How to give stocks as a graduation gift

Most of the roughly 7 million Americans graduating from high school or college this year will receive gifts from parents, grandparents, other relatives or friends to mark their academic accomplishments.

Those doing the giving can help put these mostly young adults on the path to success with financially impactful gifts. These include donations that can help a young person get started on an investment path, especially with tax-sheltered growth. Parents and others also can provide sage financial guidance.

Amounts vary, but the people who gave gifts last year to high school or college graduates said they were planning to spend about $103 on average, according to a survey of nearly 7,700 Americans by the National Retail Federation. The 2019 update will be available later this month.

Cash was the most popular gift last year, cited by 55% of givers. Greeting cards, many with cash inside, were the next most common category at 43%. Then came gift cards at 32%, clothing at 14% and electronic devices at 10%. Some respondents gave multiple answers.

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