Been tagging some great ideas from the community lately, and can’t keep them to myself anymore ;)
Today I’ll share some of the more financial/investmenty ones, and then tomorrow some of the lifestyley ones that really hit me.
Maybe you’ll find something that improves your life or someone’s you love?
The “Dividends” Souvenir
Whenever we go on a family vacation (family of 4 — me, wife, and two boys 5 and almost 3), I buy a share of stock in something related to the vacation for each of the boys and then set dividends to reinvest.
So far, they each have 1+ shares of Disney (from a trip to Disney World), and 1+ shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. We’re going to Disney in late September, so they’ll each get another share of Disney then. It was meant to be a gift in lieu of souvenirs, but who am I kidding — there’s no way to resist cool Mickey Mouse merchandise when you’re at Walt Disney World!
My hope is that by the time they grow up/move out, I can gift them each a nice little portfolio of stocks related to all the travels/family vacations we’ve went on, and urge them to keep the tradition alive by (a) continuing to buy shares as they go on family vacations, and (b) pay for those vacations using the dividends.
[He already had me on the “stocks in lieu of souvenirs” idea, but to then one up it and USE those dividends later to pay for future vacations one day???! Brilliant!]
The “Obsession” Fund
Every year for my gkids birthday I make a $100.00 contribution to their educational fund.
I have fun with it by including a document of sorts suggesting a college they might attend. I try to find a school that has a similar name as them, or relates to their current “obsession.”
For example – the 3 year old who adores purses and can’t get enough colored chap stick was given a acceptance letter from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC this year! I also get them something “fun”, but I know their parents appreciate the edu $ and look forward to seeing what school I come up with.
– Doris L.
[YES!! Edu $$$ is always much more appreciated over toys!!! Thank you for being good role models for all other grandparents out there ;)]
The “Options” Game
This year for Secret Santa I got my dad, and instead of giving him something material I made a game of it.
I gave him 3 envelopes:
The first one had instructions telling him he had a choice between either Option A or B, and some hints. The instructions said he could only pick one, and he cannot change his mind later. Once he chooses, he can open that envelope and throw the other in the trash immediately.
Option A clue was a ‘cash gift’. It’s value is $100, and it will only ever be $100. (Inside that envelope I printed off a fake gift certificate to the Guitar Center, his favorite store. If he chose this, I would just switch it with a real gift certificate later)
Option B was an ‘equity gift’. It’s current value is $100, but may fluctuate. This gift pays a 3.88% dividend. (Inside the envelope I printed off some old school stock certificates as well as an investor package for the company ARES Management Corp (parent company of Guitar Center)). The stock (ARES) just happened to be $33 per share when I made the envelopes in early December, so I bought x3 right away. I was 90% sure Dad would pick that one and I wanted to lock in the price at ~$100.
Christmas came and he was so surprised! He loved the game and took all morning to think and make a decision, then he ended up choosing Option B. We joked that now every time someone else buys a guitar at Guitar Center, they put a few cents into his pocket :)
Oh, the best part is, in the last 30 days the ARES stock had gone up about $4. So my Dad’s gift is already worth about $112. I didn’t predict the timing but it’s funny how it worked out. :)
PS: I’m gonna do this from now on for birthdays, wedding gifts, etc. It’s like giving lottery tickets as gifts, but the chances of winning are way higher and it’s more fun to check the price.
[Already told him I’m completely stealing this idea too… even for cheaper gifts around $20! You can pick up plenty of stocks in that range! And btw – Joel’s daily emails are one of the only newsletters I’m subscribed to… Super motivational and *short*! 5amjoel.com/5am-emails/]
The 529 “Building Blocks” Idea
I discovered this idea when I set up a 529 for my niece and nephew. I think there is a business opportunity here.
First donation to their 529, and the kid gets some starter blocks or a small doll’s house along with it or something like that. Then with each additional contribution you send them more blocks/houses so the collection grows as the assets grow!
It’s something the relatives can see and imagine the child playing with and enjoying.
[That works too!! A lesson on compounding along with an investment in their future! This fellow parent – and uncle – approves :)]
Hope you liked some of these!
Any other ideas out there that really work for you guys? Whether in gift giving or investing in general?
Here’s the post that elicited a couple of these ideas above: Saving up for something? Buy the stock first!