The Wall Street Journal carried a piece (Google “Are You Ready to Buy Stocks at Your Grocery Store?” if you need access to the original) on new gift cards that will be sold in grocery stores and office supply stores that let you purchase stock.
That means you’ll be able to buy stocks — which of course can be easily sold — conveniently, with a credit card, at retail outlets.
In a new twist on the bustling gift-card business, retailers such as Kmart and Office Depot this week are starting to roll out cards that give the recipients small amounts of stock in some of the country’s best-known companies. The cards will be available ahead of the holiday shopping season at other retailers, including Safeway Inc., Toys “R” Us and Lowe’s Cos.
They’ll be selling shares of 20 companies, “including Coca-Cola Co., Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc., as well as products that follow the S&P 500 index and precious metals such as gold and silver.”
The cards come in $25, $50 and $100 denominations. Cards cost $4.95 for a $25 card. No price is mentioned for the $100 card. If it’s the same, and if you’re earning 5 points per dollar on the transaction, this could be worth it.
Of course you bear risk in the value of the stock purchased falling between the time you buy and sell, and there will be a transaction fee for any sale. As a result this is unlikely to become a way that most will buy stocks or earn miles since the transaction fees are too high. One key to investing is not giving up your earnings in the form of fees.
This won’t be quite as useful as Loyal3 used to be.