What Do You Give to Someone Who Has Everything?
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Single-share stock transactions -- a taboo sale for most brokers -- have parlayed themselves into a "bullish" gift idea this holiday season.
Custom-framed and engraved single-share certificates are offered by oneshare.com. The certificates entitle owners to all stockholder benefits, yet can be purchased in a fashion similar to any e-tailer.
"The mechanics of a single-share transaction make it financially unfeasible for a brokerage, and the end consumer. Even if the commission to buy a share is in the single digits, the additional fees for transferring ownership and/or physical delivery of the certificate adds up to $25 to $50," points out Lance Lee, founder and president of oneshare.com. "Brokerages will not send the certificate unfolded, and custom framing the stock certificate at you local frameshop can cost as much as $100."
The idea was inspired from Lee's stockbroker days. "I was frequently receiving requests from gransparents and parents who wanted to pass down the value of stock ownership to people who had a real affinity for a certain company, such as Disney or Harley fans who wanted to display their ownership of a certain company," he said.
The company also presents a learning opportunity for kids, Lee added. "We recently launched an educational program, My First Stock, that teaches children the basics of responsible stock ownership," he said. "We designed the program so that it involves the child in the process of owning stocks. In keeping with this, parents have the choice of buying stocks kids can relate to, such as Worldwide Wrestling Federation or McDonalds."
Share owners also receive a stock tracking sheet, an issue of Kids Wall Street News and an investing guide, as well as annual reports, dividend checks and other shareholder perks.
"The power of the Internet has enabled our service to reach people from around the world who are using the gift of stock for a variety of reasons," Lee stated. "We have designed a patent- pending Web site that easily allows anyone to give stocks as a gift. Our mission is to make giving stocks as easy as giving socks."