6.04.2011

Sharebuilder: Great for starter investors


Stock too Pricey? Try Partial Shares.

Excerpt:

At consumer investing website ShareBuilder.com, you can buy a partial stake in about 7,700 securities—including Apple, Google, McDonald's, the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund and the Vanguard Bond Index Fund. There's no minimum investment requirement and you can set up automatic investment increases as often as weekly. But there are pertrade and selling fees.

These partial shares are "not meant to trade and flip out the next day," says Dan Greenshields, ShareBuilder's president and chief investment officer. "It's really to accumulate over a three-to-five-year period."

For instance, you can buy $100 of Google stock, which is about 1/5 of a share. (The stock is trading at around $524.) Over time, you can add money, say $25 each month, to accrue more partial shares.

Carletta Wilson, an administrative assistant in Richmond, Va., set up a ShareBuilder account for her then 7-year-old son in 2000. He invested $225 in partial shares of four companies, including McDonald's and Walt Disney. About a year later, Ms. Wilson set up automatic increases of $25 a month. He now owns about six shares of McDonald's and 10 shares of Disney.

Comment: We started our investments some time ago with buying Norwest stock via payroll deduction and with Sharebuilder

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