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<<I really want to start investing in individual stocks that I've been tracking but don't want to pay a broker if I know what I want to buy>>

Joe gave a good reply; I'll just add that there may be some confusion here as to the functions of a broker. Some provide services that include helping you choose (or choosing for you) the investments you make, and others don't. The ones that don't provide this service (which you indicate you don't want) provide other services: effecting the transaction, record keeping, tax reporting, custodianship of certificates etc. As the Motley Fool has documented extensively, the advent of discount brokers permits you to pay for these important services without paying for the advice you don't want. And at many brokers the discount prices are so low that these services are a real bargain. That's not to say DRIPs are a bad idea if they suit your investment needs, only to point out that you're not necessarily wasting your money when you pay a discount brokerage fee.

Kaye Thomas, author
Fairmark Press Tax Guide for Investors
Includes a new guide to estimated tax
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