Ask Money

Custodial Account

Chris Farrell Aug 11, 2008

Question: My daughter is 17 years old and has been working as as a barrista at Starbucks. She managed to accumulate more than $3000 and would like to invest it in a Roth IRA and buy a life cycle fund. However because she is under age, she can not open her own account.

Do you know of a way to work around this limitation and begin tapping the magic of time and interest accumulation now? Yoram, Livingston, NJ

Answer: It’s easy to do. You need to establish a “custodial account” for your daughter. Any mutual fund company or financial institution will set one up for you. You manage the account, but it is owned by your daughter. The account reverts to her when she reaches the age of maturity which in most states (including New Jersey) is 21 years old.

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