Trees are decorated, snow is on the ground in a lot of places and the Thanksgiving turkeys are almost completely eaten. The holidays really are only a few weeks away.
That means it’s time for me to figure out what to buy for all the people on my list.
I have four sisters with five kids among them. We adults have forgone gifts for a few years now, but we still want presents under the tree for the kids when we all gather at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Christmas.
I’m not great at giving gifts. I never know what anyone wants. Or the difference between a toy for a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old. Or whether kids are still into “Frozen.”
Also, what if they already have one of everything?
This year, I think I’ve found a solution.
Investing in Their Future
As a personal finance blogger, I know I can do better for these kids than to buy them one more plastic toy they’ll forget about by spring.
As a non-parent who’s not keen on responsibility, however, I don’t want to delve into complicated stuff like contributing to a 529 college savings fund or some other investment when I have relatively little money to give.
This year, I’ll buy gift cards for stock.
Yep. Someone out there knows about aunts like me, and they’ve made it just that easy.
Through Stockpile, you can purchase fractional shares of stock in major companies like Nike, Apple or Tesla. Or maybe the kids want to own a bit of Barbie, Disney or Dora the Explorer!
(Are kids still into Dora? What’s cool right now?!)
Here’s How it Works
Stockpile’s mission is to make buying stock as easy as buying groceries or that stupid scented candle you were about to buy for your office Secret Santa exchange.
To gift stock in your loved one’s favorite company:
- Start here, and decide how you want to wrap it: an e-gift or physical gift card. You can either find a store near you to pick up a physical gift card, or — if you’re planning ahead like this awesome aunt — order it online.
- Choose the company you want to buy stock in. With an e-gift card, you can choose any stock. Physical gift cards will be limited to a selection of most popular stocks, or you can buy a generic one that will allow the recipient to choose any company.
- Choose how much money you want to spend. With an e-gift card, you can spend any amount, as little as $1. Physical gift cards come in denominations of $25, $50 or $100.
Regardless of how you gift it, your purchase will also include a few dollars in fees — $1.99 per gift under $100, $1.99 + 3% per gift card over $100 — to cover trading commission and transaction fees. That keeps the recipient from paying anything when they redeem the card.
- To redeem, the recipient will go online or download the Stockpile app to sign up. They’ll enter a redemption code from the card and buy their stock.
If they don’t like the stock you chose, they can invest in another. If they don’t want stock at all, they can trade the gift card for a merchant gift of their choice.
You and I can still take comfort in knowing we tried to be the responsible aunt and invest in their future.
Bonus: No time wasted trying to figure out which doll is Anna and which is Elsa.
(Seriously, though, am I way behind? Please tell me what kids are into these days.)
Trying to save money this holiday season? Follow The Penny Hoarder Deals on Facebook to keep up with latest shopping tips, tricks and sales!
Your Turn: Do you know of any clever gifts for kids this holiday season?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).