A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

Inside Money: Christmas gift ideas - top five financial products

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Cash: Who doesn't love cash? As Monty Python once sang "there is nothing quite as beautiful as cash" - and they should know following their recently sold-out one-off revival gig.

Fiat, fungible and fun - cash makes the ideal gift (with card or simply stuffed in an envelope) for teen relations who you never talk to. However, be careful to set a standardised gifting limit or risk being 'unliked' on social media.

Also, useful in coin form, stored in piggy-bank to cheaply fob off children aged eight and under.

Bitcoin: For those who don't love cash. Hard to wrap, even harder to understand, buy a Bitcoin for your cool, digital-era relations. As they won't be at the family gathering anyway, you won't have to worry about the Bitcoin price volatility spoiling the Christmas day good cheer.

Complement with USB stick.

Gold: For those who hate cash. Last year half a bar might've been all you could afford but gold is going cheap this season and the full bar might be within budget. Perfect for the miserable pessimists in your gift circle (you know who they are).
Bury it under the tree.

Interest rate swap: An interest rate swap could ease your partner's fixed or floating anxieties. While no-one quite knows how they work these products are built for sophisticates but available to any idiot. Include a warning (in fine print) on the gift card - they won't read it but you have covered yourself against any potential future legal action.

Not recommended in rural regions.

Mortgage: Perennially popular but harder to come by this year, help your children into a lifelong financial obligation with a promise to underwrite their 20% LVR deposits. This is the gift that keeps on taking.
Why not include an interest rate swap (see above) for that special offspring?

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A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

David is a freelance journalist who has covered the financial services business on both sides of the Tasman for over 15 years. He is the editor of industry website Investment News. David has edited magazines and websites for the financial advice, investment and superannuation industries.

Read more by David Chaplin

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