Money is always in style

Sure, you could opt to be the “popular” aunt this holiday season and wrap a $45 Floyd Mayweather Jr. snapback hat embroidered with 3-D stitching of the letters TMT for “The Money Team.”

Or you could dare to help a kid save for college.

This holiday season, it’s clear that shopping for deep discounts alone won’t rescue us from our financial woes. So it might be fun to figure out a way to wrap a little savings into our gifts for kids and adults, as well. Some show-me-the-money gifts:

•Stock as a stocking stuffer? Once you see the towers of toy boxes on Christmas Day, you’re bound to ask yourself, “Hey, isn’t there a way to make money on all this craziness?”

Ask Jim Cramer, host of “Mad Money” on CNBC for his stock pick for kids this year and he says it’s actually a perennial favorite: Disney. Stock in Disney was trading at about $71 a share in early December, near a 52-week high.

“In 2015, we have ‘Star Wars,’” Cramer said. “I think it is going to be huge, so you buy Disney every time it comes down.”

Obviously, it’s tough to pick the next movie blockbuster. But the Disney “Star Wars” machine also involves a video gaming deal in 2015 and beyond, as well.

Robert Bilkie, president of Sigma Investment Counselors in Southfield, Mich., said it’s not a bad idea if someone buys a share or two of a child’s favorite company, maybe Apple, Disney or Mattel.

But Bilkie warns there is always a risk that any single stock can go down significantly after it was bought.

•Give the gift of Wall Street excess on the big screen. Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf on Wall Street” on crooked traders and scam artists is set to open on Christmas Day. So why not a gift card to a movie complex? OK, this tip may not be the best idea for someone who lost 401(k) savings through a Ponzi scheme or someone who won’t go to R-rated movies with violence and graphic nudity or someone who cannot sit through three-hour-long movies.

•What about a book about money? David Sowerby, a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based portfolio manager for Loomis Sayles, recommends giving friends and family a copy of “The Ultimate Gift,” a novel by Jim Stovall. The book’s cover asks: “What would you be willing to do in order to inherit $1 billion?” The story also explores what you would be able to learn along the way. List price: $14.99 but available for less than that.

•Tuck cash in a fun spot. My dad used to unwrap a box of candy, tuck in a Benjamin or two inside and then rewrap the box to give to my mother. Yes, you could do the same with a cool coin purse or wristlet wallet.

•Or wrap cash around a package of flower seeds for some “seed money?” Yes, you could pay $16 or more for such gimmick seed-money packaging. But why not copy clever and save some cash?

•Cash for college? Covering the cost of college may not be easy but there are plenty of ways to set aside money for young people. And most parents will be thrilled with this gift.

“It’s a valuable gift when you’re giving someone savings for college,” said Joseph Hurley, founder of SavingforCollege.com, a website that details college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans.

Some websites can help you research options and rules, including www.savingforcollege.com. Morningstar has an interactive 529 plan center.

For a more-than-generous option, some parents or grandparents might want to consider prepaid tuition plans. For a gift-giving-on-a-budget option, look into a college savings plan.

•Want some bling with that gift? Throw in a sweatshirt or hat from a favorite college — or maybe even some tickets to a college basketball or hockey game — along with that college savings plan gift.

More ideas

•Monopoly money comes in various versions of the game. A “Wizard of Oz” 75th Anniversary edition of Monopoly is on the market this year for around $42 to $50. A Monopoly Elvis edition is also available at around $37 to $40.

•A piggy bank of any kind is always an option. Tiffany has one for Baby’s First Savings Account. The baby piggy in earthenware has polka dots in blue or pink and costs $120. Or hand over an old piggy bank that’s been in the family with some extra cash.

•Don’t be afraid to create your own “money tree.” Start with a simple terra cotta pot and build a little arrangement on your own. Then, tuck a few dollars onto some stems. One company actually sells such “trees” for $20.

•Looking for a gift for someone who fears inflation and isn’t a fan of the Fed? How about a “Keep Calm We’ll Print More” T-shirt priced at around $25 to $30 at www.cafepress.com. The T-shirt might not be bad for college students, either.

Detroit Free Press

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