moreover, it’s important for them to grasp that investing in stocks involves risks and rewards – there are no guarantees in the stock market.

By having a solid understanding of these basic concepts, teenagers can make informed decisions about their investments.

Appropriate investments for teens

As teens gain basic stock knowledge, they can make appropriate investments by starting with companies they are familiar with. Stressing the importance of diversification helps them understand the need to spread their investments across different assets to reduce risk.

Reviewing brokerage account options and avoiding crypto while sticking with stocks ensures that teen investors start on the right path toward building a diversified investment portfolio.

Additionally, setting obtainable goals and doing research to mitigate mistakes is crucial for teen investors as they embark on their investing journey without parental consent in some cases.

Understanding risk

Teens need to understand that investing involves risk, which means there’s a chance they could lose money. Diversification helps spread this risk by investing in different types of assets rather than putting all the money into one investment.

It’s also important for teens to know that the value of investments can go up and down, so they should be prepared for fluctuations.

Encouraging teens to learn about risk and how it affects investments is crucial before they start investing. This knowledge will help them make informed decisions as they begin their investment journey and set the stage for their future financial success.

5 Simple Steps to Start Investing as a Teen

Open a custodial account, choose companies they are familiar with, practice diversification, emphasize a “buy and hold” strategy, and demonstrate the power of compounding. Ready to start investing as a teenager? Keep reading for more tips and insights!

Open a custodial account

To start investing as a teenager, opening a custodial account is a popular option. A custodial account allows teens to invest in stocks and other securities with the help of an adult trustee.

It provides an opportunity for young investors to begin their investment journey under the guidance of a parent or guardian while learning about the stock market and financial responsibility.

Custodial accounts offer flexibility and can be used for various types of investments, making them an accessible choice for teenagers looking to enter the world of investing.

Furthermore, establishing a custodial IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is another avenue that teens can explore to kick-start their savings and investments for retirement at an early age.

Choose companies they are familiar with

When teenagers start investing, it’s crucial to begin with companies they know and understand. This can make the process less intimidating and more relatable for them. By starting with familiar companies, teens can also learn how to research and analyze businesses they are already familiar with, which can build their confidence in making investment decisions.

Encouraging teens to invest in companies they are familiar with not only helps them gain a better understanding of the stock market but also enables them to see real-life examples of how these businesses operate.

As they become more comfortable and knowledgeable about investing, they can gradually expand their portfolio to include other types of investments.

Practice diversification

Diversification means spreading the investment across different types of assets. This way, if one asset performs poorly, it won’t drag down the entire portfolio. It’s like not putting all your eggs in one basket.

By diversifying their investments, teens can reduce risk and increase the chance of long-term success as they start investing for their future.

Teaching teens about diversification early on will help them understand the importance of having a balanced investment portfolio. This knowledge can empower them to make informed decisions when they choose where to put their money, setting them up for financial success as they grow older.

Emphasize a \”buy and hold\” strategy

When teaching teens about investing, it’s important to emphasize a “buy and hold” strategy. This means encouraging them to invest in good companies and hold onto those investments for the long term.

By demonstrating how patience can lead to substantial gains over time, teens can understand the power of compounding and the benefits of staying invested through market fluctuations.

Encouraging a “buy and hold” approach can instill discipline and reduce the urge to make impulsive decisions based on short-term market movements. This strategy aligns with setting achievable goals and focusing on long-term wealth building rather than trying to time the market.

By emphasizing this mindset, teens can develop a strong foundation for their investment journey.

Demonstrate the power of compounding

The power of compounding is a key concept in investing. It allows your money to grow faster over time. By reinvesting the returns you earn, you can potentially earn more money on your initial investment as well as on the returns themselves.

This means that even small investments made early in life have the potential to grow into significant sums over time due to the power of compounding. Starting early and letting your investments grow over time through compounding can lead to substantial wealth accumulation.

When teens understand this, they can see how their money has the potential to work for them and grow exponentially.

Tips for Parents: How to Help Your Teen Start Investing

Model good financial habits, encourage independent research, utilize available resources and investing apps, and set achievable goals for your teen’s investment journey. To learn more about how to start investing as a teenager, continue reading the full article.

Model good financial habits

Demonstrate good financial habits to your teen by involving them in discussions about budgeting, saving, and investing. Emphasize the importance of consistent saving and responsible spending to instill a sense of financial discipline.

Encourage open conversations about money management, share your own experiences with investing, and involve them in decision-making processes related to family finances. By modeling these behaviors, you can positively influence their attitudes towards money and set them on the right path toward successful future financial management.

Encouraging healthy financial habits at an early age establishes a strong foundation for long-term financial well-being. Be transparent about your own investing journey and highlight the benefits of patient, long-term investment strategies.

Encourage them to do their own research

Encouraging teens to do their own research is crucial for their growth as investors. By researching, they can understand the companies they are interested in and make informed investment decisions.

It also helps them build confidence in handling their own investments and develop good financial habits early on.

Teens who take the time to research are better equipped to set achievable goals and mitigate potential mistakes in their investment journey. Researching stocks and various investment options enables them to make more informed choices, leading to a greater sense of ownership over their financial future.

Utilize available resources

Explore online resources like investment websites, podcasts, and educational videos to enhance your understanding of investing. Take advantage of financial literacy programs offered by schools or community organizations to gain valuable knowledge about managing money and investments.

Consider seeking guidance from experienced investors in your network or mentorship programs for young investors to learn from their experiences and insights into the world of investing.

Moreover, utilize available investment apps and tools designed for beginners to help you navigate through the process of researching, selecting, and monitoring your investments. These resources can provide valuable information on stock market trends, company performance, and investment strategies tailored for young investors.

Consider investing apps

Utilize available resources to guide teens towards considering investing apps for a user-friendly and accessible investment experience. Some popular investing apps offer features tailored for young investors, providing educational resources, easy-to-understand interfaces, and fractional share investing options.

These apps can help teenagers kickstart their investment journey while gaining valuable financial knowledge and building a diversified portfolio with minimal barriers to entry. With the right guidance, teens can leverage these platforms to develop crucial money management skills and cultivate a long-term approach to wealth-building through strategic investments in stocks and other suitable assets aligned with their goals.

Set achievable goals

When starting to invest as a teenager, setting achievable goals is crucial. By defining clear and realistic investment objectives, teens can track their progress and stay motivated.

Whether it’s saving for college, a car, or future financial security, having tangible goals helps teens focus on what they want to achieve with their investments.

Encouraging teenagers to set specific investment targets aligned with their long-term aspirations fosters discipline in managing their money. This process also educates them about the importance of budgeting and strategic planning.


In conclusion, starting to invest as a teenager is an important step towards securing your financial future. The strategies presented in this guide are practical and easy to implement, emphasizing the simplicity and efficiency of investing at a young age.

By learning the basics of investing, choosing familiar companies, practicing diversification, and setting achievable goals, teens can make meaningful strides toward financial independence.

With access to custodial accounts and parental guidance where needed, teenagers have the opportunity to start their investment journey early. Remember that by taking these steps now, you can set yourself up for long-term financial success and security.


1. Can a teenager start investing in stocks?

Yes, with a teen custodial account set up by an adult, teenagers can begin investing in the stock market and learn basic stock knowledge.

2. What do teens need to know before they start investing?

Teens should understand investment basics like setting goals, how the stock market works, and how to manage their money wisely.

3. How can a teenager invest if they don’t have their parents’ help?

Investing without parental consent is tough as minors typically need an adult to open a brokerage account or create a teen custodial account for them.

4. What are some good first steps for teens interested in the stock market?

Beginner investors who are teens should get educated on finance, explore minor investment options, and practice saving for the future.

5. Is it important for teenagers to have an investment strategy?

Absolutely! Teen investors should plan their moves carefully with youth investment guidance to make smart decisions that could grow their savings over time.

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