Looking for some Christmas gift inspiration? We thought we’d ask a few of our regular money experts what gift they would like to see in their Christmas stockings. Our caveat was that it should be a gift that will keep on giving – something that could help them save or make money over the long term. Check out what is on their wish list.
The greatest financial gift I can receive is a great book or two which helps me better understand and appreciate human psychology and the world. No matter how many times investors try to apply rational numbers and valuation methods to investing, across any asset class, the one thing that cannot be easily accounted for is the human psyche and emotions. In the world of finance, the emotional characteristics are often defined as Fear and Greed or FOMO (fear of missing out) and FONGO (fear of not getting out).
The financial gift I would like to receive is the book The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel and Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman.
The biggest financial gift we can receive is encouragement and support to keep investing in ourselves and building our knowledge and understanding of the world which will help us over the long run financially.
Danielle Ecuyer is a full-time investor with over three decades of professional and personal experience in equity markets. She is the author of Shareplicity: A simple approach to share investing and Shareplicity 2: A guide to investing in US stock markets.
→ Related: How to control your fear of investing
My request from Santa this year is to be gifted a portfolio or an ETF of companies that is aligned to the mission I care most about – gender financial equality. These companies need to have strong ESG criteria, the gender and diversity policies must be solid and run across their business lines and procurement policies. I’d get a lot of joy out of watching how this investment performs in the year ahead as I expect we will see greater movement in this space.
My fallback gift would be a robot that takes unpaid housework away from me and rewards me with cash. But I’m not sure that’s been invented yet…
Bianca Hartge-Hazelman is the editor and founder of the Financy Women’s Index and women’s money publication Financy.
If I was granted a wish for a financial present this Christmas it would be bitcoin – or at least a crypto-based gift. Now, clearly, I’m not hoping for a full bitcoin – that would set back the giver around $80,000 (give or take 10% on any one day). But I think having some ‘skin in the game’ so to speak would give me a greater appreciation of all things crypto.
Clearly, as an economist focused on ‘supply-demand fundamentals’, crypto has provided challenges for me. But the aim would not be to trade the crypto gift or use it as a form of payment, rather to hold it for an extended period and see what evolves.
If it wasn’t a bitcoin or a cryptocurrency of similar ilk, the other ‘new age’ financial asset I would like to receive is a NFT – a non-fungible token. Clearly, we live in extraordinary times.
The gift that I would like to receive for Christmas is some gym equipment, such as dumbbells and barbells. Over the years, I have spent a lot of money on gym membership so if I was to have some gym equipment at home, I could save a lot of money. Its not just the money that I would save but also the time in travelling to the gym and finding parking at or near the gym.
You might be asking why I haven’t bought the equipment myself. Great question! The beauty about gym membership is that I can put it on hold, suspend or cancel it so if I don’t want to go to the gym, I don’t feel so guilty. If I have the equipment at home, I would feel compelled to use it all the time. Why would I want to buy myself something that I had to use, whether I wanted to or not?
The best financial gift this Christmas would be insights and wise counsel with respect to cryptocurrencies and NFTs. I like to think I know how to separate smart investments from unattractive ones. But a brave new world is emerging in digital currencies, tokens, gaming and the metaverse and with it, a genuine concern amongst my peers in investment management and investment banking that a generation of investors will leave traditional investments in preference for the brave new world. It would be handy to shortcut the due diligence process and conclude whether it should be embraced or ignored.
So many things to choose from but at the end of the day, Christmas is about relaxing and indulging in tabloid magazines. After a year of reading property, finance and business magazines I look forward to the break. So, my top gift would be a Subscription to Magzter. I’ll get access to over 5000+ magazines. After all, what is Christmas without snuggling down with the Women’s Weekly Christmas edition?
I’d also be happy with a pair of these Keoma sneakers from Santa. After three years of wearing them a few days a week, they are now past their prime. Not only do they wear well but they saved me a fortune on podiatry visits. Definitely worth the investment.
The financial gift I’d like to receive for Christmas is a bundle of books so I can keep learning.
While I have written nine books and probably more blogs than most people could even read, I’m still a constant reader and a voracious learner. In particular, I like reading about behavioural finance and why supposedly rational people behave irrationally with money; and I also enjoy reading books on success and biographies of achievers and entrepreneurs.
I’ve found there is always something to be learned from simply reading something new. A number of business distinctions I learned from two books I read last year significantly changed the way I work and how I positioned my business to work its way through COVID-19. They have improved my bottom line by multiple six figures. Now that’s a great return on time invested in reading.
All I want for Christmas is … an Apple TV+ subscription (I desperately want to watch Morning Wars but my own rules won’t allow me to add another streaming service unless I cut one), a perennial indoor plant (as I’m a sucker for flowers in the house and this is a great way to save some money on fresh flowers), a Costco membership (as I believe they sell 4.5 litre bottles of Grey Goose at a ridiculous price) or a non-concessional super contribution (let’s face it I’m over 50, my fund returned 20.43% in the last financial year and 10.44% over the past five years and earnings are taxed at just 15%).
Of course, if Santa can’t deliver any of these I’d be happy to get the gift of time – quality time to spend with my family. It’s been a hard year for all and a bit of reconnecting is what we may need to help us bounce into 2022.
Effie Zahos is Canstar’s editor-at-large and has more than two decades of experience helping Aussies make the most of their money.
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