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The Pocket Idiot's Guide™ To Direct Stock Investing by Lita Epstein, Douglas Gerlach

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Buying a Share from the Company

For many years, only a handful of companies allowed shareholders to purchase shares directly. But in 1995, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) eased its regulations, allowing corporations to implement direct purchase programs much more easily.
Since that time, the number of companies that sell first shares directly to investors has grown from a handful to more than 570. Once you own a share of stock, over 1,600 companies then allow you to open a DRIP.
After you buy your first share, companies will allow you to continue to buy shares with additional fees. In fact, some companies will charge different fees depending upon how you choose to do additional investments.
Purchase Pitfalls
Some companies ...

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