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Brian Chappatta

Teens Trading Stocks? With Rates This Low, Why Not?

It’s hard to teach financial responsibility when savings accounts offer no interest.

A teachable moment.

A teachable moment.

Photograph: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

The jokes almost write themselves: Fidelity Investments will now allow 13- to 17-year-olds to open investing accounts (as long as their parents are clients). Angsty teenagers in the financial markets — what could possibly go wrong?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but giving teenagers access to buying and selling stocks and exchange-traded funds is probably smart, both for Fidelity and for financially savvy parents. I certainly wouldn’t have given my teenage self access to an investing account in the early 2000s, but changes in the market and in trading make it a much more reasonable proposition today.