Coming Soon To A Checkout Lane Near You: Stock Giftcards

This is tantamount to predatory sales of high interest credit cards to young college students. What’s going to be interesting is how the naïve “investors” may not realize the tax implications and are going to get hit for capital gains. What if there’s a “buy” or “sell” option for cards? The average person on the street might not know these basic fundamentals. Legal ramifications involving shareholder revolts and lawsuits could also get a little interesting for companies as well.

Are age limits still going to apply? Depending on what state you live in, the age limit is 18 or 21 for buying, selling and trading.

There’s many questions and this will definitely be something to keep tabs on. Wall Street has just entered into ‘desperate mode’.

 

As we noted this morning, in the New Normal world, the only marginal buyer of Index futures are central banks [and] when it comes to individual stocks, the biggest buyer is the company itself.

The retail “dumb money” abandoned ship long ago after watching 40% of their 401ks go up in smoke on the heels of a meltdown catalyzed by the implosion of the American home ownership dream which, thanks to the Fed and Wall Street, had been supercharged and securitized. To the extent the turmoil in September and October of 2008 didn’t drive the individual investor permanently onto the sidelines, the subsequent realization that the entire “market” is nothing but a giant casino being manipulated at every turn by greedy cabals with names like “The Cartel” finished the job. 

The world got wise to the central banker bid a long time ago and now, with Cheryl Davis Hillary Clinton’s push to bring an end to the “tyranny of the next earnings report” and thus to the practice of leveraging the balance sheet and employing financial engineering to inflate the bottom line, the buyback bid may soon be in jeopardy as well.

So unless the US wants to go the China route and simply make selling illegal, then it may be necessary to get creative when it comes to luring mom and pop back into the game. With that in mind, we bring you the following from WSJ who reports that now, you’ll be able to buy stock in the checkout line at the grocery store. Here’s more:

Now selling at the checkout counter: breath mints, hand sanitizer and…$25 of Berkshire Hathaway stock?

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.

The idea that shoppers might want to pick up some Apple Inc. along with their apples is the brainchild of Stockpile Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup. Avi Lele, a former patent attorney and founder of the company, said he came up with the idea when he wanted to give a Christmas gift of stock to his nieces and nephews, and found the need to first gather personal information such as their Social Security numbers too burdensome.

“It is taking something complicated and expensive and making it accessible to everyone,” said Mr. Lele, who also is Stockpile’s chief executive officer.

The cards work like traditional gift cards but recipients receive stock instead of merchandise when they cash them in.

And of course you’ll also be able to speculate on precious metals and index products, which is particularly amusing because what it means is that depending on where these cards eventually get sold, shoppers will be able to walk right past real gold only to buy paper gold backed by essentially nothing.

The first group of Stockpile cards to hit the racks will offer 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.

Full article: Coming Soon To A Checkout Lane Near You: Stock Giftcards (Zero Hedge)

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