Bing Blog

This year's new gift idea: Stock for stocking stuffers

Santa

I was at a party the other night -- yes, Virginia, there are still Christmas parties -- and I asked my friend Steve what he might be getting his friends and loved ones this festive  season.

"Well," he said, "I was thinking about getting them stock in some really great companies. You can get some incredible deals right now."

I thought this was pretty brilliant. I asked him how he came to this idea, which would help some beleaguered companies while at the same time make innocents who still believed in the market and other children very happy.

"I was at the St. Regis hotel just last night and I bought a pack of cigarettes," he said. "It occurred to me that I could get, like, four shares of Ford (F) for the same price. The only problem is that I can't figure out how to get actual stock certificates. You'd want that if you were giving out the stock as a present."

He has a point. It is tough to get actual paper now if you buy a stock, unless you use a service like oneshare.com, and they charge a hefty transfer fee. Why not revisit the no-certificate thing? It's possible that some companies should revisit that policy. You could offer actual paper shares in a variety of corporations for less than what it sets you back to buy a magazine or two at the local candy store or airport news stand. It wouldn't be hard to sell them at such locations, as well as at Wal-Mart, Target and other big box establishments.

Don't you get kind of misty just thinking about it? Little Bobby and Jenny wake up on Christmas morning. Santa has been there! The cookie plate left for the jolly, fat fellow is empty, the glass of milk drained. And look! There under the tree are the gifts - a new GI Joe doll for Bobby, a motorized monster truck for Jenny. But what they're really excited about are what's in their stockings -- candy and little plastic toys and yes! Shares of General Motors (GM) and Citibank (C) and even Yahoo (YHOO)! Oh tidings of comfort and future value! And so ridiculously reasonable, too!

Let's make this a merry and happy holiday season for all the needy around the world, including the fine companies whose stocks are stupidly undervalued by the moronic times in which we live.

And you out there presiding over such enterprises: Think about whether there might be a new growth model here. For once you'd be selling something worth more than what you charge for it, and creating a whole new bunch of folks who hold a little stake in your future. That's a gift that keeps on giving.

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Bing, you may have exposed the next big market...can you imagine giving your girl stock of Victoria's Secret and Tiffany's for Valentines Day? Oh the possibilities! I guess as long as the share comes in the blue Tiffany's box she won't care.

If they print GM stock on softer paper and on a roll, I will take a couple of rolls.

yes.

except that the money that would have been used to purchase goods now goes to buying stock. come January when sales numbers are much lower than expected your stock becomes worthless.

Guns and canned food my friends....

I love the thought, "Stock for Christmas". What a great year to buy. Get YHOO that stock will increase 100% in the next three months. Good luck.

Here is another idea: Actual stock certificates from Ford, GM, Citi, et al, can be used to wrap gifts! or even better: on your next xmas party you can use those certificates as napkins or, better yet, toilet paper!!! eat your heart out, Martha Stewart.

Someone actually gave me something like this at an office party this week. What's "The Human Fund?"

www.sawyerspeaks.wordpress.com

I have a mess of Stock Certificates that I was going to get registered with my DRIP plan someday. Now they are hardly worth the postage to send and insure them.

Maybe I'll keep them in my safe deposit box, until Antiques Road Show comes to my area. My 15 minutes of fame. "These beautifully engraved certificates were issued by a once-powerful insurance company based in the Netherlands, blah, blah, blah. Now considered worthless except to collectors, these certificates might best be used to line the bottom of a bird cage."

Santa honey, there's one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a platinum mine,
Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex,
And checks.
Sign your 'X' on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

In today's enviornment, as stock certificates have declined in value, one can't help thinking about other types of certificates i.e. graduation certificates.

While all else keeps devaluing, education costs increase; even while 529 plans, IRA's, 401k's, pension funds, housing, wages, and last but not least, the dollar itself decreases in value.

Jobs are disappearing as rapidly as automation replaces them.

Plastic, in its many forms, fills the needs for cost effective manufacturing and banking methods.

Wireless tends to reduce the need for bulky land line equipment.

Over production incites bubbles; Frantically, we're trying to restart the economic bubble machine to accommodate a population bubble that for better or worse might possibly be addressed???

Did modern civilization paint itsel into a corner???

Hello-oooo! Is anybody listening???

This was popular when my mom was a kid. My grandfather gave her a thousand shares of a new company called, at the time, Motorola (and a bunch of others). Too bad she doesn't associate with me any more after kicking out, first dad, then me. It's just she and her dividends hanging out together in the house we all used to live in, for many years now.

Bing wrote: "Let’s make this a merry and happy holiday season for all the needy around the world, including the fine companies whose stocks are stupidly undervalued by the moronic times in which we live.". Exactly right, these are moronic times, fortunately time goes by and these moronic times will go away, I'm personally sick and tired about this over-analysis of what went wrong and the incredibly high amount of people who "saw this coming", and it came regardless, as public we have to admit it: we were duped by a handful of celebrities, we are not as smart as we thought, now what? let's teach our children the lesson: never ever trust anyone, no one can be trusted, no one has the truth, there is nothing like super intelligent investors, let's recognize our weakness to fall prey of "celebrities", do not believe whatever the Foxes, CNN's, MSNBC's, et al, want us to believe, do not tolerate talking heads and politicians who at the end of the day are nothing but bags of hot air, lets start now.

Is it just me Bing, or do others notice the comparisons being made to past years? I read, “not since 1987..., not since 2001..., and other years in the recent past that have had financial catastrophes and realize we recovered from then?

Honestly, I have been to third world countries and seen grinding poverty and am thankful and even embarrassed at my fortune. Americans live at such a high standard and we should look at the big picture; most of the time we have had a fabulous life of ease compared to so many others. The good years far outnumber the bad and we sound like a bunch of whiners' when we complain about the bad. Last year, children in Haiti were eating dirt to stave off feelings of hunger as they died. Until the average american sees the true horrors of financial hardship, we need to see this for what it is, a period of time where the USA standard of living has decreased.

Looking at what you wrote about buying stocks illustrates the point that we are still wealthy enough to buy a few stocks and not worry about food and utilities. So people, do what I have done; make a fire, pop a little kettle korn, watch the giant tv, and rough it. We are working as hard as we can on the problem, with the brightest available and that is the best we can do.

One more thing, Jack of Canada is not only funny, he has a good idea for a novelty gift.

Mike in Austin: I have a few hundred shares of MOT which are worth almost nothing these days. I would send them to you, but the commission to sell them is probably more than they are worth right now!

MOT hit almost 60 in Jan 2000, and is about 4.5 right now. I hope that your mother sold at the high.

I may not know much about these things, but I do know that the banks that survive through these times, will find a way to make a money off each and everyone of us down the road. Although not many folks are buying cars or houses or big ticket items right now, everyone will have to at some point in the future. So give your loved ones some decent bank stocks, since we'll all be paying for it anyways whether its a bailout or interest or investment... You get the picture.

Bing,

This is completely brilliant. I love it!

Hey Bill in Laurel - I haven't seen mom since 1994. She was doing okay with her portfolio then, and had a good broker. Despite everything, I would hate to see her suffer. She never took my advice. Lets hope she took his.

We should all hold a stake in the future for the Vampires of Wall Street...is that what you are driving at?

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