“Investing is such a powerful financial tool, but it often feels out of reach and intimidating, even for adults,” said CJ MacDonald, CEO and co-founder of Step. “We believe every teen and young adult should learn how to invest responsibly on their journey to achieving financial freedom.”
With Step, users can research over 1000 stocks and ETFs, curate a portfolio based on risk rankings assigned to each security, and buy fractional shares for as little as $1. Rankings are determined by a proprietary algorithm that uses volatility of each security as an index. If a user is under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian needs to open the stock account and select a preferred risk threshold on the teen's behalf. Once that is set, teens can invest in securities aligned to (or lower than) the risk threshold their parents select, and parents can follow along in their Step app and make adjustments at any time.
With expansion into the stock market, Step goes beyond banking and solidifies itself as an all-in-one financial platform where the next-generation can invest, save, earn, spend, and build a positive credit history, even before they turn 18 — without monthly fees.
Today, Step also announced StepFest 2023, an annual contest for high schools participating in their Money 101 on-campus program. The program includes financial literacy education and enrichment programs developed in partnership with a national faculty advisory board. To date, it has touched more than 600,000 students at over 400 high schools.
“Step and Money 101 provided a wonderful opportunity for schools to prioritize financial literacy and engage students at multiple points in their journey to become financial critical thinkers,” said Dustin Voss, Financial Education Specialist at Chicago Public Schools “We are grateful that they have helped coordinate school-based events at over 20 schools in our district and that families there are aware of the importance of financial literacy and the opportunities emerging in the modern economy with financial platforms like Step.”
The StepFest contest — which serves as a motivator to join Step and participate in Money 101, will run through March 31st and culminate in a $25,000 grant to the winning school along with a one-day music festival at their campus. An individual student can also win a $10,000 scholarship towards continued education. Last year, Cesar Chavez High School in Stockton, California, welcomed StepFest to their campus, which was headlined by The Chainsmokers and hosted by Charli D’Amelio.
Step was founded by financial industry veterans CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko to provide teens, their families and young adults with financial tools for today’s modern-day banking needs and to promote financial literacy for the future. The founding team has 50+ years of combined financial technology experience from companies like Affirm, Block, Google, Gyft, Stripe, and Wealthfront. The Series C company has more than 4 million customer accounts and has raised more than $500 million in venture and debt funding, backed by Coatue, Crosslink Capital, General Catalyst, Stripe and several other prominent investors. Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC provides Step’s banking services and issues the Step Visa Card pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Securities (stock and ETF) services powered by and securities assets custodied by Drivewealth, LLC. To learn more, please visit: https://step.com or contact email@example.com. StepFest 2023 Terms and Conditions.