Investing 201

How to find the best low-cost methods for buying stocks and mutual funds

DRIPs investing is because anytime you have a few dollars, you can send it over to the company and it gets invested in your account with the companies you’ve chosen, whether it’s a whole share or a quarter of a share,” says Nelson.

So whether you’re investing by yourself or you are starting an investment club, using many of these low-cost investing choices may work for you. Just remember to research religiously, invest in what you know, and maintain a commitment to investing small sums over the long haul.

“Money will work harder for you than you ever can for yourself,” says Love. “Once you start a systematic savings plan, you just need to be consistent and then you’ll see just how much you can have. You’ve just got to have patience.”

ONLINE BROKERS
www.buyandhold.com–no investment minimum, $6.99 per month with two free trades; $2.99 per transaction thereafter.
www.sharebuilder.com–no investment minimum, $4 per trade.
www.mydiscountbroker.com–no investment minimum, $12 per trade, and no-fee IRA accounts.
www.scottrade.com–$500 minimum investment, $7 per trade for market order and $12 for limit order. No fee if you hold shares 90 days, $17 if you trade before 90 days. No inactivity fee.
www.tdwaterhouse.com–$1,000 minimum investment, stock trades for up to $15, and 170 branches nationally.
www.ameritrade.com–$2,000 minimum investment, $8 per trade for Internet equity market order, $13 for Internet stop or limit order.

DIRECT STOCK PURCHASING PROGRAMS
www.netstockdirect.com–provides a database of 1,600 companies that offer direct stock purchasing plans (DSPs), Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs), and access to a Mutual Fund Center.
www.moneypaper.com–newsletter and brochure lists companies with direct investment programs.
www.equiserve.com–largest securities transfer agent in the world, listing 1,400 companies with direct investing programs.
www.directinvesting.com–lists information on enrolling in direct investment plans.

BOOKS
The Wall Street Journal’s Guide to Understanding Money and Investing
by Kenneth M. Morris, Virginia B. Morris, and Alan M. Siegal
Simon & Schuster, $15.95
The Motley Fool’s Investing Without a Silver Spoon
by Jeff Fischer
Motley Fool, $15
Black Enterprise Guide to Investing
by James A. Anderson
John Wiley & Sons, $19.95

INVESTOR WEBSITES
Blackenterprise.com–Black Enterprise Magazine
Fool.com–The Motley Fool
Nasd.com–National Association of Securities Dealers Inc.
Better-investing.org–National Association of Investors Corp.
Cobinvest.com–Coalition of Black Investors

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