You can buy nearly 1,000 different stocks by going direct to the company that issues them. While the fees charged for doing this vary from company to company, they are often much less than the fees you’d pay by going through a broker. DRIP refers to dividend reinvestment plans that allow you to reinvest quarterly stock dividends into additional shares of stock. There is normally no fee for this service. To find out if the company you’re interested in offers direct investment and/or DRIP plans, you can call the company’s investor relations number and ask them. To get a company’s investor relations phone number, you can either go to the website of any online brokerage firm (try www.etrade.com) and look up company research, or you can go to your public library and look in investment guides (try Value Line.) There are also websites that, for a small fee, will help you establish direct investment and DRIP accounts. One example is www.directinvest.com.
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