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<<What is the best (economical) way to purchase stock?
Do I need a broker or can I purchase first hand?>>

Welcome to Fool.com. It good to know more and more people are taking control of their finances.

Sorry to say, but I don't believe there is not a direct answer to your first question. It kinda depends on the financial situation you are in and the amount of stock you are purchasing, etc.

Here's where I recommend you start:

Go to the green box below and click on FAQ. All the answers you need are there. Start by reading The 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly. The FAQ also has a hyperlink to discount brokers.

Being new, I suggest you read step 5 of the 13 steps and then contact Vanguard for info on starting a Vanguard 500 Index Fund.

Many Fools start with a 500 Index Fund, then later invest in The Foolish Four. As you explore this site, click on hyperlinks about Foolish Four.

Of course this is just my personal opinion. Wait for other replies and decide which stragety is most comfortable for you.

Have Fun.

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