Shoppers' efforts often fizzle when they need to buy a gift for that person who seems to clash with every conventional gift idea out there. But if your hard-to-shop-for friend, colleague or family member is a loyal investor or fanatical trader, you're in luck. Read on for a few unique gift ideas that are sure to please any financial geek.
1. Ambient Orb
There may not be a crystal ball to predict where the market is headed, but for a financial geek who aims to stay on top of current market news, the Ambient Orb may be one of the fastest - and most soothing - ways to stay in the loop. The orb is set to track movement of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA); it glows green or red when the market is moving up or down, and yellow when the market is calm. It can also be customized to track any individual stock, market index or even an investor's own portfolio. Any trader would be thrilled to unwrap this mystical object.
2. Stock Ticker Board Game
This Wall Street board game can be a great distraction from the pressures of the real stock market. The game works much like Monopoly. Each player starts with a certain amount of cash, which is turned into securities - either gold, oil, bonds, technologies, industrials or grain. You can even get paid out dividends when your stocks reach certain levels and the amount you receive is determined by the toss of dice. The goal is to buy and sell these shares and to accumulate a greater amount of money than the other players by the game's end.
3. Finance Geek Products
Some retailers, such as Cafepress.com, offer financial geeks a wide selection of casual t-shirts, drinkware and accessories with slogans such as “I Was a Banker Before It Was Cool” and “Can you Feel My Algorithm?” Bumper stickers, magnets and other knickknacks are also available.
4. OneShare Stock Certificates
A framed stock certificate is a gift that will leave a lasting impression in any financial geek's office. Choose from more than 200 well-known, publicly traded companies, and OneShare will mount and frame a single share of that company's stock. Each share also comes with a OneShare Owner's Manual, complete with information about being a shareholder. A share of Disney, McDonald's or Build-A-Bear can also be a great gift (and learning experience) for kids.
5. "Margin of Safety" (1991) by Seth A. Klarman
This out-of-print book is one of the most sought-after investing books out there, and probably a collectible item. Seth Klarman, a value investor, provides insight into the philosophy of and logic behind value investing in his book titled "Margin of Safety: Risk-averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor." As of December 2013, a used book can be bought for $1,600. Klarman is the founder and portfolio manager for The Baupost Group, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds.
6. Star Wars R2-D2 Talking Bank
Of course, a large percentage of financial geeks are also avid Star Wars fans, and this nifty gadget from Thinkgeek.com makes the perfect gift for that special financial Jedi knight or Padawan of yours. The droid beeps and whistles every time you put money into it, thus providing encouragement for reluctant savers.
7. Mighty Wallet
This revolutionary money and card holder is made of a Tyvek-based material that is tear resistant and water resistant. The material is also as thin as paper and can have any number of incredibly geeky images imprinted on it, such as superhero logos, the face of a currency note or stock certificate, or a computer chip. Any nerd will be proud to receive an item that is as indisputably geeky as it is practical.
8. Financial Scandal Collectibles
Bullmarketgifts.com offers collectibles based on famous Wall Street scandals and mishaps. Any financial geek will be proud to own these key items such as golf club covers with the Enron logo stamped on them in remembrance of one of the biggest corporate meltdowns in recent history. A Bear Stearns teddy bear is another surefire hit for those who lost money in the Subprime Mortgage Meltdown of 2008. There is also a 1950 book by the now defunct Lehman Brothers that looks back at the firm’s first 100 years in operation. This website also offers a wealth of other geeky financial gifts and memorabilia.
The Bottom Line
We hope we've injected new life into your gift shopping, and that you've been inspired to seek out these geek-worthy gifts for investors, traders and financial professionals.