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Give a Gift That Pays

George Chamberlin | 12/14/2016 04:43 p.m.
Do you think your kids or grandkids remember what you gave them for the holidays last year? Can you remember?

Toys and other stuff may be appreciated at the moment but the memory fades fast as the youngsters move on to new things, especially technology over things to tinker with.

As grandparents four times over, my wife and I have added something to the usual mix of toys. We now make investments in stocks that match the interest and personality of each of the kids.

The first reaction might be, “Gosh, that must be expensive.” Not the case. Many companies offer a direct purchase plan (DPP) allowing you to purchase full and fractional shares with a small amount of money, often $250 or less. And, they also have dividend reinvestment plans, referred to as DRIPs, which give you the benefit of compounding.

The next question might be, “How do I know if a company has a DPP?” Simply go to the website for the company you have in mind and look for “Investor relations.” That will let you know if they have a plan and how to get started.

Getting children started as investors as early as possible will teach them the lifelong benefits of investing. All of our grandkids are 12 and under yet they now understand the concept of investing, follow the performance of the companies they own and celebrate the gains but understand the declines.

It is a gift that will literally pay dividends for years to come.

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