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I do not own any stock now but I have been doing some research and have found a company I would like to invest in. This will proably be the only trade I make for at least a year. What type of brokerage house should I use (I wouldn't mind seeing some specifics).

If you mean trade in the sense that you'll buy 100 shares this year, and then you'll buy additional shares in this stock and perhaps other stocks in subsequent years, then any of the "name" discount brokerages will suit your needs. You should surf over to TMF's Discount Brokerage Center for more information. You can jump there from this link:

When you compare discount brokers, compare the commission schedules AND the fees schedules. The brokers with very low commissions tend to charge outrageous fees. You'll probably find you have to pay about $20 per trade and make one trade a year to keep your fees reasonable.

However, if you mean trade in the sense that you want to start a long-term relationship with that particular company, then you may want to explore sponsored Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRPs).

If you haven't done so already, I recommend you read (or re-read) Step 5 of the 13 Steps. You can read the 13 Steps from the link on TMF's home page, or you can jump to Step 5 from this link:

As you read Step 5, notice the link to the National Association of Investors Corp ( The link is near the bottom of the page.

Then I recommend you surf over to The Moneypaper ( The Moneypaper is a newsletter for DRP investors. Among the features of their web site is a roster of companies offering sponsored DRPs, and sample DRP portfolios for investors in various stages of their lives. As with any sample portfolio, you must do your own research to see if you want those companies in your personal portfolio.

The Moneypaper also offers a stock buying service to help investors buy their first shares and enroll in the DRPs of their choice. Some folks complain the stock buying service is too expensive or too slow, but I find it an economical and timely service that saves me a lot of aggravation.

Before you enroll in any DRP, you should check the company's web site to see if it offers a Direct Stock Purchase plan (DSP). Look on the investor relations page. Some companies permit investors to enroll in their DRP for an initial investment of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. DSPs are rare, but they occur often enough that it's worthwhile to check. For example Coca-Cola (KO), Exxon-Mobile (XOM), and Johnson Controls (JCI) all offer DSPs.

For most investors, sponsored DRPs are the preferred vehicle for drip investments. Specialized stock brokerages, like Buy and Hold ( and Sharebuilder (, come into play when investors want to drip into companies without sponsored DRPs. Using the services of one the specialized brokerages, investors can create their own pseudo-DRPs. I know some investors choose to drip through brokerage accounts so they have the convenience of receiving statements from a single source, but they are paying a huge premium for convenience. If you're interested in additional information about the specialty brokerages, then you should read this article:

You might also be interested Jeff Fischer's book Investing Without a Silver Spoon. Fischer is TMF's DRIP portfolio manager, and the book explains the DRIP process thoroughly. You can get more details from this link:

Finally, TMF hosts several discussion boards of interest to drip investors. You can get a complete roster by typing drip into the Board box at the bottom of this page. Three of the most interesting are:

Drip Investing - The Basics

Drip Investing - The Companies

Pseudo Drip

David Jacobs
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