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<< I'm starting investing in stocks with around $1000. I already have 401K and some stock in RATL and a little in INGR (which I can't sell). And I can contribute about $300/month now.

I've read about the Foolish Four and about investing in growth stocks and all. But how do I invest these small amounts without commissions eating my gains? Especially if I were to do the Foolish Four! Eight trades a year on, say, $500 in the Foolish Four would kill all my gains.

Do I pick just a couple of stocks? How do I invest without the commissions chipping away at my gains?

Drew >>

Good Evening Drew! And a Foolish Welcome!

Good question! TMF recommends the use of discount brokerages and especially on-line discounters. We couple that with the belief that you should become well informed enough to make your own investment decisions. Remember our motto: Educate, Enrich, and Amuse. With respect to stock purchases generally we suggest the the commission be not more than two per cent of the purchase.

For an F4 portfolio with a deep discounter this means a bit over $2000 is the least amount necessary to begin. For individual purchases this means an average trade of about $525 or so.

There are two ways to get around this. The first is to do DRIP investing and we have a model portfolio done this way. The second is to buy mutual funds with low minimum initial investments and work you way up. I've identified three respectable funds that will let you start really small.

You indicate that you can put away $300 a month for investment purposes. That means you can get to the $1000 level three times in 11 months. Therefore as a practical matter any of these three ways to invest are open to you. Here are some links.

Foolish Best Wishes!
Peter Lincoln

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