Twinkling lights, travel planning, and endless emails promoting “see it to believe it” sales can only mean one thing – it’s the holiday season! Each year it seems that once a chill is in the air, companies begin to ramp up marketing efforts to promote the next big product everyone must add to their household; in fact we often see viral videos of people clamoring through doors on Black Friday to scoop up the “it” item of the year.
While the allure of giving a shiny new toy, gadget, or clothing item may be hard to resist, this year try to challenge yourself to give at least one present that will have lasting value.
Yes, investing-centric gifts are not the most enticing, but if you supplement the wrapped presents with something that will help your loved ones grow their nest egg, what’s the harm? Check out our three recommended money-growing gifts to stick in your favorite person’s stocking.
1. Get the Kid In Your Life Some Stocks They Can Watch Grow
Instead of buying a Chia Pet or other trendy toy that can show the wonders of growth, consider gifting them prosperity with stocks! There are plenty of web-based investment services (including our own) that offer inexpensive portfolio management, and make it easy to purchase investments that you can simply buy and leave alone to grow for the long-term investor.
Let’s say you have a budget of $100 per person on your list. If you allocate $75 of that hundred to buy an index fund (inexpensive funds that produce long-term results) for your loved one, and consider that, historically, stocks return about 8.7% per year (give or take) that $75 over 20 years will end up amounting to roughly $424* – and that’s without doing anything else! Now if you continually add to that amount every holiday and have the the gains routinely reinvested, that number will grow even more over time. And since that investment gift may not be the most exciting to a child, you still have $25 left in your budget to gift that Chia Pet as well.
Sites such as stockpile make the gifting easy and painless. Check it out and get the kid in your life an early investing lesson!
* Data via Bankrate.com’s savings calculator.
2. Help Give College Students a Savings Jump-Start
Now that we’ve got a gift for the younger kids covered, what should you give to the college-aged (or high school) kid on your list? While many young adults may want gift cards or Apple’s latest release, a solid investment guidebooks can teach them the savings and investing basics that immediately will provide real-life value. For instance, pictured above is the acclaimed book The Elements of Investing by Burt Malkiel and Charley Ellis (both members of the Rebalance Investment Committee). This book is hands down the number one piece of financial literature I would recommend everyone read (in fact, Rebalance gives it to all everyone in our firm, clients, and family members!). It is straight-forward and effective, and even the most casual reader can finish it within an evening or two. Sure, kids may not want to hit the books on holiday break, but you can always add a gift card to their favorite coffee joint and a tote to carry all of their new books in to spice up the present.
3. Give the Gift of Good Financial Advice
Do you know someone who is interested in taking charge of their financial future but isn’t quite sure where to start? Organizing a meeting with a trusted financial advisor can make all the difference. While we recommend our advisors here at Rebalance for a quality one-on-one assessment, there are plenty of trusted fiduciaries that can meet your or your loved ones’ unique investment needs. No matter what, you should make sure that the advisor is a fiduciary, and ideally one that has a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) on staff.
A conversation can make all the difference, and since most initial assessments are free, you can get creative with how you present this gift of advice. Perhaps purchase a piggy bank, the The Elements of Investing (or other appropriate financial literacy book), and print out a “gift certificate” for “one free financial conversation” and voila – an instant life-improving gift. Even if the recipient doesn’t opt to hop on board with an advisor, that first conversation alone is chock full of valuable information that can improve one’s financial outlook.
We hope you can find an idea in this list that motivates you to literally think “outside the box” in your gift giving this season, and from the team here at Rebalance we wish you a very happy holiday and a prosperous New Year!