I suppose asking Santa for specific gifts for our retirement readers is a bit selfish, but with all the worries out there and the difficulties of retirement planning, why not?
I’ve been making some lists and checking them more than twice, and I’m quite sure most of us have been nice, so Santa, here are five gifts we’d like to see under the tree next Tuesday.
1. A basket of dividend stocks with the upside and staying power of McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX). I know they’re harder to find than ever, and with tax changes to our dividends coming, we need steady payers that keep raising their dividends (offsetting some of the tax pain) every year. So, how about giving us some shares of IBM (NYSE:IBM, dividends since 1916) or Sherwin Williams (NYSE:SHW, dividends since 1979) or W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW, dividends since 1965). These would all be a great start!
2. One (two would be even nicer) breakout stock for 2013 and beyond. Our own InvestorPlace writers and contributors gave you a bit of a head start on this with their “4 Stocks to Hold Forever,” and I’ve done some of my own homework on Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL) and 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD). But perhaps you’ve got some ideas of your own. Of course, please don’t get in trouble by using anything deemed “insider” … we can’t have you missing future gift runs.
3. Gift and estate tax legislation that moves the needle for the good of the deficit, but doesn’t break the trust bank. This is a touchy one, but as I wrote earlier this week, fiscal cliff changes could be dramatic for trusts and estates, and will complicate many people’s planning over time. This one would look very nice under the tree for grandparents, parents and children, too. C’mon Santa, make it happen!
4. A two-hour gift certificate with a financial planner for anyone who wants or needs one. As Phillip Moeller in U.S. News & World Report sadly notes, the Society of Actuaries research shows that “individuals don’t trust financial advisers, don’t understand the value of financial advice, and further, don’t even have enough financial knowledge to seek and perhaps even understand professional advice.”
That’s scary given how many of us baby boomers have reached or are nearing retirement age. Furthermore, the research showed that “tradition drives non-affluent households to rely on family and friends for financial advice. Couples suffer from gender stereotypes that often prevent them from seeking help. Financial advisers don’t know how to connect to the middle-class market, particularly recent immigrants.”
Hey Santa, everyone can use a some knowledgeable financial advice, particularly from a concerned but financially disinterested third party. How about it?
5. Last, how about that 3-for-1 split in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that I’ve been dreaming about for over a year, followed by a nice run-up of maybe 10% to 20% in 2013? Which brings me to that condo in Maui….
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long AAPL.