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When I was first getting started with investments, I struggled to understand why so many of the popular investing apps required a social security number. I was hesitant to enter this identifying detail because I worried about the safety risks of exposing this number to other companies.
After taking a closer look at why some apps require a social security number and what they do with this information, it became easier to understand which investing apps to choose.
In general, apps that offer general guidance about investment strategies do not require a social security number. If they allow you to place trades, you will likely be required to enter a social security number. The exception to this is apps like Firstrade which allows for non-US citizens to trade.
Why is this piece of your personal information so important when making strategic investments? We’ll take a deeper dive into why your social security number is essential to investing apps.
Opening an Investment Account without a Social Security Number
Many people wish they could take part in the stock market but lack important documentation that allows them to do so. Without a social security number, you will find yourself locked out of many of the popular investment apps such as Robinhood, TD Ameritrade, Webull, and more.
The best alternative is to look for investment apps that are based in your home country.
Another option is to look into Firstrade. You can sign up for an international account even if you do not have United States citizenship, are not a permanent resident, and do not have a social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Benefits of Firstrade
If you don’t have a social security number at your disposal, Firstrade should be on your short list of investment apps. They feature several great benefits that their users love, and they are highly competitive even among other popular investing apps.
Most people love working with Firstrade because they offer money-saving benefits such as:
- $0 commission on all trades
- $0 options contract fee
- No deposit minimum
- No hidden fees
They feature a full suite of investment products including stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. Their app is very user-friendly, features educational resources for new traders, and has extended-hours trading that ranges from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST.
Sign up for Firstrade today to see what they can offer you in terms of your investment strategy.
Why Do Investment Apps Require a Social Security Number?
When it comes to finding legitimate investment apps that don’t require a social security number, you will be hard-pressed to find an option that works for you.
All investment companies must collect this piece of information to help identify the users on their platform. This is crucial to help them uphold trading regulations set out by the Patriot Act.
Of course, it also goes a little deeper than just knowing who is interacting on their trading platform.
Investing apps must report to the IRS at the end of the calendar year. This means that they need your social security number to link you to the gains and losses you encountered over the course of the year. Giving out your social security number is essential for tax purposes.
Can You Open an Investment Account Without a Social Security Number?
If you weren’t born in the United States but still want to invest with some of the popular apps, you may be wondering what options you have available to you. The good news is that you can still utilize these investment apps without a social security number.
In its place, you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This substitute for a social security number still holds you accountable for paying taxes on gains, losses, and dividends at the end of the year.
Keep in mind that you may be limited on how you can apply for a brokerage account without a social security number. Some brokerages and investment apps will require a paper application if you are using an ITIN instead of the more standard social security number.
If you don’t have an ITIN, you might still be able to invest on popular platforms like Firstrade. This site allows foreigners and non-US citizens to invest in much the same way as popular American apps like Robinhood.
Alternatively, you may want to find an app that operates out of your home country. Many of these platforms will still allow you to invest in foreign markets including the United States stock market.
While it may be a bit more work to convert your country’s currency to US dollars, it is one way around the requirement to have a social security number or ITIN.
What Documents Do You Need to Invest in the United States?
One of the questions that comes up often surrounding the issue of social security numbers and investment platforms is exactly what documents are necessary to open an account. In addition to either a social security number or an ITIN, you must also have a permanent address in the United States.
Another prominent question that you may be asked relates to your income. You should be able to disclose where the money is coming from that will fund your investment strategy.
Consider contacting an accountant for help when it comes to paying taxes on money that you gained or dividends earned through your investments, especially if you are not a US citizen.
Investing Without a Social Security Number
Are you ready to start investing but don’t have a social security number to enter onto many of the popular US-based investment apps? The good news is that you may still be able to capitalize on these investment tools by registering for an ITIN that helps you to report gains, losses, and dividends at the end of the year to the IRS.
If you are not a citizen, another alternative is to look into trading platforms that operate out of your home country. Even some platforms like Firstrade allow you to invest without a social security number.
To learn more about an app’s requirements, feel free to reach out to them with any questions you may have regarding citizenship requirements. This should help you clear up any confusion about what the requirements for investing with them are.
Don’t forget to sign up for Firstrade if you are looking for an investing app that does not require a social security number!