This is an excellent opportunity to teach them a little bit about the importance of investing. For each stock they own, they will receive an annual report and quarterly statements that show the value of the account each time a dividend is reinvested, the number of new shares purchased and the new current value compared with the previous quarter's market price. This beats the bejabbers out of shopping for birthdays, Christmas and other important events in their lives. And it's probable that after a few years or so, the grandkids will understand that the concept of making money by investing is preferable to laboring for it. If you take the time to present this investment concept to the grandkids, I'm certain they will benefit enormously more than they would if you were to give them a $100 check, a one-year CD or a techno-toy, such as an iPod.
You can do this through your broker if you don't mind paying the egregious commission costs, plus an annual $100 fee because the account doesn't generate enough commission to warrant the brokerage's keeping it open and sending statements each quarter.
Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.