No. of Recommendations: 2
One of the main reasons for having a DRIP account is so you DON'T have to deal with a broker. Although Scottrade (@$7.99 a trade) is the DISCOUNT broker I'd go with if I wasn't already with Ameritrade (@$10.99 a trade). Those other brokers you mention are so called "full service" brokers which means they'll charge you a lot more per trade.

Brokers don't do DRIPs, companies do DRIPs. When you buy into a DRIP you are dealing either directly with the company as is the case with SO (Southern Company).

Or, when you DRIP companies like PNY or WTR (both of which give you a 5% discount on reinvested dividends by the way), you are dealing with the company through an intermediary such as Equiserve.

Of course there are costs involved in keeping track of all the money, stock certificates and people involved with DRIPs so, since there is no such thing as a free lunch, somebody has to pay those costs.

With a FEE FREE DRIP the company pays the intermediary. With fee DRIPs all or part of those fees are passed on to the customers. I've found that there are plenty of good companies out there offering FEE FREE DRIPs so don't think you have to pay a fee to DRIP.

Bottom line:
I've heard that there is a DRIP plan that allows IRAs but I can't recall it right now. So I'd keep the IRAs with Scottrade as their trading fees are some of the least expensive around right now.

I'd keep all my non-IRA accounts with Scottrade too and put new money into DRIPs as you feel the need.
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