A lot of people think they need professionals to be able to handle their money. But these professionals can come at a hefty price. That's why, we're all about coming up with solutions to make you more self-sufficient in the investing world. Here's what you need to know.

What is a DSPP?

A Direct Stock Purchase Plan allows investors to purchase shares from a company without the need of a broker at minimal cost. Typically, the initial investment is low ($50 to $500) and you can choose to make regular monthly contributions to increase your holdings over time. If the company pays dividends, they can also be reinvested into more shares to further build your account balance. Would you like shares of AT&T;? You can! Thirsty for Coca-Cola? Quench it! Interested in Campbell Soup? You can take stock! A list of companies and plan details can be found here.

Say Goodbye to the Broker

We all know that brokers earn commissions, whose fees can add up for the small investor. DSPPs have low transaction costs so more of your money goes to work. Most people haven't heard of DSPPs because brokers don't have a vested interest in promoting this option. We can imagine why!

Time and Budget

When investing, it is important to have a specific monthly budget and a time horizon. The amount you invest should be a number that you can easily afford and should be funds that you can commit for a period of time. The stock market fluctuates, so keep that in mind.

Building a Portfolio

You are not limited to a specific number of DSPPs, so participating in multiple plans over time would help diversify your holdings. Subsequent investments are low, so you may be able to join many plans if you like based on your budget. Most investment professionals feel that diversification and a long-term investment view can be quite helpful in improving returns. In addition, by purchasing over time you can benefit from the concept of dollar cost averaging. This means that your cost per share will be leveled out rather than being one fixed price. Check out a popular site that gives you investment tips.

Research

Be sure to review all plan program details before investing to make the best and most informed investment decision. For more information on specific companies, click here.


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