Recently, a friend tipped me off to the existence of wedding stock registries, which are exactly what they sound like: sites that allow affianced couples to ask for shares of Apple and Facebook instead of Pottery Barn flatware at their weddings. This friend had recently gotten an invitation to a wedding that had a stock registry, and if you have friends who work on Wall Street, it’s a decent bet you’ll be getting one too. (See above for an example — the number next to the price is the number of shares the couple is requesting.)
Facilitating these registries is a start-up called Shareswell, which was started by a Columbia MBA named Emily Washkowitz. The site allows anyone with a brokerage account to receive stock gifts in lieu of graduation presents, baby shower trinkets, or birthday gifts. (Though a casual search through the site’s registries hints that it’s mainly being used for weddings.)
I have to say, it’s not a terrible idea! Equities have a larger expected long-term return than, say, a salad spinner. And who wants to tell Aunt Doris that you already have a Vitamix, but thanks anyway? My only gripe is a financial-planning one: I wish that on Shareswell, as with Betterment Gifts, you could give newlyweds passively managed index funds instead of individual equities, since stock-picking is a fool’s game.
Still, this is a wedding trend I can get behind. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something with a 12-month trailing ROE in excess of 20 percent” has a nice ring to it.