smart spending

Your plan for 12 days of financial gift-giving

Stocks
Stocks | Tupungato - Fotolia.com

Stocks

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... stocks in my stocking.

Start teaching your loved ones early why so many people love the stock market. Investing small amounts in companies they know is a good way to demonstrate the ups and downs of how the market works.

"Have them meet with your financial planner, and begin purchasing stocks," Seaman says. "And for Christmas, 'stocking stocks,' where they actually have one in their stocking. You can still purchase stock certificates, or it can just go into an account if you don't want to pay the fee for the actual certificate."

Linfield says 2 of her 3 children have Uniform Gift to Minors or Uniform Transfer to Minors accounts, known as UGMAs or UTMAs, the child version of brokerage accounts, and have a ball investing in their favorite products on a shoestring budget.

"There are just certain stocks that kids will relate to: Hasbro, Walt Disney, McDonald's. Companies that they are familiar with and they're solid companies," Linfield says. "When you're whipping through the McDonald's once a month and you're munching on the fries, it's, 'Hey, I own that company. I'm not just paying money to buy the fries; they're paying me a dividend!'"

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