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Shareswell Makes Gifting Stock Easy

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This wedding season, ditch the traditional toaster oven and give the gift that people really want: stock.

And there's a new website that makes it easy.

Shareswell is an online platform for gifting and receiving stock, and it's pretty simple.

Users create a registry for their special event and add the different stocks they're interested in. Gifters choose which stocks and how many shares they would like to give. There's also an option to add a cash gift that receivers can put toward purchasing a more pricey stock.

Simplicity was one of the main ideas behind Shareswell, founder and CEO Emily Washkowitz told Benzinga.

“If you have tried to gift stock, you probably realized that it is complicated and time-consuming,” said Washkowitz. “It involves completing many forms and discussion with your broker, and can't easily be done online.”

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Too Many Toaster Ovens

The inspiration for Shareswell came from Washkowitz's own experiences. She was on a friend's registry and the only things left were a garbage can and a fork.

“I could not imagine giving either of those gifts, so I asked if she really wanted or needed those gifts,” said Washkowtiz. “She explained that she planned to return the gifts for cash and she just wanted to save."

Shortly after Washkowitz's own engagement, she received six toaster ovens, while her and her fiance didn't even want one. That's when she realized this was a problem for many engaged couples.

Similar, But Different

Registries on Shareswell work just like traditional ones, and show how many shares of each stock remain. Take a look at Washkowitz's own wedding registry for an idea of what it looks like. Her wish list includes a variety of stocks from technology companies like Apple and Twitter, to food chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD).

“Instead of receiving a set of silverware or a picture frame that will likely collect dust for years, Shareswell provides beginners with a user-friendly segue into the world of investing and learning about the stock market,” said Washkowitz.

But the registries aren't limited to weddings. Users can create them for birthdays, graduations, baby showers or just because.

“The gift of financial security can help people achieve life goals or simply help prepare for the future,” said Washkowitz.

Shareswell's services are free, with the exception of the credit fee charged to the gifter at the checkout. Gifting stock also lets you avoid expensive shipping and handling fees that come with traditional wedding gifts.

Recipients do need to have a brokerage account to facilitate the stock trades, since Shareswell is not a broker-dealer. A list of approved brokers is listed on the site.

The true success of Shareswell will become evident in the months to come, but it has already garnered some attention. The website has processed fifty gifts since its launch just last week.

“We are confident that Shareswell will encourage people to start thinking more about their financial future and learn valuable lessons that will be helpful for the rest of their lives,” said Washkowitz. “We also hope that people use Shareswell to start building their nest egg."

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