According to 2008 statistics from the National Retail Federation, nearly 75% of adults in the U.S. celebrate Father's Day. Nearly 70% of this group will buy Dad a greeting card and almost 40% of dads will receive clothing. But if your dad is a financial geek, maybe it's time for something a little different. Here we'll give you some geeky gift ideas.
1. A "Hybrid" Cell Phone
New cell phones, such as Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL) Iphone or the BlackBerry Bold (Nasdaq:RIMM), do much more than a standard cell. These do-it-all gadgets can take calls, surf the web, manage email, send and receive text messages, play music, and capture and display pictures and video. The Iphone sports a nifty digital touch screen; the Bold has a more traditional setup, but boasts a large screen with exceptional color and clarity. Other companies are moving into developing stylish, "smartphones" with similar features as well, so if Dad is an on-the-go business type, or just loves the latest tech toy, he might be plugged into the idea of a new phone.
2. "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World" (2007), by Alan Greenspan
As one of the most anticipated and publicized business books of the year and one of BusinessWeek's top book picks for 2007, the former Federal Reserve chairman's memoir is sure to please. This book is both autobiography and an analysis of major global economic events during Greenspan's 20-year tenure as chairman of the board of governors. If your dad has already read this one, check out "The 4-Hour Workweek" (2007), by Timothy Ferris, which has been topping bestseller lists for months. It provides recommendations on getting more for less and offers some interesting perspectives on how to reduce the time you spend working to increase quality of life. Some have billed this book as a scam, but by all accounts, it's an entertaining read. (For more books, read Books Worth Investing In, Ten Books Every Investor Should Read and Investing Books It Pays To Read.)
3. Wireless Stock Market Reporter
If your dad likes to keep tabs on the markets, this tiny device could win his heart. Hammacher Schlemmer's wireless stock market reporter tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Nasdaq and Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) from anywhere in the U.S. Each index can also be plotted on a graph. It's five square inches that should put a smile on the face of a die-hard market following father. (For more on the major indexes, read A Market By Any Other Name.)
4. A Few Shares of Your Favorite Value Stock
Whether you learned about the stock market from your father or just want to show off the skills you've acquired on your own, a few shares of your top value pick could make a great gift. You can buy a stock and transfer it into your father's name through an electronic transfer from your brokerage account. If your father doesn't have a brokerage account, you could also get him a token share in bearer form from OneShare.com. If the stock makes the gains you expect, dad can benefit from the hefty returns, and the two of you can enjoy watching it together - even if it doesn't take off the way you had hoped. (For more insight read, Stock Picking Strategies: Value Investing and Can I give a stock as a gift?)
5. Frugal Father?
If your father is a frugalist, he may resent costly gifts. If this is the case, you can always go with a homemade gift, such as a card, collection of photos or a CD. You could also invite dad over for dinner, or do some work for him, such as yard work or washing the car. If your dad is budget conscious, he'll appreciate that you didn't blow your budget to commemorate his day. (For more, see Save Money The Scottish Way.)
6. A Folding Bicycle
They're a little odd looking, but if your father has been thinking "green" these days, a folding bicycle might be a hot gift this year. These bikes are already popular in East Asia and the U.K., and are beginning to gain ground in the U.S. The major advantage they provide is that they can be folded into a compact form, so that riders can carry them up to the office, or easily hop onto a bus or a cab for the ride home. They're also handy for traveling. If your dad is the type who likes to be active, one of these handy bicycles might pique his interest - not to mention save him some money at the pump this year. Dahon claims to be the world's largest manufacturer for folding bikes, and has dozens of models available in the U.S. (For related reading, see Getting A Grip On The Cost Of Gas and Why You Can't Influence Gas Prices.)
For more gift ideas, read Gifts For Financial Geeks.