The age of majority in Canada varies by province but the age of majority under federal law is 18 years old. Therefore, you can start buying stocks under your own name by the time you turn 18 years old. The main reason why you cannot do this earlier is because you would not be able to enter into a contract until you turn the age of majority. The only scenario where you may not be able to buy stocks in Canada is if your stockbroker is provincially regulated in which case you would need to be the age of majority under provincial law. The highest age of majority is 19 years old in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and the three Territories.
Is there a way to buy stocks before the age of majority?
Yes, you may be able to open a joint account or what is known as a custodial account given that the stockbroker offers such a choice. Otherwise you will not be able to hold shares in your own name until you become the age of majority in your province.
Other things to know
Most stockbrokers require a minimum of 1000 dollars deposit to fund your account before you can start investing. It is wise for young investors that are hoping to get their feet wet trading stocks to conserve their money before they turn the age of majority by keeping it in an interest-yielding savings account. When they turn the age of majority, they can initiate a transfer to a trading account and begin trading stocks. In the meantime, you may also continue to study market trends, read investing books, and learn about new economic developments across the nation. In doing so, you will be best prepared to start investing once you turn 18 or 19 years old.