Questions we get asked so often, we thought we'd write them down.
Bumper enables young people to begin investing in a secure environment. Teens sign up and invite a sponsor (usually a parent or guardian) to oversee the account. The sponsor then opens the actual investing entity. When the teen reaches the age of majority, they can open their own account.
Account sponsors have oversight over the entire investing experience. Teens can request to either purchase or sell a security (e.g. a share of Apple), which the sponsor can approve or deny. This ensures that every trade is executed by the adult while still giving the minor some freedom to build their portfolio. If account sponsors want to give their child more control, they can "auto-approve" trade requests while still implementing weekly budgets and trade limits.
Bumper is bigger than a simple investing account, and it was built with Gen Z teens in mind.
Yes, Bumper is an investing app, but it's also a powerful educational platform. The lack of financial education in many schools threatens to leave the next generation without a solid understanding of financial markets or money. Bumper helps teens learn about investing with bite-sized educational modules and a dynamic learning experience. Sponsor guardrails encourage teens to discuss finances and investing with their parents.
There are no commissions, account fees, bank transfer fees, or any hidden costs. Additionally, there are no account minimums. You can begin investing on Bumper with just $1.
When investing, do note that relevant SEC and FINRA fees my apply. The SEC and FINRA are regulatory bodies that charge small fees on all trades. For example, as of September 2021, the SEC fee is $5.10 for every $1,000,000 of trade activity. These fees are very small and will almost certainty not affect your investing portfolio.
Your investing account is insured up to $500,000 through our brokerage partner, Alpaca Securities, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC. More information on SIPC insurance is provided below.
Bumper uses bank-grade security and data encryption so that your personal info and account are always safe. Your information is fully confidential - it is never sold to third parties and is only used for the purpose of creating your account.
Bumper is planning to add a premium subscription tier to give your families access to better company data, gifting, and additional features. However, the core functionality of Bumper will always be free.
Yes, Bumper is currently limited to U.S. residents. Both teen and parent are required to have a U.S. phone number. Additionally, parents must have a U.S. social security number in order to verify their identity during the account creation process.
Anyone can open an account! You'll just need a parent or guardian to sponsor your account.
A phone number is necessary to properly verify and secure your account. We will send you an SMS code during the signup and login processes, which you will enter to verify your account and phone number.
The phone number must be a U.S. number in order to open the account and receive verification text messages. Alternatively, Internet phone numbers can also be used, like Google Voice.
Alpaca Securities LLC is a registered securities broker regulated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Alpaca is a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation). Alpaca opens investing accounts for Bumper users and executes all trades.
In order to open your investing account, Alpaca Securities must verify your identity. This is a requirement of all brokerage firms, whether you are investing with Fidelity, Charles Schwab, or Robinhood. Verifying identity helps prevent money laundering, the funding of terrorist groups, and other illegal activities. In order to verify your identity, you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, and social security number (SSN).
Security is a top priority for Bumper. Bumper does not store this information and it is only used during the identity verification process, which is required by law and used for compliance purposes.
We don’t run a credit check. In order for Alpaca Securities to set up your account, they simply need to verify your identity.
In order to open an investing account in the United States, you must be above the age of 18. If you are below the age of 18, you will need a sponsor above the age of 18 to maintain the account. When picking a sponsor, we recommend using a parent or guardian or an individual you trust to help you invest!
Although needing a sponsor is inconvenient, investing early can propel your financial habits and knowledge to the next level!
Your sponsor does not have to be your parent, but it must be an individual above the age of 18. Don’t choose just anyone! A sponsor must be someone you trust with your money.
To connect your sponsor to your account, you must send them an invite link by text or email. Once your sponsor has accepted the invitation and has opened their account, you will be prompted to confirm the connection.
You’ll get the most out of Bumper with a sponsored account. While you can still create a Bumper account without a sponsor, you won’t be able to invest real money.
Teen accounts can currently only have one sponsor. However, in early 2022, you will be able to invite another adult to become a Co-sponsor.
Before live investing can be unlocked, your sponsor must complete the rest of the process by opening a brokerage account. The brokerage account form will ask your sponsor several personal questions in order to verify their identity and provide additional information required by law.
Once the brokerage account has been opened and fully approved, your sponsor will be asked to add a bank account through Plaid to fund the investment account. You will then have access to live investing.
You might want to sponsor more than one teen account. You can do this right from your app settings page - just tap Invite Another Teen!
You’ll need some money in your account to start investing. Bumper uses Plaid to send money from your bank account to your investing account. After opening the investing account, you will be able to link your bank account and immediately deposit funds.
Bumper uses Plaid to safely fund bank accounts via ACH. Plaid uses bank-grade encryption and security to ensure that third parties, including Bumper, don't have access to your financial data. More information about Plaid can be found here: https://plaid.com/safety/.
As a teen, you currently do not have the ability to fund your own account. All withdrawals and deposits must be done by the sponsor. However, if you do have a bank account, your sponsor can add it as a funding source with your consent. As a teen, you can request deposits from your sponsor.
Bumper will be adding the ability for teens to fund their own accounts in early 2022. Stay tuned for updates here!
Adding a bank account as a sponsor can be done after you have opened a brokerage account. You will be prompted in the app to link your bank account via Plaid.
In the Plaid screen, simply search for your financial institution and enter your credentials. All information is transmitted securely by Plaid and is protected by bank-grade encryption. No third-party, including Bumper, has access to your credentials.
Bumper currently only allows account funding using Plaid and ACH transfers. However, in early 2022, you will be able to fund your account via debit card. Stay tuned for updates here!
After a deposit has been issued and approved, it can take up to 2 business days for the money to reach your investment account. Once the money has arrived, you can start investing!
Similar to depositing money, it will take 2 business days for the money to reach your connected bank account after the transaction has been approved. If it does not reach your bank account in this allotted time, please contact support.
Recent deposits must reside in your investment account for 6 business days before they can be withdrawn due to anti-money laundering laws.
If you are unable to find your bank account in Plaid, please contact support to determine if any alternative action can be taken. Bumper is currently in the process of adding additional funding methods, such as debit card funding, that will be available in early 2022.
At the moment, Bumper does not support recurring transfers. However, we will be adding this capability in early 2022.
All you need is $1 to invest in over 2,200 U.S. securities. Alpaca Securities offers fractional trading, which means you can buy slices of securities without needing to buy the entire share.
As a sponsor, you have constant oversight over your teen’s investing portfolio. You can see which investments they have made and how they are performing. As an additional guardrail, by default, you can approve or deny every trade request they make. We encourage you to have conversations with your teens about those investment decisions.
Bumper provides access to over 2,200 U.S. stocks and ETFs. All stocks on the platform have a market capitalization greater than $1 billion. Bumper does not provide access to penny stocks or options and does not allow margin trading. To learn more about ETFs, check out this Bumper Bite.
There are two reasons why your order might not be going through. First, make sure your sponsor has approved your trade. If your order says “Pending Approval,” it means that your sponsor has not approved that trade. Second, the market might be closed. The stock market is only open Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 4pm EST. If you submit a trade outside of these hours, it will be shown as “Queued” and won’t be submitted to the market until it opens again.
All investing carries risk. There is always the chance that your teen’s investment could lose value. However, we believe that it is better for teens to learn those investing lessons now with $50 instead of later with $5,000. Learning how to invest at a young age can set your teen up for long-term financial success, regardless of whether their small investments actually turn a profit.
On Bumper, the sponsor opens the investing account and is responsible for taxes. You are only taxed on realized gains (profit you make from selling a stock). Your tax rate depends on your income and the length of time you held that stock. If you held it for less than a year, it is a short-term capital gain and is taxed at a higher rate. If you held it for longer than a year, it is considered a long-term capital gain and is taxed at a slightly lower rate.
Bumper is powered by Alpaca Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Alpaca Securities is a registered brokerage firm that is overseen and regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission. Alpaca securely opens your investing account and executes all trades made on Bumper. Your account is insured by the SIPC up to $500,000 (with $250,000 protection for cash), so we are confident that Bumper users will be in good hands.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protects against the loss of cash and securities – such as stocks and bonds – held by a customer at a financially-troubled SIPC-member brokerage firm.
As a Bumper user, you have an investing account through our brokerage firm partner, Alpaca Securities. Because Alpaca Securities is a member of the SIPC, your money would be insured if they ever faced financial difficulties.
Your account is insured up to $500,000, including $250,000 protection for cash you have in your account.
For more information, please visit the SIPC website here.
Bumper stores very little of your personal information. When opening your investing account, you will need to provide your address, date of birth, and social security number, but none of this information is stored by Bumper.
Bumper uses bank-grade security and data encryption to protect your account. We use the strongest browser encryption (256-bit) and use HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to encrypt your information in transit.
All Bumper servers are monitored 24/7 and we run hourly malware inspections. If you have any concerns about the safety and security of your information, please contact us here.
When signing up as a sponsor, choose a strong password that only you will know. Most security providers recommend a password that is at least 12 characters in length and contains at least 1 number, 1 letter, and 1 special character.
As a teen, you will use your phone number to sign-up and sign-in. Never provide your verification code to anyone. Bumper will never contact you and ask for this verification code.
To disconnect from your sponsor, shoot an email over to our support team with your phone number, name, and the email your sponsor used to open their account.
Please email support with your name, phone number, and email address. We will close your investment account but must leave your Bumper account open for a period of time due to compliance and regulatory purposes (namely in case you need access to tax documents). Only the sponsor can close the investment account.
You will receive your 1099-DIV form via email from our partner, Alpaca Securities, in the first few months of the new year. You will only receive a form if you have at least $10 in earnings. The form must be filed by the sponsor of the investment account. Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.