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Happy, merry, holly, jolly gifts for clients

It’s called the “most wonderful time of the year,” but when you’re on the hunt for the perfect holiday gift for clients, it can also be the most stressful.

When it comes to present giving, some advisors stick to the tried-and-true method of sending some chocolates or a nice fruit basket. But others look to step up their gift game.

From artistic umbrellas to gadgets for the car, these advisors have come up some interesting ideas to show appreciation for their clients.

A handy gadget
I have given the tired cliché of fruit, books, and Harry & David catalogue stuff.

This year I've sent the Ancel AD310 car diagnostic scanner to my clients, and the feedback has been tremendous.
I like that it's a bit unique, useful, and doesn't require work like reading a book. And if they don't like it, they have a relative or friend who can use it.

Dennis Nolte, Seacoast Investment Services, Oviedo, Florida
A pretty gift for a gloomy day
Two years ago, we went to a hand-crafted custom umbrella maker in New York City and personally picked out individual designer umbrellas for our top 20 clients and on each gift card, we wrote:

“Continuing to do our part to shelter you from the market and life’s storms …”

When I say designer umbrellas I mean beautiful individual designer-quality fabric umbrellas. We picked the leopard print one for the clients we knew loved animal prints, floral for the floral crew, black with silver studs for our goth-loving clients, and so on.

Michelle Smith, CEO, Source Financial Advisors, New York City
A little charity with your soup?
We have long been supporters of a local charity called Women's Bean Project.

It works to help women move past financial difficulties. One of their products is bean soup. This year we sent out two bean soups and included a custom bamboo spoon that we had laser engraved. Clients really like to support the non-profit.

DeDe Jones, Innovative Financial, Lakewood, Colorado
Gifts with meaning
This year we sent out Swell-like tumblers with our logo on them to all clients.

They are really beautifully done and we've asked each client to send us a photo of the bottle wherever they take it.

This way, we have not only sent a cool, functional gift, but we are leveraging it for a fun social media campaign: Where does WealthChoice show up in your life?

We've received some awesome photos from clients with the bottle in all facets of their lives: work, gym, yoga, vacation. It’s really engaged them.

I am not a fan of giving away gifts that don’t serve a purpose just for sake of giving something. That means I don’t send a gift every year.

Bridget Grimes, founder, WealthChoice, San Diego
A toast to clients
For our 20-year clients, we send a vintage bottle of Dom Perignon in a gift box thanking them for being part of our firm and success.

Robert Schultz, Rollins Financial, Atlanta
Some fixins' for the kitchen
For our gift this year, we partnered with Christ Kitchen, which is a local Spokane, Washington, non-profit organization. Their mission is to provide job training, community and work for women living in poverty in the Spokane area.

They create and produce dried good mixes and catered meals which are sold all over the Spokane area.

For us, they created special gift bag full of soup, cornbread and cookie mix that was either shipped or hand-delivered to our clients.

Sarah Carlson, Fulcrum Financial Group, Spokane, Washington
Keating & Associates-Dec2018
The gift of a good time
Our team just completed our fourth annual Illuminations event in Wichita, Kansas. Illuminations is our big event where we invite clients and our 401(k) plan executive committee members and encourage them to bring family and friends to join us in celebrating the holidays with a unique experience to walk in the city’s Botanica Gardens of Wichita when it is illuminated with over two million lights.

In addition to providing tickets to the event, we rent out a private room at the venue where we share warm beverages and treats and host extended family we’d before only heard about in meetings with our clients.

Children race with excitement to get in line to take their picture with Santa, followed by a quick visit to the kids’ station to craft an ornament and get bundled up to take the stroll through the uniquely lit gardens as they’re entertained by carolers and live music.

Mike Converse, Keating & Associates, affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services, Wichita, Kansas
Charitable giving
We have had a lot of success over the past three or four years giving clients TisBest charity gift cards, which allows them to take the face value and donate it to a charity of their choice.

We put them in nice gift card boxes, along with a note of gratitude.

Plus, we then get an email from TisBest when our client donates, allowing us to track the charities that are important to our clients.

We do this as a New Year’s gift rather than Christmas, to be different.

Joseph Eschleman, Towerpoint Wealth, Sacramento
Welled heeled women.jpg
Plan ahead
The planner speaks volumes. It sets the tone for the new year and confirms clients’ aspirations and helps them stay focused on their goals.

Zaneilia Harris, Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Get cozy
This year, I’m giving my clients fluffy, gray blankets embroidered with

“Wishing You Happiness, from Florina.”

When my clients think of me, I want them to feel secure, comfortable and protected. What better gift to embody security, comfort and warmth, than a blanket!

Florina Shutin, Wells Fargo Advisors, New York City
A fresh start
We send a calendar full of our photography from our trips and from local natural areas. We tried it once, and got such positive feedback from our clients that we made it an annual tradition!

Theodore Haley, Advanced Wealth Management, Portland, Oregon