The best holiday present this year to yourself might be to sell your books online and pocket some change that might otherwise be lost forever as an old book gathering dust on a shelf.
Of course, if you are looking to buy for other people you might think about some of the following innovative gift suggestions.
Give A Gift That Grows In Value
When you think of holiday gifts for family and kids in particular, what jumps into your mind?
If you are like most people, probably toys are the obvious choice.
But you know well that in a few years kids will outgrow those toys and so your money will only have provided temporary value.
But what if you could offer even more value that lasts long-term?
A company called Stockpile offers a unique twist on the standard gift giving process. Unlike most presents you might by that have a fixed lifespan, Stockpile lets you buy the gift of shares in a company or simply a stock market index, like the S&P 500.
As easily as you can buy on Ebay or Amazon, you can buy a gift and check out on Stockpile. But instead of your gift landing in the trash can or a garage sale in a few years, you have the potential to give a gift that accrues in value over time.
Of course, if your gift recipient is an adult who hates the stock market but loves Starbucks, then maybe that’s a better choice!
Invest In A Gift That Pays You Monthly
This holiday season you will probably spend a lot of time thinking about gifts for others, but what about a nice gift for yourself?
A company called Rich Uncles has made it possible for the ordinary Joe or Jane Investor to invest in commercial real estate and get paid a regular monthly dividend.
Historically, commercial real estate investing was the domain of rich accredited investors who could pony up the hefty upfront costs to get in on an expensive game. Or institutions who had to deploy seven, eight, and even nine figure sums for investors.
But regulatory changes have made it possible for anyone to get on the property ladder with very little money.
Plus, you don’t have all the hassles that typically go along with property purchases, like sourcing investment opportunities, combing over legal paperwork, and approaching a bank to borrow money.
Rich Uncles does all the hard work in the background so you simply get to go online, invest in a REIT, otherwise known as a Real Estate Investment Trust, and get paid a regular dividend each month.
As with any investment, you should check out the fees and whether it is suitable for you and your budget and your financial goals.
Give A Fun Financial Gift
Of course, if you have an eye on a gift that is much more adventurous and has the potential to be a lottery like winner or could equally turn out to be a complete dud, you could look to a cryptocurrency like bitcoin or ethereum.
It turns out there are about 1,000 cryptocurrencies these days but at the online brokerage Coinbase you can only buy three: bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin.
Bitcoin generally gets all the news headlines but ethereum is talked about a lot by those in the know as having large potential for blockchain applications so perhaps a diversified basket of cryptocurrencies offers a speculative way of getting in on the crypto game while lowering risk just a bit.
As with any wildly speculative investment, cryptocurrencies could be a fad and turn out to be worthless one day if governments come together to rule them illegal but for now they enjoy a wide and growing following.