Purchasing the first share of a company's stock is often the biggest obstacle to DRIP investing. The most common method of purchasing stock, through a brokerage house, has for many years been the least likely avenue for an investor seeking to buy just one share -- full-service brokers often don't want the hassle involved in selling and issuing a certificate for a single share of stock.
In recent years, though, commissions at deep-discount brokers have dropped as low as $12 a trade. Other fees may apply, such as charges to have stock certificates issued to the owner rather than having the broker hold them in street name. Using a deep-discount broker, investors may make a small odd-lot purchase of just a few shares, and then enroll in a corporation's DRIP. More on this later.
However, most brokers still require a minimum of $1,000 (and often more) to establish an account. For those who do not have enough capital to open an account at a deep discount brokerage firm, or who wish to start off with a smaller initial investment, there are several options for the savvy investor to acquire the single share that is required to establish a DRIP account: