Read this if you are interested in establishing no/low cost long term investments via DRIPS.
I own 23 DRIPS and strongly believe in using them as a component of a diversified portfolio. I like DRIPS because of their low cost method of investing. I also find them useful in that they force you to buy and hold (not as liquid as stocks in regular brokerage account).
There are several useful sites for DRIP investors. They are:
(1.) Moneypaper INC's DIRECTinvesting.com
(3.) Bank of New York-Mellon
(4.) Mellon Bank (in process of merging w/ "3" above)
(5.) Wells Fargo
The Moneypaper is a great starting point to find out what holding company carries the DRIP you are interested in. Then, you can either go to their website and buy, or purchase through the Moneypaper if the holding company does not allow direct initial purchase.
The title alludes to 5 star rated companies. I did a search on my Morningstar account for 5 star rated (highest Morningstar rating) DRIPS then compared it against the Moneypaper's no/low cost list. Morningstar's ratings are dynamic and change periodically when staff updates a stock's analysis. When I say no/low cost, I mean zero or negligible fees for dividend reinvestment, auto-purchase or cash purchase. Here's the result:
Bank of America
Cathay General Bancorp
Brandywine Realty Trust
Corporate Office Properties
Johnson & Johnson
Of the companies listed, I own McGraw Hill, 3M, Graco, Wal-Mart, Limited Brands, Anheuser-Busch, Johnson & Johnson & Bank of America via DRIPS. I've been eyeing Boeing. I own Alcoa, Baker Hughes and Exxon DRIPS for exposure to Natural resources, but would also consider Apache. I own the Southern Company DRIP for exposure to utilities. In lieu of some of the industrials above, I own the Manitowac, Pentair and Cummins DRIPS. I've been avoiding the food stocks and have instead gone long Agriculture via ADM and JJG (ADM and JJG not via DRIPS).
Aside: My employer provides us with a free subscription to Morningstar. If you don't already have access, you can frequently find Value-line and Morningstar at your local library.