A Practical Gift: Stocks

My brother is quite the golf enthusiast. He caddys at the best country club in town, plays in tournaments, spends his free time watching the Golf Channel, and dreams of going pro. This year, for his 19th birthday, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to get him. Sure, a gift certificate to Golf Galaxy might be nice, but he would use that once, and that would be the end of it.

So, instead, I bought him a few shares of Golf Galaxy stock (GGXY). I was lucky to get in on the stock before they were bought out by Dick's. The ROI (return on investment) is over 42%. The idea is similar to a gift certificate, in that it is cash to a place the receiver of the gift enjoys, but it is a gift that keeps on giving (my favorite kind).

For Christmas this year, I am setting up a Roth IRA for him (with the help of my mom to secure his SSN and checking account info) at Sharebuilder. I first saw the link for the Costco bonus $70 at My Money Blog and couldn't pass it up. I am matching the funds from Costco to purchase 2 (a bit meager, I realize) shares of VWO, Vanguard's Emerging Markets ETF (The Motley Fool's Best ETF for 2007). With their promotion of one month of 6 free trades, this will not end up costing my brother a cent for $150 of a very good stock.

It might not be the most exciting gift, but if all goes well, 10 years down the road, but brother will be thanking me that he has several hundred bucks to his name instead of a rusty putter sitting in the corner of the garage.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Prosperous New Year!