Smart Buying

Best Financial Gifts to Give in 2017

Give the gift of greater spending power with something more fun and thoughtful than a stocking full of cash.

Stock-ing stuffer. Online brokerage Stockpile.com makes it easy to give shares of stock or ETFs—even fractional shares. You can mail or e-mail a gift card to the recipient, who then opens a Stockpile account (an adult must open a custodial account if the recipient is younger than age 18). The minimum investment is only $5, and you can choose from more than 1,000 stocks and ETFs. For an e-gift of stock, you’ll pay $2.99 for the first trade and 99 cents for each additional stock, plus 3% of the transaction. Account holders pay 99 cents per trade to sell shares.

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Time with a pro. Help new grads or newlyweds get started on the right financial path, or provide a money check-up for anyone else, by giving a couple of hours of a financial planner’s time. Search NAPFA.org for advisers who charge by the hour. Planners in the Garrett Planning Network typically charge a flat fee of $400 to $600 for two hours. Advisers with the XY Planning Network cater to Gen Xers and millennials and charge $150 to $250 an hour, or $100 to $200 per month for a longer-term commitment. Garrett and XY planners offer sessions in person or via video chat.

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