Related: 10 Classy Holiday Gifts for Clients Under $100
The year-end holiday shopping season is underway, and is shaping up to be a record breaker.
The National Retail Federation recently forecast that holiday sales during November and December will grow by 8.5% to 10.5% year-over-year to between $843 billion and $859 billion. These numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compared with the previous high of 8.2% in 2020 to $777 billion.
Financial advisors will be active participants in the holiday spending spree, understanding that they can bolster client relationships with a gift. These will range from the practical to the nice-to-have to the whimsical.
At the same time, advisors must adhere to rules and guidelines from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission that constrain gift-giving to clients.
FINRA generally prohibits advisors from presenting gifts in excess of $100 per individual, per year. The rule excepts personal gifts — a wedding gift or a congratulatory gift for the birth of a child, for example — provided that such gifts are not “in relation to the business of the employer of the recipient.”
RIA firms’ gifting is most often regulated by reference to the antifraud provision of the Investment Advisers Act and the fiduciary duties an advisor owes to clients.
It is common for RIAs to loosely adopt the FINRA rule for broker-dealers, Rule 3220, which must be adhered to if the firm contains bill registrants. Firms can set a nominal value higher than $100, but should have guidelines around this practice.
See the gallery for 10 client gift ideas under $100.
1. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons, $46
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons outlines the building blocks of winning golf from an all-time master of the sport, with drawings and diagrams to improve your game instantly. Ben Hogan believed that any golfer with average coordination who approaches the game patiently and intelligently can learn to break 80.
2. PhoneSoap UV Smartphone Sanitizer and Charger, $79.95
Clients can use this UV smartphone sanitizer in the office or at home. The box, which allows a thorough sanitization of a smartphone, also allows charging. The owner can even disinfect small items, such as keys, smartwatches and accessories.
3. Louis Sherry’s 12-Piece Tin, $35
Louis Sherry’s emblematic gift box contains a house selection of the company’s exquisite truffles, which are renowned for their creamy texture and exceptional silkiness. The tin is available in a wide variety of signature Louis Sherry designs.
4. Luxury Blanket Travel Sets, $99
These cozy blanket sets make a perfect gift for that special client. They are beautifully paired with a matching eye mask and a carrying bag for easy comfort on the go.
5. Gaucho Tech Roll Mini, $93
This four-piece mobile phone accessories organizer is 100% cotton canvas with genuine cowhide leather details. It supports all iPhone models (iPad) or Android devices and tablets. It includes a power bank (external battery) charger.
6. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, $98
This bonded leather-bound special edition will send your client on a journey around the world. The volume comprises sacred ruins, grand hotels, wildlife preserves, hilltop villages, festivals, reefs, cathedrals, hidden islands, opera houses, museums and much more. It also includes the nuts-and-bolts stuff: addresses, websites, phone and fax numbers and best times to visit.
7. Deluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, $85
This passport cover is a versatile travel wallet your client can use in and out of the airport; the luggage tag loops onto your suitcase, allowing for easy spotting.
8. The Biltmore Christmas Red Wine / The Biltmore Christmas White Wine, $40.99 each
The red is a blend of Cab, Merlot and Zin. This lush and fruity wine goes perfectly with the richness of Callebaut Belgian dark chocolate. It’s topped with a frame of peppermint crush and a luscious French-vanilla latte drizzle.
The white is a blend of Orange Muscat, Viognier, Gewurtz and Riesling. It is festively adorned with Callebaut Belgian milk chocolate and a peppermint candy crush frame and is wrapped with a delicious Valencia orange peel-infused white chocolate drizzle.
9. Haute Papier: Combo Sets of Notepads, from $60 / $100 Gift Certificate
Haute Papier’s executive notepads are the perfect addition to your client’s desktop. Flat printed on a super-smooth stock, the pads come in large, small, skinny and square and can be bought in various combinations. All pads can be customized.
Haute Papier also offers a $100 gift certificate that comes with a unique code the recipient can enter at checkout.
10. 2022 5” Pocket Datebook, $42
This datebook is designed for clients who desire a slightly smaller, more compact diary featuring week-at-a-view pages. It includes national holidays for the U.S. and Canada, all U.S. area codes and international dial codes, traditional gift ideas and more. This classic size fits conveniently in a small purse or shirt pocket.