I've been eyeing several stocks for quite some time and would like to build some stock positions, but at the same time, I have over $40,000 in debt that needs dealing with as well, so I've got some choices to make on priorities. Do I pay down debt now and invest later, or do I take advantage of current trends and growing stocks and jump into the market at the same time as I pay down my debt.
However, investing in this company will take away from my bottom line (in short, I won't be able to contribute as much towards my debt) in the short term, which extends the amount of time I'll have to pay interest down on my overall debt slightly. My solution to this issue? I will be investing in DRIPs, which will eliminate many of the fees involved in investing. This will make it much more affordable overall, although it does not eliminate the risks inherent in investing.
For those of you unfamiliar with DRIPs, it stands for Dividend Reinvestment Program. Thousands of companies offer DRIPs for low to no fees. Frequently these plans allow you to purchase in monthly contributions usually at minimums of $25 to $50 each month. In my case, I am targeting companies that do not charge a fee with minimal enrollment requirements as well. Presently I've got my eyes on Baxter International and Monmouth REIT. These are both companies that charge no fees to enroll in their drips and automatically reinvest shares. Unfortunately, you have to first own a share, which is where things get tricky. I am presently trying to find a brokerage from which to purchase shares. Brokerages typically require a minimum deposit, which can get into the thousands. I don't have that kind of money. So I am looking for ways to purchase a single share of BAX and then enroll in the drip in order to make regular contributions.
I've already purchased a share of Monmouth REIT and am simply waiting for my certificate of registration to reach me. Unfortunately, I spent way too much on it (just enrolling cost $60 + share price through the website I found) which is why I am presently hunting around for alternatives. Baxter's shares are trading just shy of $70 presently, which is expensive for my budget and the company I purchased a share of Monmouth REIT through wouldn't process the purchase until March, which is quite the lengthy timeline. So I'd likely end up paying between $130 and $135, to secure a single share of Baxter International and automatically be enrolled in their reinvestment program, when I might be able to do so for much less through purchasing the stock through a discount broker online and then transferring the stock certificate to my name and enrolling. I'll be sure to document which discount broker I choose and how the enrollment process goes for those of you who are interested in DRIP investing. If any of you all have any advice, I'd love to hear it in the comments as well. :)