How Can Purchase a Stock Via a DRIP?

A Dividend Reinvestment Plan, commonly known as a DRIP, is an excellent way for investors to grow their holdings in a company by reinvesting their cash dividends to purchase additional shares of stock. This article will explain what a DRIP is, how it works, and the benefits and considerations involved in using a DRIP.

What is a DRIP?

A DRIP allows shareholders to reinvest their dividends to purchase more shares of the company’s stock automatically, rather than receiving the dividends in cash. This process is often facilitated by the company directly or through a third-party administrator. Many companies, especially large and well-established ones, offer DRIPs to encourage long-term investment and shareholder loyalty.

How to Enroll in a DRIP

To enroll in a DRIP, you must first own shares in a company that offers such a plan. If you don’t already own shares, you will need to purchase them through a brokerage account or directly from the company if it offers a direct stock purchase plan (DSPP). Once you have shares, you can contact the company’s investor relations department or visit their website to obtain the necessary forms to enroll in the DRIP. Some companies may require a minimum number of shares to participate.

Benefits of DRIPs

  1. Dollar-Cost Averaging: One of the main advantages of DRIPs is dollar-cost averaging. By reinvesting dividends regularly, you buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high, which can lower the average cost per share over time.
  2. Cost Efficiency: DRIPs are often free or come with very low fees compared to traditional brokerage accounts. Many companies do not charge commissions or fees for reinvesting dividends, making it a cost-effective way to increase your holdings.
  3. Compounding Growth: Reinvesting dividends allows you to take advantage of compounding growth. As you acquire more shares, you receive more dividends, which in turn are reinvested to buy even more shares. Over the long term, this can significantly enhance the growth of your investment.
  4. Long-Term Investment: DRIPs are designed for long-term investors who are not looking to make quick trades. They encourage a disciplined approach to investing, helping investors build substantial positions in quality companies over time.

Tax Considerations

While DRIPs offer several benefits, it’s important to be aware of the tax implications. Dividends that are reinvested through a DRIP are still considered taxable income in the year they are paid, even though you don’t receive the cash. You will need to pay taxes on the dividends, and the cost basis of the newly acquired shares must be tracked for future capital gains tax calculations. Keeping accurate records is crucial to avoid complications when selling shares.

Costs and Fees

Although many companies offer DRIPs with no fees, some may charge nominal fees for reinvesting dividends or maintaining the account. It’s essential to read the plan details to understand any associated costs fully. Additionally, while there are no commissions for reinvesting dividends, initial share purchases through a DSPP may incur fees.

Availability of DRIPs

Thousands of companies offer DRIPs, including many well-known large-cap stocks. You can find a list of companies that offer DRIPs by searching online or visiting the websites of transfer agents such as Computershare, Broadridge, and American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST). These third-party administrators manage DRIPs for many companies and provide information on how to enroll.


DRIPs provide a straightforward and cost-effective way for investors to grow their holdings over time through the power of compounding and dollar-cost averaging. They are particularly suited for long-term investors who are looking to build substantial positions in quality companies. However, it is important to consider the tax implications and ensure that accurate records are maintained. Before enrolling in a DRIP, carefully review the plan details, associated costs, and your own financial goals. Consulting a Fee-Only financial adviser can also provide personalized guidance to help you make informed decisions.

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