Christmas Money

Each year, before Christmas, we all face the same predicament: deciding what to present to your family and friends. But the truth is that most of the items presented will become history gathering dust in a closet once the holidays are over. So why not to discard the tangible gifts this year. Below are some investing gift ideas that can help those you love enlarge their capital and enhance their purchasing power.

Sow

Sow is an online platform designed to help kids learn how to manage finances prudently. In fact, it’s an interactive online savings account that enables people to specify what gifts they want to get. Kids can manage their money in three ways: save, donate to a specific charity or spend it to purchase products on their wishlist.

Help your kids establish Sow accounts and give them $30 or $50 dollars they can allocate for things they want, such as a new phone or bike. It is a sort of crowdfunding for big-ticket gifts.

SparkGift

Want to present someone a piece of their favorite company? Turn to SparkGift, a company that enables you to present shares of such public companies as Disney (DIS), Shake Shack (SHAK), Apple (AAPL) to name just a few. The company will send a gift certificate to the recipient, who will open an account on the site with Folio Institutional, an online brokerage firm that is in charge of all trades accomplished through SparkGift. The gift giver will have to pay $2.95 plus a 3% fee, but redeeming the gift is free. Ranging from $20 to $2,000 per gift, the money presented never expire. SparkGift offers a fun and easy way to educate kids and young adults about investing and stock market and help their favorite companies grow.

FundRise

Those who are unafraid of risk and are ready to invest more than $1,000 should consider real estate. FundRise offers the opportunity to invest in real estate for people who lack the know-how or capital to do it on their own. This crowdfunding platform enables the person to set up an account and manage midsize assets, which are supposed to provide opportunities and higher risk-adjusted returns.

Last year, the FundRise introduced two online real estate investment trusts (eREITs) — one specializing in debt assets and the other in equity financing. This year, the company launched three new eREITS, which serve three geographical areas — East Coast, Midwest and the West Coast. A REIT is a sort of mutual fund, i.e. the company is in charge of managing the properties on behalf of passive investors. And the yield is 11% on debt and 8% on equity financing.

The best part of this is that you don’t need to be an accredited investor to get into real estate business.  Small companies are allowed to offer and sell securities to non-accredited investors and FundRise is reported to have raised $250 million from individual investors during a single year.

Though Sow, SparkGift and Fundrise can’t give you a tangible item to present to your spouse, child or friend, these companies do provide the valuable opportunities for wealth creation.