Cramer: Last Minute Gift Guide for 2008

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It’s funny when you think about it. We just finished yet another election where the pundits droned on and on about how America is either “red” or “blue”.

Who knows and who cares? All I know is that on Wall Street, the only color that matters is green.

Why not green? It’s a perfect palette for a holiday season that is short on cash and long on creativity. In that spirit, Santa Cramer has a list, and he’s checked it twice, of holiday gifts that appeal to the wealth creator in all of us – even in these Grinch-like economic times.

 

So if you’re in the market for a last-minute gift idea, check out these stocking stuffers:

A session with a financial advisor. I’ll be honest, I’m a stock junkie and love the thrill of a well-researched stock that pans out. But there is more to wealth creation that just stocks, especially to regular folks who find it difficult to sock away even $100 a month into a retirement fund. That’s where a good financial advisor can help. He or she can advise you on ways to budget, provide good tax-cutting tips, tell you how to plan for the different stages of your life and recommend what type of insurance plan works best for you. They can also warn you about financial moves that personally drive me nuts: things like buying your employer’s stock, depending too much on your 401(k) and paying extravagant investment fees. If nothing else, a session with a financial advisor is a great wake-up call. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors can get your search started.

Pre-pay someone’s tax preparation bill
. No, I didn’t say pay their taxes; I said pay their tax preparation bill. The price of an average tax bill for an itemized Form 1040 is $205, according to the National Society of Accountants, and without itemized deductions the cost falls to $115. People have enough problems doing their taxes. Why not bring a smile to someone’s face by telling them you’ll get a professional to help, and you’ll pick up the tab? The National Association of Tax Professionals has a good way to find a local tax professional.

A subscription to a good financial publication or web site. I read up on Wall Street all the time and there is a ton of great investment advice out there. Sure, some of it is free on the web, so even a list of the best gratis financial web sites is a great gift (especially if you put the list in a card with a $50 massage gift card). But for the real good stuff, give a one-year subscription to The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times or your favorite money management newsletter. Of course, I’d recommend my ActionAlerts Plus stock selection service. It includes a strict set of investing disciplines that will help you succeed in any market (even this one) and it allows you to follow along as I make my own trades. Hey, I’ll even email you before I make one. Get the goods here.

Stock picks from my book, Stay Mad For Life. In chapter eight of my best-selling book Stay Mad for Life, I recommend some good, solid stocks for the long term. A short list includes Deere & Co. (DE); Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX); Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ); Pepsico, Inc. (PEP); and Proctor & Gamble (PG). Each has the requisite attributes I like in a winning stock, and they’ve all been beaten down as a result of the 2008 bear market. (Full disclosure, my trust, which you can follow along by subscribing to ActionAlertsPlus.com, owns these stocks. If anything changes, I’ll flag it and let you know.) So help someone you know take advantage by sending them a list of these stocks, along with a check (even for a small amount) to help them get started. And find the book on Amazon.

Buy a share or two of stock for your kids. When it comes to wealth creation, you can’t start early enough. That’s why a gift of a share of stock in kid-friendly companies like Disney (DIS), Mattel (MAT), or Marvel Entertainment (MVL) is a great idea. It gets your kids interested in their own financial future and teaches them loads of good information on money and investing.

Take it from Santa Cramer. The gifts that really show you care are the gifts that keep on giving.

Be well and happy holidays.

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