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Propel's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Thumbnail

Propel's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Propel's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

529 Accounts

No, a child may not squeal with delight upon opening this gift, but sometimes they don't know what's good for them!

The benefits of an education last a lifetime. With a 529 account, the beneficiary enjoys tax-deferred growth and tax-free distributions for qualifying education expenses.

One option is to let your friends and family know that your child's 529 plan is open to accepting gifts. Each state offers its own 529 plan, so the how-to of gifting varies depending on the state. For example, New York offers a gift code you can share. Illinois's 529 plan offers instructions here on giving a 529 gift.

Another option is to simply open a new account, and name the beneficiary you chose (and keep the potential tax deduction to yourself!*)

Next, take advantage of one our free, printable gift certificate templates to accompany your 529 gift:

Download PDF HERE

Download PDF HERE

Download PDF HERE


Once upon a time you could gift someone a physical savings bond or stock certificate. What to do in the digital age?

Purchasing an ETF or stock in a child's name helps educate them about investing, and can give them a sense of ownership of a certain sector or company. A stock gift may help to open up a discussion about your family values around money.

Which type of account should you use?

Most brokerage firms offer custodial accounts (also known as UGMA or UTMA accounts).

If your child is age 13-17, Fidelity offers a Youth Account which allows parental monitoring, and provides a Learning Center to help teens develop good financial habits.

If your child is working, a custodial Roth account is another great option. (Please note that Roth accounts require earned income.)

Before opening a new account, check if your preferred bank offers a referral bonus. For example, Fidelity currently offers $100 for new eligible accounts. And Charles Schwab offers a referral bonus for new clients (including custodial accounts).

*Please note, the gift ideas are for informational purposes only and are not recommendations. Please consult with your tax advisor on the tax implications of any financial gift. If you would like guidance on which type of account is right for you, please ask us.

Personal Finance Books

Personally, we love educating people about personal finance and investing. Help share the gift of financial literacy with a great book on personal finance.

Three books we recommend are:

The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make by Ron Lieber

College has become a major financial decision for American families. Lieber's book provides a great road map for navigating the system, from evaluating the costs of colleges, to how to decipher financial aid awards, to how to save and invest for it. Plus he writes in an easy-to-understand, engaging way that makes what could be a tough topic very accessible.

Activate Your Money: Invest to Grow Your Wealth and Build a Better World by Janine Firpo

If you know someone who cares about how their money is spent and invested, this would be a great gift for them. Firpo provides an accessible, women-centered, how-to guide for those who want to better align their values with their money.

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

In personal finance, it's not what you know, but what you do. Housel makes behavioral finance interesting, with fascinating stories exploring the various psychological drivers of financial decision-making. (Hint: They are rarely rational.)