Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, there are still many gifts that can be purchased at stores or online for the holidays. 24/7 Wall St. pulled together a list of categories for specific gift ideas that are targeted toward those who are interested in the stock market or the economy, and those who want (or need) help with their personal finances.
In 2017, the stock market has raged on and on, higher and higher. The bull market is now nearing nine years old. Many investors wonder what to do each day, but others are taking much longer views on how they should be investing and saving their money. Each year is a little different from the rest, so this has been tailored for the 2017 holiday season.
One issue to consider is, of course, the price of a gift. Many of these gifts are available for just a few dollars, and most are or can be under $100 per item. That being said, in the world of finance and the markets you can literally spend as much as you want to.
The one area that is not covered here is the world of apps for your phone, tablet or computer. The reality is that there are now hundreds of apps that could have been here, and some of them are free and others are paid apps. The world of apps can be quite tricky, and any app users need to consider what app they are running and what it really does, and they sure better consider who has released that app and what the backdoor and privacy
Links have only been provided to websites we think are secure sites and that have been around for some time, but the websites and the links will of course change through time. And as always — caveat emptor!
1. Buying Real Stocks With Gift Cards
Giving shares of stock to someone used to be quite difficult. You had to go through a brokerage firm to buy shares and then you had to transfer the shares to someone. That is now ancient history. If you ever want someone to learn about the markets, you can make an investor out of just about anyone if you give them stock that they have to keep up with. Now you can do it for as little as tens of or hundreds of dollars via stock gift cards from Stockpile.
This is the first and perhaps easiest way to give gift cards for stock, which eliminates the difficulty and high expenses of buying and transferring shares to a kid or adult. Stockpile allows investors to buy whole numbers of shares and allows you to buy fractional shares of stock in any dollar amount for as little as $5. Stockpile offers whole or fractional shares in Apple, Alphabet, Disney, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Tesla and over 1,000 more stocks and exchange traded funds with no monthly fees and just a $0.99 transaction fee.
2. Morning Money Joe … and Nightcaps
It’s no secret that Americans and people everywhere are addicted to coffee. There are dozens of websites, from Amazon to Cafe Press, that sell investing, trading and money coffee mugs. It’s hard not to think about money and investing if every time you reach for your coffee you see that investing and money reminder right there looking at you.
And the best news, you can probably get many of these for $10 on up. You can also buy water glasses, beer glasses and even beer steins about money and investing. These can range from a few dollars on up, and again there are dozens of websites that sell these. A personal favorite is a collectible bull-bear beer stein, but it’s a tad pricey at $200 or more.
3. Stock and Bond Wall Art — With Real Stocks and Bonds
Scripophily is effectively the love and collecting of stock and bond certificates. Before thinking you might be putting hundreds or thousands of dollars on your wall, note that these are voided out shares and bonds. This is a variation of paper and coin money collecting within numismatics, and you can get historical stock certificates, you can find some which may look more like works of art, and you can find old stock certificates of scandal-ridden companies like Enron, Worldcom and the like.
You can literally spend a few dollars per stock certificate if you want, or you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for the collectible historic certificates. One site you can buy from is Scripophily.com, and another, of course, is the eBay stock certificates store, where you can choose auctions or Buy It Now options.
4. Dave Ramsey: Personal Finance
Dave Ramsey is a well-known personal finance guru. His methods are about proper saving, spending and planning rather than stock picking. Maybe you can be the best stock picker, but if you don’t know how to keep a lid on spending all that money and saving it away for a rainy day (and we all have them) then Ramsey has tools for you. He also has many live classes and ongoing programs.
There are two great introductory products (one for people who haven’t done much on finances and one for kids) that make for great investing and finance gifts. The Total Money Makeover is for sale at $9.49 (or audio book at $10) on a sale for those who prefer to hear and take notes. This is organized into seven easy steps to get out of debt and then get into that “total money makeover.” The second is the Adventure Pack, targeting kids aged three to 12, which is about saving, spending and giving.
5. Investing and Trading Books
There are too many great books on investing and trading to mention anywhere close to all of them. Warren Buffett has some books about his strategies, and much of Buffett’s knowledge was based on Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing. Mark Mobius has many books on emerging markets. There also have been many of the “For Dummies” books on investing, trading, options and so on. The good news about books is that you don’t even have to buy them new these days, and there are literally hundreds of places to buy them online if you can’t find a local brick-and-mortar book store. You can spend a few bucks on a book that way, or you can spend up to $40 or $50, but rarely will you pay more.
6. Ties and Clothing Accessories
There are many sites that offer neckties, cufflinks and even socks that have the investing theme. The site BullMarketGifts has all three in one as a set for $89.99, and Vineyard Vines has a bull and bear theme tie for $85 available in blue or in red. And the Ties.com website offers a Stock Market Playground Tie in blue or red for $55. It also has a cool Stock Ticker Tie in black (regular, skinny and bow-tie) for $25. And with the world so casual these days, you can always go to Cafe Press, Zazzle or Amazon to pick up an endless slew of choices in tee shirts and other shirts with printed investing and trading designs and words on them.
7. The New Crypto-Mania
All you hear about in the financial media right now is bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It’s up to investors to understand them and to decide whether there is a bubble. But if you want the most modern craze out there, then bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies will give your kids or aspiring family members something to talk about. There are now at least exchange-traded futures, and that is likely to expand, but there are literally dozens of exchanges and ways to buy into various cryptocurrencies. This is not an endorsement — enter at your own risk.
8. Museum Pass and Tour
Getting on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange is not easy, and frankly it is no longer full of the hordes of people now that market-making activities have become much more automated. It’s still impressive if you know someone who can get you on the main trading floor, but if you are in New York City and want something easier and more reasonable to give as a gift to someone then give them a pass to see the Museum of American Finance. It’s only $8 for adults ($5 for students/seniors), and it’s right there in Lower Manhattan by the stock exchange. There is lots of history here for novices and for historians, and they have a gift shop full of posters, books and all sorts of other gifts for those who want to know about the markets and the economy.
9. Investing Newsletters and Publications
With all the free information on the internet, it may seem frivolous to some people to pay for information about the economy, the stock market and other investing information and advice. The reality is that the best investing news, advice and information is locked up behind trading and news terminals or behind paywalls. For investing newsletters, there are dozens to choose from sites like TheStreet.com and its RealMoney, Motley Fool, InvestorPlace, The Prudent Speculator, Wyatt Research, Stock Trader’s Almanac and so on.
There are also subscriptions online or in real daily/weekly print to consider: The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Investors Business Daily and so on. And there are magazines like The Economist, Kiplinger, Money, Business Week and others to consider. These can range wildly in price, and there are multiple levels of service that can keep your cost fixed at a few dollars a month all the way up into the hundreds of dollars per month.
10. Gold and Silver
The media hype in 2017 went to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, but a few thousand years of history have embedded in into the heads of millions of people around the world that raw precious metals are the best things to own. You can buy one ounce coins and bars in gold and silver, or you can buy much larger quantities, all the way up to large bars. For gold, you can buy one-tenth of an ounce coins as well, for a larger premium when you add them up versus buying one ounce.
Gold was close to $1,250 per ounce and silver to $16 per ounce on last look. There are many websites that sell direct to the public, and there are many local gold and silver exchange stores that sell to the public. They all make a spread (bid-ask price) on the price to stay in business. Just beware the infomercials about “collectible coins” that are gold-plated and cost $25 or so — they may have a stated value, but they might not have any intrinsic value if you were ever just wanting the raw gold.
Source: 24/7 WallSt