Gifts for Wells Fargo Enthusiasts

Wells Fargo Bank.svg

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is an American multinational diversified financial services company with world wide operations. The bank is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Measured by deposits, Wells Fargo's significant retail business makes it the second largest American bank measured by deposits, home mortgage servicing, and debit cards.

In 2011, Wells Fargo was the 23rd largest company in the United States. Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco, California, but has major "hubquarters" in other cities throughout the country. The firm's primary U.S. operating subsidiary is national bank Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which designates its main office as Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

In 2007 Wells Fargo was the only bank in the United States to be rated AAA by S&P, though its rating has since been lowered to AA-during the financial crisis of 2007–2011.  The bank, along with JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citi Group, is one of the Big Four US Banks.

History of Wells Fargo & Company

Soon after gold was discovered in early 1848 at Sutter's Mill near Coloma, California, financiers and entrepreneurs from all over North America and the world flocked to California, drawn by the possibility of huge profits. Vermont native Henry Wells and New Yorker William G. Fargo watched the California gold rush with keen interest. But first, Wells and Fargo had business to attend to in the Eastern US.

Wells, the founder of Wells and Company, and Fargo, a partner in Livingston, Fargo and Company, faced a new rival in the express business.  They were facing John Butterfield, founder of Butterfield, Wasson & Company.  The three competitors decided to join forces in 1950 to form the American Express Company.

Soon after the new company was formed, Wells and Fargo proposed expanding American Express to California but the majority of the American Express Company's directors balked. So, while continuing to fulfil their obligations with American Express, Wells and Fargo decided to start Wells Fargo and Company as an express business and banker. 

On March 18, 1852, the partners organized Wells, Fargo & Company as a joint-stock association with an initial capitalization of $300,000. 

Financier Edwin B. Morgan of Aurora, New York, was appointed Wells Fargo's first president. The immediate challenge facing Morgan and his successor Danford N. Barney, who became president in November 1853, was to establish the company in two highly competitive fields under conditions of rapid growth and unpredictable change. As a frontier area, California regulated neither the banking nor the express industry, so both fields were wide open to entry. Anyone with a wagon and team of horses could open an express company.  A bank could consist of a safe and a room to keep it in and transact business.

Wells Fargo faced well-established competition in both fields but followed an early strategy of contracting the express business to established express operators, growing its reach without having to finance all the infrastructure. 

They went into the gold dust business, banking, and shipping in the rapidly growing California market and became very successful. As part of the Pony Express and as a US Mail contractor Wells Fargo was an important contributor to the development of the Western USA.

Wells Fargo & Company Gifts - The Stage

Wells Fargo Collectibles and Wells Fargo GiftsCredit: AmazonThe definitive symbol of the company is the stage coach that was the core of the express business in the West. Modal stage coaches have been produced by many different companies. They come in metal, wood, plastic and combinations thereof.  For a gift, you want to look on eBay or an online supplier for a stage coach like this gorgeous kit available on Amazon. The 1:10 scale modal is ready for assembly.  The kit is very detailed, the cabin, wheels and chassis are finely realized miniatures of the full size coach, but are quite easy to assemble, thanks to the materials (which are laser cut for the wood parts and photo etched for the metal parts), and very comprehensive construction plans and instructions. A full compliment of luggage and two exact scale Winchester rifles (Modeled in wood and brass) are included with the kit, together with leather material for the seats - brass buckles for the leather straps found both on the luggage and carriage itself. There is even a padlock for the money chest! 

This Wells Fargo wooden stage coach would look fantastic on your Wells Fargo fan's desk or credenza. 

The Gift of Wells Fargo Equity

For a financial company, perhaps one of the coolest gifts is the company itself. It is easy to get a single actual registered share of Wells Fargo & Company stock as a gift. The shares have the owner's name listed and are signed by company officers. The shares can be framed in a variety of styles, and if you like, a little custom plaque can be added below the certificate.  

Wells Fargo Collectible Stock CertificateCredit:

Real stock is the gift that keeps on giving. As a registered shareholder of Wells Fargo, the owner will get Annual Company Reports and dividend checks quarterly.  Shareholders get to vote on company business by mail, online or for real excitement, attend the annual general meeting and see Wells Fargo bank executives report on the business of the company.  

Also as a registered shareholder of the company they can join the dividend reinvestment and stock purchase program which is a good way to increase their stock holdings.   OneShare sells single shares of real Wells Fargo stock for the market value of the actual share, a transfer fee, and the frame, plaque and shipping cost.

Stock certificates are being phased out by many companies in favor of electronic registration, so stock certificates are highly collectible and relatively rare now.  They make good artwork too with the detailed engraving of the two founders and scenes from the bank's history between them,

Books on Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo: an illustrated historyCredit: AmazonThere have been many books written on the illustrious history of the Wells Fargo business. This one was published in 1968 as WELLS FARGO: An Illustrated History. *First Edition pictured) by Noel M Loomis and is available on Amazon used for under $5.  Another interesting title is Stagecoach: Wells Fargo and the American West. 



Collectibles From Other Financial Companies

JP Morgan Chase SignCredit:

JP Morgan Chase & Co Corporate Memorabilia

Forbes ranks JP Morgan Chase as largest public company with over $2.2 Trillion in assets.  Traded as JPM on the New York Stock Exchange the bank is part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Indexes.

The Bank of America is one of the Big Four US Banks. Started in California, it is now headquartered in Charlotte, NC. As of 2010, Bank of America Corporation is the 5th largest company in the United States by total revenue. 
General Electric (GE) LogoCredit: GE.comGeneral Electric Collectibles

General Electric is a diversified holding company which offers many financial services.  It also holds significant media assets. It is hard to go through a day without some contact with General Electric.