How To Give Shares as a Gift

Whether it’s the holiday season, a birthday or an upcoming special event, picking the right gift can be a hassle. Have you ever thought about a gift that keeps on giving? Ruth The Happy Saver is a big fan of giving shares as a gift, and talks about how it can be a thoughtful present for experienced and budding investors.

I’ll admit, I’ve forgotten most gifts I’ve been given. But many years ago I was gifted a small sum of money that I purchased shares with, which I have in my portfolio to this day. The shares have sentimental value to me and I still think kindly of the person whose money I purchased them with. If you know someone who is interested in becoming an investor for the first time, or is already involved in the stock market, then they could get a real kick out of this unique gift.

Are shares just a gift for stock market lovers?

As a keen investor, receiving the gift of shares would be the ultimate gift. Some that have been chosen just for me would be fun! I’d get a bit of a thrill out of knowing that I’ve potentially just been given “the gift that keeps on giving” by way of dividend payouts and tax-free capital gains for years to come, and I’d delight in watching the performance of it as the years rolled by. 

But for others, giving them shares as a present could fall flat — a bit like “receiving” the gift of a donation in your name to a charitable organization. You open your present, knowing you are meant to feel great about it because it’s a sign that you have every material possession you could think of, but you feel a little deflated instead. 

When giving the gift of a share market investment, choose the recipient wisely and ask yourself, “am I simply giving the gift I would like to receive?” If so, buy shares for yourself and buy them a box of chocolates instead.

How to gift shares

Here in New Zealand, the easiest way to gift shares is to use Sharesies. You don’t have to be subscribed to their site to do it, but the person you are purchasing for needs to have a Sharesies account and be over the age of 16. Or if you want to give an investment gift to a child, they need to have a portfolio under a parent or guardian’s name to redeem their gift. You can choose a gift amount between $5 and $2,000 (imagine opening that on Christmas morning!), and pay for it with a debit or credit card (which includes a small card processing fee).

Ultimately, you can’t gift a share in a specific company or fund, you are just gifting a sum of money to their Sharesies account where the lucky recipient then gets to choose what they invest in. However, how much fun would it be to accompany your gift with your best stock tips or your favorite book on investing? Instead of a gift being opened and then set aside, the gift of shares could lead to all sorts of fun conversations between giver and receiver. Maybe you could even check in with each other and see how the shares have performed over the year. I’ve met many people who have been gifted shares by grandparents that they still hold onto to this day as a nice reminder of the bond they had.

Outside of New Zealand, you can check in with your favorite online investing platform to see if they have gifting options. Or you could go straight to a broker to organize the process for you.

The easiest last-minute gift you will ever find

If you’re on your way to a family occasion where you know a gift is expected, there is nothing worse than getting halfway there and realizing you forgot to buy one. The share market has you covered! No courier involved. Quickly buy it online and pretend that you were the greatest long-term planner that ever existed. What you lack in planning you can make up for in your best share market tips!

Hopefully, it won’t end up for sale as an “unwanted gift”

As with any gift, your job is done once it’s handed over. The gift of shares is the ultimate gift that can be recycled and turned into immediate cash — no need to put it up for sale in the “unwanted gift” section on your local online auction site. 

It is the most liquid and saleable gift that you are likely to find. The recipient can sell it and take the cash and buy the gift they REALLY wanted. But if you choose the receiver carefully, it will be the one gift you know they will remember year after year, including every time they receive a dividend payout from their investment. 

Ruth blogs at all about how she and her family handle money. What’s the secret? Spend less than you earn, invest the difference, avoid debt and budget each dollar that flows through your hands. She firmly believes that if you can just get the basics right, life becomes easier from there on in.

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