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9 Best Custodial Accounts of March 2024

The best custodial accounts offer features that matter most to kid and adult account owners: low fees, investment education and strong customer support.

Chris Davis
Elizabeth Ayoola
By Elizabeth Ayoola and  Chris Davis 
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

Why you can trust NerdWallet's picks: Our writers and editors together have more than 50 years of experience writing about finance, and follow strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity. We do a deep, independent analysis of dozens of investment firms, sorting through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account. To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating online brokers.

Looking for a way to set your kid up with an investment account, but aren't sure where to start? Custodial accounts are a common way for adults to start an investment account for a child or grandchild, then hand the account off to them when they're legally an adult themselves. (Learn more about custodial accounts.) You may also see custodial accounts described as UGMA/UTMA accounts. This is based on the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act or the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act — the legislature that allowed for the formation of these accounts.

To arrive at our list of the best custodial accounts, we looked at factors that matter most to both the adult who started the account, as well as the child who will eventually take control of it. These factors include how robust a broker's educational materials are, how strong its customer support is, and how low its fees are, among other criteria.

Best Custodial Accounts

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
Charles Schwab
Learn more

on Charles Schwab's website

Fees

$0

per online equity trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
Vanguard
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Last updated on March 1, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.