SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Gift cards have become a holiday ritual, but this year there’s a new gift card that lets consumers do more then just shopping.

Goal Mine cards can teach children how to start a savings plan and even invest.

Bernadette Ryan-Leduc said she plans on stuffing the kid’s stockings with Goal Mine cards this Christmas.

“I’m not just giving them something that they’re just going to go to the store right away and spend,” Ryan-Leduc said.

Co-founder Rimmy Malhotra said getting started is easy.

“Mom and dad take the card with the child to the website and help the child setup a goal,” Malhotra said. Malhotra also adds the Goal Mine cards are a great way to teach a child about investing.

Lorne Abramson with ELM Advisors, LLC agrees.

“The whole idea of getting an early start on saving and investing is very worthwhile,” Abramson said who added some caution. “Before putting any money to work no matter how small, I think it’s important to understand the details and read the fine print,” said Abramson.

Goal Mine does provide a savings account as an alternative.

“The savings account is FDIC insured. It’s held by a federally chartered bank,” said Malhotra. Users are also able to share their investment goal with friends on Facebook.

“Now they could save up for college or some other thing they think is important,” said Ryan-Leduc.

Experts stress you should not invest money you intend to use within the next five years. For short term investments gifts Abramson suggests money markets, bonds or certificates of deposits.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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