We have answers.
Why should I use EarlyBird?
Whether you're a beginner or an expert in investing in the stock market, EarlyBird simplifies the process for parents to kickstart their child's financial future by opening a custodial investment account, while allowing family and friends to remain connected to the children they love by gifting meaningful and sustainable financial contributions for all life's milestones.
What is EarlyBird's investment strategy?
EarlyBird is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and partners with wealth management and financial planning experts to curate our investment offering. We offer parents a fixed portfolio model, where we recommend expertly crafted ETF-based portfolios made up of both securities and bonds, based on the age of the child, your investment goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, and other factors.
There are 5 fixed portfolios that a user can choose from ranging from conservative (100% bond based ETF's) to aggressive (100% equity based ETF's). To learn more about the specific portfolios, please download the EarlyBird app and everything is explained in detail.
What are the fees? How does pricing work?
Our pricing is simple. The subscription fee is $2.95/month for families with one child or $4.95/month for families with multiple children.
For family and friends who are sending gifts, there is a 2% gift processing fee that is applied on top of the gift amount being sent.
What is a custodial account?
A custodial account allows a parent, guardian, or other family members/friends to open an investing account for a minor*.
The adult (or Custodian) who opens the account can manage the money and investments until the minor reaches the “age of majority.”
That age is usually 18 or 21, depending on the Custodian’s state. When the minor is old enough, money in a custodial account becomes their property. The assets deposited into a custodial account cannot be taken back or given to someone else.
*The age of a minor varies by state. Some states consider anyone under 18 a minor. Other states consider individuals minors until they are 21.
*To withdraw funds from a custodial account please contact support.
What are the differences between a custodial account and a 529 Plan?
529 plans and custodial accounts — such as a UGMA (Uniform Gifts to Minors Act) — provide ways for parents and others to help save for children's tuition and other expenses for college and private elementary and secondary school.
One major difference is in the flexibility of use of funds. Custodial accounts can be used for non-education purposes, whereas a 529 plan can only be used (without adverse income tax consequences) for tuition, room and board, and other qualified education expenses.
What are the tax implications of investing in or contributing to a custodial account?
Account Owners: Because money placed in an UGMA account is owned by the child, earnings are generally taxed at the child’s—usually lower—tax rate, rather than the parent’s rate. For some families, the savings can be significant.
For those giving: Contributions to UGMA accounts are made with after-tax dollars—the donor doesn't receive an income tax deduction for making them. However, up to $15,000 per individual ($30,000 for a married couple) annually can be contributed free of gift tax.
How are my accounts and investments protected?
EarlyBird is committed to providing you and your family with the highest levels of security. Investment accounts are held with our trusted partner and custodian Apex Clearing Corporation, a third-party SEC registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This means the investments in your account are protected up to $500,000 total.
We use the highest standards to ensure your information and data is safe. We use multi-factor authentication, automatic logouts, and ID verification to help prevent unauthorized access. Accounts are protected with 256-bit SSL encryption.
How do gifts work?
EarlyBird gifts can be sent to anyone, including people who do not have EarlyBird. All you need to do is select a phone number from your contacts, choose how much you want to invest, record a short video memory to personalize the gift, and then invest!
Recipients will be notified through text message. It is usually a good idea to follow up with a personalized message as well. All the recipient needs to do to accept the gift is complete an EarlyBird custodial account for their child.
What happens to my EarlyBird account, and our investments should anything happen to EarlyBird?
It is important to note that EarlyBird Central Inc. is an SEC-registered Investment Advisor (RIA). EarlyBird's brokerage services are provided to clients of EarlyBird Central Inc. by Apex Clearing Corporation, an SEC-registered broker-dealer and member FINRA. Apex Clearing Corporation is a member of SIPC. Apex is the leader in digital brokerage services powering Stash, Acorns, SoFi, and many of the other predominant roboadvisors and financial technology services on the market today.
EarlyBird has carefully crafted a succession plan for all accounts on the EarlyBird platform, should users wish to move their account elsewhere. Users can follow one of the following two options:
1) Transfer all funds from EarlyBird to a different broker-dealer. EarlyBird will assist with this process and ensure that all funds get successfully transferred.
2) Liquidate investments as needed. EarlyBird will work with all users who prefer to liquidate their funds and transfer the entire balance back to the user's connected bank account.