10 Gifts of Wealth

Tired of shopping for Tickle Me Stuff and iGadgets this holiday? Why not give your friends and family a gift that will make them rich?

No, I'm not proposing you stuff everyone's stocking with lottery tickets. Bypass that losing gambit, along with itchy sweaters and boring ties, and give your friends and family presents that will bring them bounty throughout the year. To get you started, here are 10 ideas for gifts to help your loved ones keep their money and build wealth:

  1. Financial software. Building wealth starts with tracking spending and managing investments. Most people can do a better job with some technological help from software like Intuit's (Nasdaq: INTU  ) Quicken or Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Money.
  2. Books. An especially good idea for the young adults on your list, the right book at the right time can set someone off to a great financial start. Two of my favorites, Personal Finance for Dummies and Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People, can be useful for beginners or anyone who needs help organizing their financial lives. Or, consider finance classics like The Millionaire Next Door or The Richest Man in Babylon.
  3. Banks. A bank lets children watch their pennies grow and can help set them on a lifelong saving habit. You'll find a lot more than the traditional pink piggies, including ATM-style money machines.
  4. Financial planning. Especially helpful for anyone who has just seen a major life change -- marriage, divorce, a new child, or a new job -- one session with a financial planner can make a big difference in establishing and reaching new financial goals.
  5. Will-making software. It's a little morbid, but many people overlook this important aspect of financial planning. D.I.Y. wills don't work for everyone, but they can help someone with a simple financial and family situation.
  6. College fund donation. Any kid on your list will be lucky to get this two-for-one wealth-building gift that offers not just cash, but the promise of all the advantages of a college education. Use an educational savings account to get the best financial edge.
  7. Tax software. Yes, it might be more exciting to open a gift and find tube socks rather than tax software. But anyone who still fills out their taxes the old-fashioned way, with a pencil and calculator, might be overlooking some serious savings. Software, like Intuit's TurboTax or H&R Block's (NYSE: HRB  ) TaxCut, can help hone anyone's tax strategies.
  8. Roth IRA. If you have a working teenager on your list, give them the gift of early retirement by opening a Roth IRA. (Teenagers are impossible to shop for anyway.)
  9. Stock. If all goes well, this gift should appreciate -- and be appreciated -- for years. It can be an especially effective gift for getting children interested in investing.
  10. Nothing. Don't you and your loved ones have enough stuff? Ending an obligatory gift exchange that doesn't bring joy to anyone can not only lower your holiday stress, but also keep some valuable cash in your pocket. Give your favorite people more time, instead of more stuff.

Fans of The Motley Fool need look no further for a gift that promises to build wealth. The Motley Fool Green Light newsletter service promises $450 worth of money-saving ideas every month. You can even try it free for 30 days before bestowing it on all your friends and family.

Want more ideas for a Foolish holiday? Find out about:

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