Let me begin by listing some of the stock transfer agencies that administer and manage these direct stock purchase plans. In general these companies offer the following types of plans:
- Direct Stock Purchase Plan (DSP or DSPP) with a minimum initial investment in '$$' and an additional investment option to purchase additional shares on an ongoing basis
- Direct Stock Purchase Plan (DSP or DSPP) with a minimum initial investment in 'number of shares' and an additional investment option to purchase additional shares on an ongoing basis
- Dividend Reinvestment Plan, popularly referred to as a DRIP, to participate in dividend reinvestment and the option to purchase additional shares through ongoing investment.
- Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) exclusively to reinvest dividends only.
Has hundreds of companies listed with initial minimum investment ranging from $25 to $1250. Some plans require ownership of 1 share. Clicking on this link, http://www.amstock.com/investpower/new_plandet2.asp?num=0, will take you directly to the page that lists all of the participating plans.
Allows sorting of all plans by minimum investment amount or plan type
Does not allow to sort or search plans by associated fees. For e.g. one cannot search for plans with no purchase or transaction fee.
Also manages DSP & DRIP for Equiserve (http://www.equiserve.com/). Equiserve was acquired by Computershare in 2006 and all services have been rolled over to Computershare. Clicking on this link, https://www-us.computershare.com/Investor/Plans/PlansList.asp, will take you to the main investment plan page.
1) Has a neat search tool to find plans by Company Name, Ticker Symbol, DSPP, DRIP, No Purchase Fee, Minimum Initial Investment, etc
2) Provides a quick snapshot page for each plan. For e.g. here is the snapshot page for the iStar Financial Inc. (SFI) plan.
The Bank of New York (BNY) Stock Transfer (https://www.stockbny.com/)
Similar to the previous two transfer agents, the BNY Stock Transfer also offers DSP/DSPP & DRIP plans. Clicking on the following link, https://www.stockbny.com/UI/Resources.aspx, will take you to the list of company plans offered by BNY. The list identifies whether the plan is a DSPP or a DRIP. The list is quite vast and sorting/searching/narrowing the list is not an option.
1) Largest number of plans being offered by a transfer agent, including non-US companies
2) Completing an application online is an option for some of the companies
1) Finding a company to match your style is like finding a needle in a haystack.
2) Narrowing the list to only DSPP or by investment amount or purchase fees is not an option. The only available sort option to limit the list to US or non-US companies. The company list from the above link does not lead you to an online application.
3) There is a separate company list view (https://www.stockbny.com/UI/Enrollment.aspx) which lists the initial minimum investment amount and also provides the link to completing an online application, however, this view does not identify the plan as a DSPP or a DRIP.
4) To surmise, there is no comprehensive view that lists the company, identifies it as a DSPP/DRIP, includes the initial minimum investment and also provides a direct link to an online application. You have to utilize the two views to help oneself through the process.
Mellon Investor Services (https://www.melloninvestor.com/)
Similar to all of the above transfer agents, Mellon offers both DSPP & DRIP plans. Click this link, https://vault.melloninvestor.com/jsp/enroll/Search.jsp, to connect to the Invest Direct Search. On this page you can then find a company by Name, Ticker Symbol or Industry Name. Alternately, you can choose the ALL link/option which will take you to the complete list of companies offered by Mellon. On the ALL company list view you have further options to narrow the list by one of many options.
1) Presentation of the information is user friendly
2) Several search/sort options available. I would recommend accessing the ALL company list and then using the various search options to narrow the list to meet your specific needs