We will look at the use of stock in personal financial investments. You will evaluate the choices in purchasing stock via online brokerage accounts (where you can buy and sell stock via the Internet) and the use of dividend reinvestment plans (known as DIPs and DRIPs) or mutual funds or index funds. For online brokers, you will be looking for the requirements to open the accounts: costs, minimum balances, and other features. Because most DIPs or DRIPs are available from publicly traded companies, you can search their Web sites or a search engine on these plans and their requirements. Perhaps the most famous and useful Web site for these programs is http://www.directinvesting.com/. Finally, we want you to compare and contrast online brokerage to DIPs and DRIPs.
Research online trading sites and DRIPS as outlined below, and summarize your findings. Make sure to include a summary table of the relevant information.