2022: How to open a TD Ameritrade custodial account for kids. TD Ameritrade UTMA investment assets in a brokerage account for teenagers and children.

TD Ameritrade Rating: 4.5-star brokerage firm rating

Custodial Accounts at TD Ameritrade

If you’re interested in saving money for a child or grandchild, TD Ameritrade should be high on your list of possible brokerage firms. The company offers custodial accounts plus a lot of other resources that both minors and custodians will benefit from. Read on for the details.

Overview of UGMA and UTMA Accounts

TD Ameritrade offers both the UGMA account and the UTMA account. Most states today offer only the UTMA, although a few still offer the UGMA only. Both are custodial accounts and will provide the same tax benefits. The UTMA is the newer account and offers the ability to invest in physical assets, which TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer, so it’s not really relevant here.

What is relevant is the age at which the minor becomes a legal adult, at least in the context of custodial accounts, and is entitled the account’s full assets. This varies from 18 in states like Louisiana to 25 in states like Oregon. In some states, the custodian can select the age within certain limits. Either the custodian’s state of residence or the minor’s state of residence can be used to establish the type of custodial account to be opened—UTMA or UGMA.

Opening a Custodial Account at TD Ameritrade

It’s really easy to open a UTMA or UGMA account at TD Ameritrade. To do so, just head over to the broker’s application page and click on the green link to open a new account. This will generate a new page with a list of popular account types. To find the custodial account, just look for the UTMA/UGMA link in the left-hand column of account types. It will appear in the education, joint/minor, and most common subcategories.

TD Ameritrade Custodial Account

Click on the link in any of these subcategories and you’ll see a synopsis of the account type along with a green button to open the account.

Click on this button and you’ll have the online application. You will need details, such as addresses and Social Security Numbers, for both the minor and the custodian.

In case you prefer the old-fashioned way of opening financial accounts, there is a link at the very bottom of the application page to download (or email or snail mail) a hard-copy application. This will need to be filled out and sent back to TD Ameritrade in one of a variety of ways. The broker has a large network of branch locations throughout the United States. The form can also be mailed to:

TD Ameritrade
PO Box 2760
Omaha, NE 68103-2760

The same application exists on the TD Ameritrade mobile app. To find it, hit the “More” icon in the bottom row (represented by three dots). On the next page, tap on the link to open a new account and find the UTMA/UGMA link following the same instructions for the website.

Open a TD Ameritrade Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Custodial Account Fees at TD Ameritrade

UGMA and UTMA accounts at TD Ameritrade have the same fee and commission schedule as any other account. This means $0 trades on stocks and ETFs on the major U.S. exchanges. There are thousands of mutual funds that have neither load nor transaction fee. And options can be traded for 65¢ per contract.

TD Ameritrade zero commission

A custodial account has no annual fee or any other ongoing fee for that matter. There is no minimum balance requirement and no initial deposit requirement, either.

There is a $2 fee for paper statements for accounts valued at less than $10,000.

Education for Young Investors

TD Ameritrade no longer offers any type of investment advice, so all accounts are now self-directed. This means learning and research are of paramount importance, especially for minors who do any of the trading.

Thankfully, TD Ameritrade has a treasure trove of learning resources on multiple platforms. Starting with the website, there is a really thorough Education tab in the top menu. It contains resources on just about every imaginable topic at the broker, including how to use its software and how to place trades for the assets it offers. Here are some examples of videos we found:

Investing Basics: Stocks
Getting Started With Options
Income Investing

TD Ameritrade Minor Account

Besides videos, there are webinars, articles, playlists and self-guided courses. TD Ameritrade also hosts in-person events at some of its branch locations, although availability may be curtailed during the Covid pandemic.

TD Ameritrade publishes its own newsletter called The Ticker Tape. It’s possible to have only articles within certain categories, like personal finance or investing basics, delivered by email.

Then there is TD Ameritrade Network. This is the company’s video streaming service. It airs live during the market day. The website and desktop platform thinkorswim both have on-demand videos as well.

Both of these valuable assets (The Ticker Tape and TD Ameritrade Network) can be located under the Education tab.

And just in case one video network isn’t enough, TD Ameritrade’s mobile apps (yes, it has two of them) and desktop platform also stream CNBC free of charge.

Open a TD Ameritrade Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

TD Ameritrade Investing Review

4.5-star brokerage firm rating

Updated on 9/6/2022.

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