All About Money
If your daughter, son or grandchild has their 16th birthday coming up, they’ll be one of the first young people able to control their own Child Trust Fund. You’ll have been looking after it for years: or, if you’ve lost touch with it (or have never been in touch with it), now’s the time to find out where it is!
So – if you do know where it is, you need to offer your teenager the opportunity to take control. This is their right under the Child Trust Fund legislation, although they’re not allowed to withdraw their money before they’re 18 years old. They can have the statement sent to them, change their account provider, and manage/choose the investments themselves if they wish. If they choose to manage their own investments, they’ll need to transfer to a self-select Child Trust Fund.
However if their account is lost, now’s the time to find it! You - or your teenager - can track it down using the ‘Find My CTF’ page (tiny.cc/findctf) which provides a straightforward explanation and a link to the HM Revenue & Customs CTF finder facility.
Of course, learning about money is what it’s all about - and here’s several risk-free and cost-free ways of doing that, for example:
Share Radio’s ‘Managing My Money’ course, an eight week audio podcast course with slides: ‘Week 5’ is all about savings and investment;
The Share Centre’s Practice Account, in which a young person can invest virtual money and get used to the delights - and otherwise - of the stock market without exposing their real money; and
Shares4Schools, a real investment competition where Year 12 students work together to learn about investment.
When they’re ready, their Child Trust Fund can be transferred from their existing provider to a self-select account if they wish, and authority can be transferred to the new 16 year-old so that they can take control.
You’ll have played your part in establishing a savings habit for them: helping them to provide a cushion of financial assets as they embark on adult life and to build confidence in the management of their finances.
A short guide to money (Share Radio)
Your money, your future (Rathbone)
Note: If your investments fall in value, you could lose money. Tax allowances and the benefits of tax-efficient accounts could change.