For a myriad of gift-giving occasions -- weddings, graduations, births, "29 again" birthdays -- a check is always appreciated. But if you want your money to have a lasting impact, there are a whole host of options you may not have considered. Here are a few ideas for presents that will continue to reward their recipients long into the future.
Even the most casual observer of the financial scene knows by now that the good old U.S. greenback has been on about a six-year slide versus many of the world's other currencies. But what causes a currency to move up or down? Is a decline always a bad thing? Does the dollar's slide matter as much to the rest of the world as it does to us? And can the market thrive with the dollar in full retreat?
"We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." -- Warren Buffett
Of all of the Oracle of Omaha's orations, this one holds a special place in Foolish investors' hearts. When you're looking to bag a bargain, a panicked sell-off by jittery investors offers you a great chance to snap up stocks on the cheap.
Now, don't get jealous when I tell you that Citigroup (NYSE: C) recently decided to "upgrade" my credit card. Yep, I'm moving up, turning in my platinum card for a shiny new World MasterCard. And get this: There's no real credit limit. Woo hoo!
I knew that many bricks-and-mortar stores with online storefronts let you order online and then pick up your merchandise at your local store -- saving yourself the wait for mail delivery. Sounds good to me. But since I hadn't yet taken advantage of this option, I didn't realize that many such stores offer service guarantees -- until I read about them at consumerist.com.
With the days until Christmas dwindling, more and more of us will be drawn to the gift card. It's quick to purchase, doesn't require wrapping, allows the recipient to choose something he or she really likes, and is one-size-fits-all -- no embarrassing bodily measurements required. That's definitely a compelling list of perks. But don't let the convenience blind you to its potential faults. Get the real scoop on the gift card and whether you should buy or stay away.
C'mon, stop being such a Goody Two-shoes. Everybody's doing it. Well, maybe not everyone, but according to a recent Harris Interactive survey, more than half of us admit to regifting -- that is, passing off unwanted gifts as if they were being bestowed for the very first time.
Retailers, desperate to boost sales this holiday season, are resorting to more and more sales gimmicks, including the ever-tempting rebate offer. But like most sales gimmicks, this one may prove to be more flash than cash back to the customer. Before you fall for a rebate offer, make sure you know a whole lot more than just the after-rebate price.
Do you have $78,100 on hand? That's what it would cost this year to purchase the "12 days of Christmas" gifts mentioned in the popular carol. Buying just one of each item listed would still cost a pretty penny: $19,507. (OK, a lot of pretty pennies.)
Even the most fastidious money managers can appreciate a little financial relief around the holidays -- a special discount, a cash rebate, or a free teddy bear dressed up like one of Santa's elves. These little perks pop up around the holidays more often than glittering lawn deer as inducements to get busy holiday shoppers to sign up for credit cards and special financing offers.
You sure you want to go shopping this weekend? It's a madhouse out there.
I know, some of you just love this time of year. The crowds, the excitement, and the bargains are all compelling reasons to get yourself out of bed at 0-dark-thirty and get to your local retail supercenter in time to get a parking space and (maybe, hopefully) beat the worst of the crowds.
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