“Stock”-ing Gifts

December 15, 2008
Special Feature

According to the tax law, you can give $12,000 a year to each person on your gift list without incurring a gift tax. With the market featuring fire-sale prices, that could add up to a lot of shares in someone’s stocking if you choose to give them stocks.

According to the tax law, you can give $12,000 a year to each person on your gift list without incurring a gift tax. With the market featuring fire-sale prices, that could add up to a lot of shares in someone’s stocking if you choose to give them stocks. But if you’re looking for something less expensive but more tangible, you have other options.

At Oneshare.com (www.oneshare.com) you can get a framed stock certificate for a single share in any of about 200 companies, from Abbott Labs to YUM Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut and KFC. A single share of Ford Motors, for example, in a mahogany frame with a personalized plaque will set you back about $70, including transfer fees. Prices vary according to the price of the stock; a framed share of IBM will run about $170.

If you have an investment history buff on your list, a stock certificate from Scripophily.com (www.scripophily.net) might be just the right gift. From old transportation companies like Alleghany Airlines and the Pennsylvania Railroad to defunct dot.coms like DrKoop.com, you have hundreds of outdated stock certificates to choose from, and custom framing is available. The list includes healthcare companies like Upjohn and Beecham, as well as the Maryland Medical College. The certificates have no value except as collectibles—or as handsome additions to a den or office wall.